Overland to Kaieteur Falls
This rugged overland trip offers the excitement of trekking and camping in the forest and amazing views of Kaieteur Gorge, as well as the falls.
Day 1 - Monday
Pickup and transfer from Cheddi Jagan International Airport to Georgetown and your selected hotel. Cara Lodge was built in the 1840's and originally consisted of two houses. It has a long and romantic history and was the home of the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown. Over the years, the property has been visited by many dignitaries including King Edward VIll who stayed at the house in 1923. Other dignitaries have included President Jimmy Carter, HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince Andrew and Mick Jagger. This magnificent wooden colonial home turned hotel offers the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era, complete with service and comfort in a congenial family atmosphere. Overnight at Cara Lodge. (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 12midday)
Day 2 - Tuesday
Our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams will guide us around Bourda Market, the largest of the four markets in Georgetown. We will start our tour at the Guyana Store which has all the local products produced and packaged in Guyana, from tamarind balls to cassava bread and all kinds of local jams and jellies. We will then go over to the market and meet some of the vendors who Chef buys from daily. See, touch and taste a variety of fruits and vegetables that are unique in this part of the world.
We will visit the fish market and learn about the different kinds of fish that are found in Guyana’s unique coastal waters. Because of the large rivers the water is brown, but don’t let the sediment fool you, these rivers are home to an amazing variety and abundance of fish. We will then visit the meat section of the market where you will see the shoppers getting their cuts of meats, custom cut and weighed right there. In season, you can find half drums of live crabs. Watch out for their pinchers or “tengalas” as we call them.
Strolling through the haberdashery section is fun, as one can find anything you can think of from thread to bolts of all kinds of fabric, including some beautiful African prints. You will find many kinds of rice which is the second most important agricultural crop in Guyana. There are also many other dry goods like peas and beans and of course many kinds of demerara sugar, from golden crystals to the dark brown molasses rich sugar that Guyanese like in their tea. There are also the bush medicine stalls. If you have an ailment, ask the person selling about it and she will be glad to prescribe a “concoction” of different herbs. There are bottles of bush medicine for every kind of ailment.
We then go outside to the large open air market. All the tropical fruits and vegetables are here and you are encouraged to ask questions and learn the names and try the new and different tastes. There are many kinds of bananas from the tiny sweet fig to the very large red bananas. Try them all and the local pineapple which is long and white inside as opposed to the round yellow ones you may be used to. There are also many different seasonal small fruits that you should try such as seaside grapes, sapodillas, dunks, jamoon, and gineps. You will find things you have never seen before that are a part of the Guyanese culture. Do not try the small red ones. They may look like cherries but are actually very hot peppers.
Delven will make his purchases with your suggestions and input of what you would like to try. He will then head home to start preparing while we will head off on a tour of the city of Georgetown.
Georgetown the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana is situated on the right bank of the Demerara River Estuary. It was chosen as a site for a fort to guard the early Dutch settlements of the Demerara River. The city of Georgetown was designed largely by the Dutch and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide tree lined avenues and irrigation canals that crisscross the city. Your Guide will explain the unique geography of Georgetown. Being six feet below sea level Georgetown depends on the canals and Kokers for its survival.
Many of the buildings in the city are wooden with unique architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. For the most part the buildings have Demerara shutters and designed fretwork with trimmed eaves and windows. Main Street, Georgetown provides several excellent examples of old colonial homes. Prime examples being both the Prime Minister’s residence and the State House, built in 1852. State House is set in large gardens and is painted green and white and has hosted many visiting dignitaries.
During your visit to Georgetown there are a number of interesting sights that should not be missed: the most famous being St. George’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings and was consecrated on 1892. The foundation stone was laid on November 23, 1890 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield. The story of the cathedral is told on the interior on tablets and memorials of a historical and sentimental nature: it is the tale of the history of Guyana in general and of the Diocese in particular.
At the beginning of the Avenue of the Republic stands the Public Library housed in the Carnegie Building. Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Town Hall, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and further along are the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. St. Andrew’s is the oldest surviving structure of any church in Guyana.
The famous Stabroek Market, once described as a “bizarre bazaar”, contains every conceivable item from house hold goods and gold jewellery to fresh meat and vegetables brought to town on the river daily. The clock tower can be seen for miles around and is a famous landmark.
No trip to Georgetown would be complete without a visit to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. The Botanical Gardens houses one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean and are laid out with ponds, canals, kissing bridges and bandstand. It houses an especially interesting collection of Palms including a unique branching palm. Over the years the zoo has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre and houses over one hundred different species of tropical wildlife.
We will also pay a visit to a pond either in the gardens or the National Park, to feed some Manatees. The West Indian Manatee is on the endangered list in many places, but Guyana has a very healthy and growing population.
The National Museum which contains a broad selection of our animal life portrayed in Taxidermy in beautiful old glass cases, should not be missed, nor the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which explains Amerindian history and life style, and houses a wonderful collection of artifacts.
