This small adventure takes in numerous of the highlights of Guyana: visit the Iwokrama Forest and view it from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive jaguar. Stay in the Makushi village of Rewa before going into the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and black caiman at Karanambu Ranch.
Day 1 - Saturday
Arrival at Cheddi Jagan International Airport and transfer to Cara Lodge..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 1200)
Day 2 - Sunday
Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport to
board a scheduled flight for journey over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Fair View Airstrip.
(Check in time 0700hrs, Departure 0830hrs)
Pick up from Fair View Airstrip and transfer by 4 x 4 along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky! Along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including Crimson and Purple-necked Fruit-crow, Crimson Topaz, Green Oropendula, Spotted and Guianan Puffbird, Scarlet and Red-and-Green Macaw, Blue-cheeked and Orange-winged Parrot and Gray-winged Trumpeter. This road is the only north – south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, such as Agouti, Tayra, Puma, Tapir and Black Curassow. The journey concludes at the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve in central Guyana. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow great looks at a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see well from the forest floor.
Another area where we will want to spend some time is the clearing around the lodge, as this is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the Crimson Fruitcrow. This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis, as it often comes to feed in some of the nearby trees. The clearing is also a reliable site for Black Curassow as there is a family party which has become habituated to people and regularly passes through the clearing.
Atta Rainforest Lodge is 500 metres from the base of the Canopy Walkway, offering comfortable private-room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, delicious home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality. The lodge is completely surrounded by tropical rainforest which offers a complete immersion in the rainforest experience. The main building is open sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest on all sides and houses the bar, dining area and kitchen. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. BLD
Day 3 - Monday
Before dawn return to the canopy where you will welcome the dawn chorus. From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler Monkeys and Black Spider Monkeys. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself you can enjoy wildlife and bird watching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany many of the trails have the key tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge.
Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.
Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge by 4 x 4 vehicle through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting and pristine rainforest and the guides can explain how the plants are used for medicine and other purposes. Continue the journey to Kwatamang Landing.
Travel by boat along the Rupununi River with opportunities to see wild Giant River Otters and Black Caiman. You will pass locals fishing and bathing in the river until you reach the Rewa River and the Amerindian community of Rewa. Journey is approximately 50 miles by river and can be as short as 2 hours and as long as 4 hours depending on the water level.
Rewa Village is located where the Rewa River runs into the Rupununi River in the North Rupununi. The surrounding area is rainforest, mountains and oxbow lakes and teeming with wildlife birds and fish. The community of approximately 220 persons is predominately Macushi with a few families of the Wapashani and Patamona tribes. Villagers practice subsistence farming, fishing and hunting with little opportunity for cash employment.
In 2005 the community constructed the Rewa Eco-lodge so that they could establish a sustainable eco-tourism business. The lodge itself is situated on the river bank overlooking the Rewa River with views down river to the Rupununi River. Along the river bank tables and benches offer a relaxing location to enjoy the river. The grassed clearing in the rainforest houses three benabs and six cabins. The largest benab is the kitchen and dining area, with an outlook to the river. Accommodation is in two benabs each with two bedrooms and a large patio with hammocks for relaxing with shared bathrooms just outside; and six individual cabins with attached bathrooms open to the sky.
Once settled in take a walk over to the community of Rewa to see how the locals live. Visit villager’s houses where you can experience their everyday life and see activities such as grating cassava, weaving baskets and tending kitchen gardens. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge. BLD
Day 4 - Tuesday
Enjoy breakfast at dawn overlooking the Rewa River. Then head out by boat along the Rupununi River, into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain. The climb is steep in a few sections but in general not too difficult. Along the way you will lots of birds and perhaps good close up views of Black Spider Monkeys.
There is good birding along the trail with White Bellbirds calling both from the scrubby woodland at the beginning of the trail and again from the forests far below you when reach the summit. Other species you may see include Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black Curassow, Red-fan Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Todd’s Antwren, Spotted Tanager and Bay-headed Tanager. The area also has a high density of macaws including Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow and Red-and-Green Macaws.
At the summit you will have absolutely stunning views across rainforest to the distant mountains. There is a small plateau on the top of the mountain and in one direction, there are uninterrupted views back to the Rupununi River, some patches of savannah and across to the distant Kanuku Mountains. In the other direction, there is a near vertical drop of at least 200m and the view is across great swathes of undisturbed forest to the distant Iwokrama Mountain and much closer, Makarapan Mountain.
Return to the lodge for lunch, then take a walk through the community of Rewa to see how the locals live. Visit villager’s houses where you can experience their everyday life and see activities such as grating cassava, weaving baskets and tending kitchen gardens.
Later this afternoon travel up the Rewa River to a location known as Seawall. This rock formation is a great place to fish or take in the beauty of the location. Visit sand banks where giant river turtles come to lay their eggs. On the return trip spotlight for wildlife along the river banks, where you may see red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge. BLD
Day 5 - Wednesday
After breakfast say goodbye to staff and newfound friends and board boat. Travel by boat along the Rupununi River to Kwatamang Landing. Enjoy lunch at Rock View Lodge before continuing your journey.
From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Lodge. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for Giant Otters as there are several family groups which live along this stretch of the Rupununi River.
Karanambu, a 110-square mile former cattle ranch, was the home of the late Diane McTurk, conservationist and a world-renowned expert on giant otters. Karanambu is located in the North Rupununi, a region of south-western Guyana known for its expansive wetlands and savannah, as well as its biological and cultural diversity. Settled in 1927 by Tiny McTurk, Karanambu was once a working cattle ranch and Balata collection station. It is now an eco-tourist destination known as The Karanambu Lodge. Karanambu encompasses savannah, marshy ponds, riparian forest, and a 30-mile stretch of the Rupununi River.
