This 14-day tour is similar to the Guyana Nature Experience plus the adventure of driving yourself through one of the last remaining tracts of untouched rainforest left on earth. Get behind the wheel of a VW Amarok 4×4 and take off into the rugged interior of Guyana navigating through the rainforest and savannahs.
We will pick you up at the airport, and then transfer you to 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 VII 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 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)
This morning tour Georgetown which is 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 criss cross the city.
Most 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 which trim eaves and windows. Main Street, Georgetown provides several excellent examples of old colonial homes, a prime example of which is the State House, built in 1852. The 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
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. Over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife can be observed at the Zoo including a wide variety of tropical
fishes and birds.
The National Museum which contains a broad selection of our animal life and heritage should not be missed, nor the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which explains Amerindian history and life style. 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, or for the daring the chance to delve into the gold and diamond market. 1130hrs transfer to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport for 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. At 228 meters, Kaieteur is nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. 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 whomthe 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-therock 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 by the centuries of water,
hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water. See notes on Kaieteur Falls flight upgrade options below Overnight at Cara Lodge. B
Condition of Sale :
Flights to Kaieteur 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 5 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.
This morning pick up your VW Amarok 4x4 vehicle and start the exciting journey through the heart of Guyana to the Iwokrama Rainforest, which is a vast wilderness of one million acres. This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. The Iwokrama Forest is in the heart of one of four last untouched tropical forests of the world - The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. Iwokrama was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management because the unsustainable utilisation of these forests will result in the extinction of half the world's plant and animal species and unknown changes to global climate. This is a protected area with a difference - the full involvement of people. Iwokrama is exceptional among conservation organizations because it joins with local people in every aspect of its work. From research to business, Iwokrama ensures local economic and social benefits from forest use and conservation. The Forest is in the homeland of the Makushi people, who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years. People are a vertical part of the ecosystem. The success of Iwokrama relies on the ownership of local people and the combined skills of specialists and communities. Iwokrama does what so many International conventions have acknowledged as best practice. It has begun conservation locally and integrated conservation into national development.
Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including Capunchinbird, Black Nunbird, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Amazonian Antshrike, Brown-bellied Antwren, Spot-tailed Antwren, Todd’s Antwren, Spotted Puffbird, Green Aracari, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Red Cotinga, Pompadour Cotinga, Rufouscrowned Elaenia, Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Gray Antbird, and Strongbilled Woodcreeper. Three other Neotropical species in the Iwokrama forest of high interest are White-winged Potoo, Rufous Potoo, and Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo. The forest is also home to many mammals and you may see Red-rumped Agouti and various species of monkey including Red Howler, Black Spider and Wedge-capped and Brown Capuchins.
After dark we’ll set out on the river, in hope of finding one or another of its four species of caiman, and listen for night birds such as Spectacled Owl, White-winged Potoo, Rufous Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Zigzag Heron or Blackish Nightjar. You may see one or another of the four species of caiman, and most certainly snakes including Cox boa, tree frogs and if lucky maybe
some mammals. Maybe even a puma or capybara. The Iwokrama River Lodge is set overlooking the Essequibo River. Accommodation is offered in eight spacious timber cabins with shingle roofs, bathroom facilities and veranda overlooking the river. Running water and flush toilets are standard, however water is not heated (and rarely desired in the tropical heat). Electricity is provided by a combination of solar and diesel generator systems, and wireless internet access is provided for free in the main building. Meals are served buffet-style in the Fred Allicock dining hall, where you can mingle with the rangers, administrative and scientific staff. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. BD
Making an early start, we’ll embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate nearby Indian House Island, before returning to the River Lodge for breakfast. Leave the lodge by boat, bird watching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. A well maintained trail winds through the forest before an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at 935ft (approx. 360m). It takes 1 3/4hrs to walk up the mountain, but the effort is more than worth it for the breath taking views over the forest canopy when you get there and
chances of Green Aracari, White Bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing Black Spider Monkey and Red Howler Monkey and if you are very lucky even a Jaguar. This pristine forest offers huge buttress trees and the endemic Greenheart, a highly sought after hardwood. If you think this hike may be too strenuous you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman.