The tour will include walking along the Avenues with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens. The group will be accompanied at all times by a vehicle, which will be used for travel between areas of interest. During the tour there is always the opportunity to purchase that unusual gift or unique Guyanese handicrafts.
We will then end up at the Backyard Café for lunch. This, as the name suggests, is a backyard that Chef Delven has turned into an exclusive little hidden gem of a restaurant. Try not to bang your head on the passion fruit hanging overhead from the arbor. If there are ripe ones you will be welcomed to try a freshly picked one. There are also all kinds of herbs growing around you. Anything you do not recognize, Delven will be only too happy to tell you about it.
If you are interested, Chef Delven will welcome you to join him as he prepares a wonderful meal prepared from the fruits and vegetables we bought in the market in the morning. He has a smoker and small fireside right outside and sometimes will prepare the fresh fish right there and you can certainly help him and learn his secrets. His garlic fish is out of this world! Chef will invite you to taste along as he prepares his unique dishes that are a fusion of Guyanese and first world cuisine. Or if you would prefer you can sit under the arbor and sip unique blends of juice or enjoy a cold Banks beer, while taking in the sounds and smells of a delicious meal in the making in a secluded backyard in Georgetown.
Once he is ready, we will start eating our way through the courses. We will start with an appetizer, to an entrée and end up with a dessert, which we may be hard pressed to fit, but we will give it our best shot and remember to pace yourself as you will want to try it all. Overnight at Cara Lodge. BL
Day 3 - Wednesday
This morning depart Georgetown by public bus at 0800hrs traveling for 9 hours, passing through the bauxite town of Linden, then through miles and miles of lush rainforest and rolling hills, stopping briefly at ‘58’ where you will have lunch.
Rejuvenated, you continue your journey to the bustling gold-mining town of Mahdia, then to Pamela Landing where you travel by boat for 2 ½ hours to Amatuk. Here, on this beautiful island of white sand with the 170 ft drop Amatuk falls just a few yards away, you camp for the night. A refreshing bath in the river and enjoy a sumptuous meal this is all you need before climbing into your hammock. The fresh, clean air will soon render you fast asleep. Overnight at camp Amatuk in hammocks. BLD
Day 4 - Thursday
The next day you leave on foot, trekking through the jungle, swimming across creeks and walking across jungle bridges (tree trunks), a short boat-ride through the rapids and you arrive at Waratuk where you will either hike/trek for 4hrs or transfer to another boat for 1hr boat ride to Tukiet with the enigmatic Ibini mountain range in the distance as your constant companion.
We will arrive at Tukiet, the bottom of Kaieteur Falls. The Tukiet Guesthouse offers refreshing swimming in the Potaro River and a spectacular view of the gorge. Overnight at Tukiet in hammock. BLD
Day 5 - Friday
From Tukeit you will ascend the mountain to the top of Kaieteur Falls – 3hrs hike. The ascent winds its way up the mountain through changing vegetation as the altitude rises. You will pass cool mountain streams where it is impossible to cross without taking a dip. The final stage of the climb is known as ‘Oh my God’ mountain. Did you say that you liked challenges?
This climb will challenge you both physically and mentally. With your backpack strapped securely unto your back and your water bottle within easy reach you begin your ascent. Upon reaching the top all is forgotten as you catch your first glimpse of the mighty Kaieteur Falls. The feeling of achievement is indescribable as you proudly view the grandeur of the mighty Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world. At dusk thousands of swifts gather in the sky like dark clouds, then plunge into the water of the falls, to their nesting site on the rock face behind the water fall. Here you will spend two (2) nights at the Kaieteur Guest House. Overnight at Kaieteur Guest House in hammock. BLD
Day 6 - Saturday
Today you can view the falls from the various viewpoints and explore the surrounding area. The early morning mist of Kaieteur gives way to a fantastic view of the falls. We will also try our best to find the spectacular Cock-Of-The Rock and the tiny golden frog, the frog spends it entire life from tadpole to maturity in the Bromeliad. We will also listen to tales of ‘Old Kiae’- who is said to have saved his people from the warlike Caribs by sacrificing himself sailing over Kaieteur Falls. Overnight at Kaieteur Guest House in hammock. BLD
Day 7 - Sunday
Morning to enjoy the Kaieteur National Park and it is then time to depart by scheduled flight to Mahdia Airport the official check in point (3hrs ground time) and onwards to Georgetown. You may get a final, spectacular aerial view of Kaieteur Falls and the gorge and the awe-inspiring expanse of rainforest and rivers that will hold the secrets of your adventure forever. Transfer to Georgetown to your hotel/residence. Overnight at Cara Lodge. BL (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 1200hrs midday)
Day 8 - Monday
Pickup and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for your departing flight. B
2020 RATE (Per Person, double occupancy) in US$:
with 1 person = $4295, with 2 people = $2365, with 3 people = $1835, with 4 = $1780, with 5 = $1750, with 6 = $1735, with 7 or more = $1720. Single Supplement =275.00
Please note that on the overland trip to Kaieteur Falls you carry your own backpack. Porters can be arranged to carry your pack at an additional cost of US$ 65.00 per porter per day.