The North Rupununi of southern Guyana is an extraordinary natural and pristine area. The landscape is an integration of four ecosystem types: wetlands, savannahs, rivers, and forests. The number of species found here is much higher than expected given its size. There are at least 600 species of fish, along with 600 species of bird, and over 200 species of mammals. Karanambu is located roughly in the middle of this beautiful and fascinating biological hotspot where endangered species like the Giant Otter, Black Caiman, Jaguar, Giant Anteater, and Arapaima can be found. The seasonally flooded savannahs and forests also draw substantial fish migrations. There may be as many as 700 species of fish at Karanambu — more than anywhere on Earth.
This region is rich in history, too. The North Rupununi is the homeland of the Makushi and earlier peoples dating back almost 7,000 years ago. Village neighbours include the Makushi villages of Kwaimatta, Massara, Yupukari, Toka, and Simoni. Several prominent explorers and naturalists have written about their experiences here, including Robert and Richard Schomburgk, Charles Waterton, Evelyn Waugh, Gerald Durrell, and David Attenborough. Lake Amuku, not far from Karanambu, was once considered by Sir Walter Raleigh, and later by Alexander von Humboldt, and others to be the location of Lake Parime on whose banks the golden city of “El Dorado” was said to be located.
The romance of the Rupununi pioneers lives on at Karanambu. The compound has the flavour of an Amerindian Village. Because of the remoteness of Karanambu, staff live on site and the children can be seen and heard on the weekends and holidays when they come “home” from schools in the nearby villages of Yupakari, Kwaimatta and Massara. This feeling of community is further enhanced by the accommodations, which are traditionally made clay brick cabins. Each private cabin can accommodate two people and includes private bathroom and Veranda with hammocks.
With both the river and the savannahs close at hand there is a wide variety of activities to be enjoyed at Karanambu. You are free to determine what you want to do based on your interests, the time of year and whether the guides have found anything especially unique and interesting to see. Two guided excursions are provided each day — one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon and into the evening. As well as being the coolest times to be out, these are usually the best times to see the different birds and animals. Trips may be on the river by boat, on the savannahs by Land Rover or along forest trails on foot to the different ponds in the area.
Late in the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild Giant River Otters and as dusk falls to the ponds to see the giant Victoria amazonica water lily, bloom at dusk. On the return trip we will spotlight for Black Caiman and birds and creatures of the night. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. BLD
Day 6 - Thursday
This morning we may make an early start to reach an area of rolling grasslands, which is home to a population of giant anteaters. With luck we shall locate one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that stud the savannah. The giant anteater, also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore-claws and distinctively coloured pelage. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore-claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.
An evening visit to a nearby pond to see hundreds of Ibis, Anhinga, Heron and Egret roosting (only in rainy season) is a highlight. If you are interested in bird watching you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where we’ll hope to find such species as Spotted Puffbird, Striped Woodcreeper, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Golden-spangled Piculet, Bearded Tachuri and Capuchinbird. A feature bird for the area is Agami Heron. An evening walk along the airstrip offers seven species of nightjar and among the grasslands the Double-striped Thick-knees. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. BLD
Day 7 - Friday
In the event you did not see a giant anteater the previous morning, there is time to travel out to search the savannah again. Or explore the Rupununi River in search of wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Arapaima, making a boat journey along quiet stretches of river. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.
Transfer by 4x4 from Karanambu Lodge and transfer across the savannah to Lethem for our scheduled flight to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Pickup at the Airport and transfer to 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.
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 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.
Overnight at Cara Lodge. B (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 1200hrs midday)
Day 8 Saturday
Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
From there take a scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall.
Kaieteur Falls which was first seen by a European on April 29, 1870 is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo. The water of Kaieteur, one of the world’s natural wonders, flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 741 feet or 5 times the height of Niagara Falls.
There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), committed self-sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls. It was believed this would encourage the Great Spirit Makonaima to save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi.
Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with Tank Bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny Golden frog spends its entire life and the rarely seen Guiana Cock- of-the-rock nesting close by. The lucky visitor may also see the famous flights of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved over millions of years by the water of the Potaro River.
This includes a trip to Kaieteur Falls. Sometimes this trip may include an extension to Orinduik Falls or Baganara Island Resort, at no additional cost.
Condition of Sale :
Flights to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls are operated on chartered aircraft and all flights have a minimum passenger restriction. Therefore, any booking to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls is subject to a minimum of 12 passengers being available to travel. In most cases we are able to fill flights, especially if scheduled for a weekend. However, in the rare case that we cannot meet the required numbers we will reschedule the trip to another day during your stay, if this is possible. Wilderness Explorers retains the right to reschedule a flight as a first option. If we cannot reschedule the flight Wilderness Explorers will guarantee a flight, with a minimum of 2 passengers, to Kaieteur Falls only. If a flight is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as weather, we will endeavour to reschedule the flight during your itinerary. If this is not possible then a full refund on the flight will be made.
Pickup and transfer from the Airport to Georgetown. Overnight at Cara Lodge. BL
Day 9 - Sunday
Pickup in Georgetown and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for departing flight.
2019 TOTAL RATE per person, double occupancy in US$:
1 person = $6600, 2 people = $4200, 3 people = $3665, 4 people = $3480. Single Supplement = $289
- airport transfers
- double or twin accommodation
- meals as listed
- limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
- all road and river transfers
- internal flights in Guyana
- activities as described
- local guides
- Kaieteur National Park fee
- Iwokrama Forest User Fee
- Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee
Not Included :
- items of a personal nature
- alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
- departure tax
- international flights
BODY WEIGHTS : Please be advised all tour customers must provide us with body weights 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.
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 the 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.