As the afternoon cools you set out on a boat trip to visit Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs (dependent on the water level). During your stay you also have the opportunity to drive yourself along the road that runs through Iwokrama to look for wildlife and especially looking for jaguar. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. BLD
Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. This morning drive yourself 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, 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 Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated at Mauisparu, 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. Amongst the likely highlights are Painted, Brown-throated and Golden-winged Parakeets, Caica Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Waved and Golden-collared Woodpeckers and Spot-tailed, Todd’s and Ash-winged Antwrens. The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted Dusky Purpletuft and if there are any suitable fruiting trees nearby, you stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread Purple-breasted Cotinga.
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. With reasonable luck, you should be able to add this bird to the impressive list of species you will see around the lodge and walkway. 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
Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and may see Rufousthroated Sapphire, Green Aracari, Pygmy Antwren and Guianan Streaked-Antwren. With some luck Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet and a host of crown specialists may come within our view. 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 trees species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home and you can be fairly certain to spot some extraordinary wildlife without even trying too hard. Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen Rufouswinged Ground-cuckoo. As dark falls on the canopy walkway, you may see the White-winged Potoo. Night walks are also possible and something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene including the occasional jaguar (panthera onca) along the transnational road near the lodge. As you have the freedom of your own 4x4 you can once again travel along the road looking for wildlife, including after dark when nocturnal species may be seen.
Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. BLD
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway. Short-tailed Nighthawks settle in for the day, Swifts take to the sky, White throated and Channel-billed Toucans yodel, and Barred Forest Falcons call. Birdwatch from the mid and upper canopy on the walkway as flocks travel past and look for Paradise Jacamar, White-necked Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Black-tailed and Black-crowned Tityras. Or you can bird along the jungle trails where antbird flocks include White-plumed Antbird, Spot-winged Antbird, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Longbilled Antwren, McConnell’s Flycatcher, Gray-crowned Flycatcher, Plain Xenops and Wedgebilled Woodcreeper. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Drive your VW Amarok from Atta Rainforest Lodge through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short trail to a trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianian Cock-of-therock. This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can show the use of the plants.
Then continue the journey to the community of Surama. The Amerindian community of Surama is located in the heart of Guyana. The village is set in five square miles of savannah which is ringed by the forest covered Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practises of their forebears.
This isolated and idyllic location offers an escape from the concrete jungle to a serene and peaceful existence with nature. The guides have lived their entire lives in the rainforest, and have an incredible understanding of nature and how to utilise its resources. On arrival in Surama you will receive a warm welcome from local staff and settle into your accommodation at the Surama Eco-lodge. A local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. Overnight at Surama Eco-lodge. BLD
Rise before dawn to drive across the savannah and then climb up Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, especially after rain, and not for everyone. Your guides will happily offer alternative activities if you prefer not to do this climb. Return to village for lunch and then take a three mile walk or drive your 4x4 across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you
on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, Spider Monkeys and many more species. Return to village for sunset. Overnight at Surama Ecolodge. BLD
Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest. You can choose from a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or relax around the lodge before breakfast and departure. Drive yourself from Surama to Karanambu Lodge. Karanambu, a 110-square mile former cattle ranch, is the home of Diane McTurk, conservationist and a world-renowned expert on giant otters. Karanambu is located in the North Rupununi, a region of southwestern 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 ecotourist 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 Amazonia Regis 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
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 Doublestriped Thick-knees. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. BLD
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. After breakfast we say our goodbyes and transfer upriver by motorized boat to the nearby Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. Vehicle transfer from landing to Caiman House. At the edge of Yupukari Village in the Central Rupununi is Caiman House Field Station, a combination guest-lodge and education centre focused on research and conservation projects along the nearby Rupununi River. The Field Station is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an Internet-enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at
Yupukari Crafters, a non-profit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development.