Equipment to bring:
Broad rimmed or peaked sun hat
Large handkerchief or bandana to protect back of neck from sun
Light weight, quick dry, light coloured long pants and long sleeved shirt
Light weight socks that dry quickly
T-shirt, ideally light colour and cotton
Slippers or sandals, for easy on and off around camp when boots are being dried
Appropriate boots for hiking
Sunscreen and chap stick
Medications for specific medical condition (i.e. allergies, heart etc).
Sunglasses ideally with carrying straps
Ziploc bags - to protect things against rain etc.
Personal Toiletries (i.e., Bath Towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc)
Small flashlight with extra batteries
Camera, extra batteries and memory card
Copy of Biographic page of passport
Note: Passenger/s traveling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 15lbs/6.8KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$195.00 (price subject to change) equivalent to US$ 1.00 per pound. Please note that additional baggage allowance is subject to availability and cannot be confirmed until day/time of check-in by the airline. We can book excess weight on your behalf but it is subject to being within the payload of the aircraft and at the discretion of the airline. Contact us for more information.
BODY WEIGHTS : Please be advised all customers must provide us with body weights of passengers booked to travel on tour to Guyana for all internal flights. Failure to provide us with this information or the incorrect information can cause delays to flights and inconvenience to other passengers and in some cases either passengers and/or luggage being taken off the flight. We appreciate some people are sensitive about providing their body weights, but all customers and their baggage are weighed at check-in. This is procedure by the airline so as to ensure that the weight of the load is within the payload limit for the aircraft. Passengers are advised to provide a body weight with clothing similar to that which they would expect to travel in on the flight. Weights supplied are provided to the airline in advance to ensure the flight is within the allowable payload.
A WORD ON VISAS : The requirement for a visa can change at any time and without notice. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary visa for each country. We recommend you check the visa requirements for each country included in your itinerary. We are happy to provide advice on current requirements and even assistance in obtaining a visa on arrival or tourist cards. If you are unsure of requirements please contact us for assistance.
CONDITION RESTRAINTS : You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to be changed or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
AUTHORITY ON TOUR - At all times the decision of the company or its representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety, well-being and enjoyment of the tour. Clients must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited. Should the client fail to comply with the above or commit any illegal act when on tour or, if in the company’s opinion, the client's behavior causes or is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate that client’s travel arrangements without any liability on the company’s part.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS - The Client must be in possession of a valid passport (valid 6 months past the return date), visa (where necessary), permits and certificates including vaccinations certificates, insurance policies required for the journey – the client accepts responsibility of obtaining these. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, clothing, special equipment, baggage, climate, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to be changed or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress.
WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS - With any trip involving wildlife it is impossible to guarantee a sighting, but each trip is designed around known habitats. Operator will make every effort to ensure a sighting, but cannot be held responsible if no sighting is made due to the wildlife itself, weather, or any other elements beyond our control.
LOCAL CULTURE - Many of the areas to be visited are remote and cultures of the people most likely different to what you are accustomed to. These communities welcome visitors under the conditions that their customs, habits and rituals are respected at all times. Operator will endeavor to provide appropriate guidance to visitors as to correct behavior whilst in these communities. The company reserves the right to cancel a visitor’s tour, at any time, should their behavior be inappropriate and offensive to the local communities.
ACCEPTANCE OF RISK & RESPONSIBILITY
Nature and adventure travel is by character, an activity that requires travelling in areas that are often remote and the terrain difficult. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure the comfort and safety of our customers, these trips do have elements of risk. By taking part in this tour you acknowledge that there are inherent risks and that you are fully aware of the conditions of travel, accommodation and activities offered. You accept that operator, its staff and sub-contractors cannot be held liable for any accident, illness or similar occurrence. You hereby accept all such risk and release the company from all claims and causes of action arising from any injuries or damages resulting from these inherent risks.
FORCE MAJEURE - The company will do its best to minimize the effects of matters outside its control but cannot accept liability of these matters which include political disputes, industrial action, refusal of visas, border closures, unforeseeable climate, delayed or cancelled flights etc.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - It is the client’s responsibility to obtain adequate personal travel insurance. This insurance should, as a minimum, cover personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation expenses. It is recommended that the coverage extends to include loss of effects, curtailment, cancellation and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client.
PAYMENT - All rates are quoted in US dollars, unless otherwise stated. Rates are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change without notice. Due to fluctuating world fuel prices internal airfares cannot be guaranteed and rate is therefore subject to change. Every effort will be made to maintain quoted rate. A deposit of 20% is required to confirm any booking and balance of payment is due 30 days prior to commencement of trip.
CANCELLATION BY THE CLIENT - Any cancellation by the client must be in writing and acknowledged by operator. The date on which the correspondence is received will determine the loss of any monies applicable.