Nature and Wildlife Tour in Guyana
This classic small group adventure takes in many of the highlights of Guyana; visit Kaieteur Falls before travelling to Iwokrama for jungle hikes, boat trips, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive jaguar along with the other giants of Guyana. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before going into the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and black caiman.
Condition of Sale - Kaieteur Falls Tour
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 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.
Please note a minimum of 2 travellers required to operate the tour.
Alternative Tour Name: Guyana Nature Experience
Arrival at Cheddi Jagan International Airport and transfer 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)
Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport where you will 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.
The 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 worlds 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-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
Pickup at Eugene F. Correia International Airport and transfer to Georgetown. Overnight at Cara Lodge. B
Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport where you will board the schedule 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 to Iwokrama River Lodge.
Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including Capunchin bird, 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, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Gray Antbird, and Strong-billed 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.
Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. BLD
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, birdwatching 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 breathtaking 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).
Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. BLD
Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger.
Transfer by vehicle 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 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.
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.
Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. BLD
Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and 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 birdwatching 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 Rufous-winged 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.
Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. BLD
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.
Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge by vehicle or 4x4 Bedford Truck (converted with forward facing seats and canopy) 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 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 for a walk 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 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 Eco-lodge. 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.
Transfer by vehicle or 4x4 Bedford Truck from Surama to Rock View Lodge at Annai.
Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own.
You can see how cashews are roasted or how local handicrafts are made and maybe even try your hand at them yourself. The labour-intensive method of cracking open the roasted nuts along with the self-ignition of the nuts as the acid content burns off are a spectacular sight. You can then taste the freshly roasted nuts. The pool has a lovely setting in the gardens and is a welcome respite on a hot day.
Overnight at Rock View Lodge. BLD
At dawn take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail where you might see Cinereous Mourner, Finsch’s Euphonia, Reddish Hermit, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Green-tailed and Yellow-billed Jacamar. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular.
Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.
Travel south by road from Rock View Lodge to Ginep Landing.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Overnight at Caiman House. BLD
After breakfast vehicle transfer from Caiman House to Lethem.
Board scheduled flight for journey over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport 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 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 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. Over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife can be observed at the Zoo including a wide variety of 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.
This evening pickup and transfer to Backyard café for Dinner.
Backyard Café is located in the West Ruimveldt area where our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delvin Adams will greet you as you enter.
This as the name suggests, is a backyard that Chef Delvin 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, Delvin will be only too happy to tell you about it. His menu is whatever is on season at the time. It is a Guyanese fusion from all over the world.
Delvin makes his purchase based on clients’ suggestions and dietary requirements from the local market.
If you are interested, Chef Delvin will welcome you to join him as he prepares a wonderful meal from the fruits, vegetables and meats he bought. He has a smoker and small fireside right outside and sometimes will prepare the fresh fruits right there and you can certainly help him and learn this secrets. His garlic fish is out of this world! Chef will invite you taste along as he prepares his unique dishes that are a fusing 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 back yard in Georgetown. Chef works with you, he will ask what your interests are or what you would really like to try that you have not.
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 presses to fit in, 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. BD
Pickup and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for your departing flight. B
Andean Cock- of-the rock, Capunchin bird, 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, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Gray Antbird, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Red Howler, Black Spider and Wedge-capped, Brown Capuchin, Spectacled Owl, White-winged Potoo, Rufous Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Zigzag Heron, Blackish Nightjar, Kwaimatta, Massara, Yupukari, Toka, Simoni,
What is included?
- Airport transfers
- Double or twin accommodation
- Meals as listed
- All road & river transfers
- Internal flights in Guyana
- activities as described
- local guides
- VAT (local Tax)
- Kaieteur National Park Fee
- Iwokrama Forest User Fee
- Iwokrama Canopy Walkway Fee
What is not included?
- Items of personal nature
- International flights
- Alcoholic drinks
- Departure tax
- Optional activities
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.
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.
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 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.
A shirt with a collar and long sleeves helps protect you from the sun, and a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are vital. For casual activities during the day, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. In the evening, you would want long trousers and a shirt with long sleeves. Also, remember to bring comfortable walking shoes or boots and sandals. See below for a suggested packing list from Wilderness Explorers: - T-shirt - Long sleeve shirt - Long pants - Shorts - Sport sandals (Teva, KEEN, or similar) - Hiking boots - Hiking socks - Light raincoat - Sunscreen - Sunglasses - Hat - Anti-malarial pills - Insect repellent - Flashlight - Binoculars - Camera
Single supplements are available and are $589 per person.