Tonight, enjoy a foray on the Rupununi River from Caiman House Field Station. As a guest, you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. You are invited to accompany the indigenous crew as they search for and capture Black Caiman on the river. Guests will observe the capture from a separate boat but will be offered the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caiman are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river. The research has already
discovered interesting information on caimans’ nests that was previously unknown. During periods of high water, it is difficult to capture Caiman but you will have another chance to enter the nocturnal world of the Rupununi River and associated gallery forests which offer an experience, and world of wildlife entirely different than those viewed on a day trip. Skilled guides will expertly escort visitors to meet elusive denizens of darkness by outboard powered boats, while interpreting the sights, and sounds of Guyana after dark. Just after darkness settles on the River many creatures emerge such as black caiman (to over 12 feet), spectacled caiman, tree boas, iguanas, frogs, and many fish species (i.e. Arawana, Piranha). Sleeping birds (kingfishers, small perching birds) nightjars, potoos, Boat-billed Herons and other aquatic birds, bats, (harmless) spiders, insects, moths, and more can be closely approached in way not possible during the hours of light. Less likely, but not rare inclusions for night viewing include possums, tree dwelling rodents, capybara and sleeping monkeys (esp. squirrel monkeys) amongst other mammals. Few nights pass without some unusual offering. Seven modest but comfortable guest rooms are situated around a central lounge area in the lodge behind the research centre. Guest rooms comfortable beds and feature attached bathrooms with flush toilets and running water. Other rooms are available in the main building with shared bathroom. Caiman House Field Station and the Guest House are powered 24 hours a day by a large solar array. The entire station is served by wireless internet access. Overnight at Caiman House. BLD
This morning guests will be taken on the Awariku Adventure. Guests will be escorted with skilled guides who will go paddling or with an electric motor from a huge lake (Awariku) through a creek in some lowland forest and come out into the Rupununi river. Once in the river, they will drift down to the main landing and then come back up to Caiman House. This is good for birdwatching, especially the allusive Agami Heron and the Rufescent Tiger Heron. Guests will also be able to enjoy the spectacular Victoria Amazonica giant water lily, whose flowers will still be open. It is a real experience for the guests to be travelling in a dugout canoe. After breakfast, there is plenty to explore right in the village, including visits to neighbors engaged in daily activities. Learn how they make cassava bread, spin and weave cotton, fashion bricks from river clay, make rope from leaf fiber. We will also visit the Yupakari village
school and meet the students and their teachers. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit the internet enabled library and see the classes in action. We return to Caiman House for lunch. This afternoon we will head out on to the Rupununi River, where we will select the perfect sandbank to stop and set up camp for our evening dinner under the stars. A perfect opportunity to try your hand at local fishing. If the fish are not biting, have no fear, the crew will be thoroughly prepared to cook over the camp fire while you sip your drinks as the sun sets. After dinner, on the way back to the lodge, your experienced guides will show you how to shine your torchlights across the banks of the river to see the “eye shine’ of the creatures of the night. You will see many birds who have settled down for the night in the branches of the trees, such as, capped herons, black crowned night herons, boat billed herons, and night jars. Along the banks you can look for black and spectacled caiman and sometime even capybara who come down for a drink in the river. In the bushes along the river, we will also look for the “eye shine” of the tree boas. Overnight at Caiman House. BLD
This morning you will need an early start to drive back along the trails and road to Georgetown. Return your Europcar VW Amarok 4x4 and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Cara Lodge. B
Pickup in Georgetown and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for departing flight.
Wilderness Explorers promises to promote ecologically sensitive tourism through a responsible and concerned attitude towards the environment. We will provide the maximum benefit to the local communities by operating in an honest, thoughtful and concerned manner towards their customs and involving the communities so as to afford them the greatest financial benefit possible. At the same time we will offer professional tourism services of an international standard to our clientele.