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Guyana - A Timeless Paradise

Tour Code: GUY01

An exciting 15-day holiday in search of the birds, mammals and other natural history amongst the pristine rainforests, rivers and savannahs of a little known and unspoiled South American country.

15 days from £4595(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3845 SRS: £360


Guyana lies at the point where the Caribbean meets South America on its North Atlantic seaboard. It has tremendous natural beauty – great rivers, waterfalls and unexplored rainforest – and is a land of immense biodiversity. Starting in the old Dutch colonial capital of Georgetown, this holiday follows a roughly circular route anti-clockwise through the centre of the country, exploring a wide variety of habitats and wildlife from the Amerindian reserve of Santa in the north, to the breathtaking Kaieteur Falls and a table-top ‘tepuis’ mountain. Guyana is an extraordinary place, and one which, for the keen and adventurous naturalist, is a must!

  • Over 700 species of bird
  • Birding by canoe in search of Sungrebe & Sunbittern
  • Morning flight over the Kaieteur Falls – five times the height of Niagara!
  • Fly to the top of a ‘tepuis’ to see male Guianan Cock-of-the-rock in full display
  • Pre-dawn visit to a ‘canopy walkway’
  • Harpy Eagle possible in the Iwokrama Rainforest
  • Kinkajou, Red Howler & Black Spider Monkeys plus Guianan Saki
  • Watch macaws flying across the forest
  • Explore lagoons & the Rupununi River for Giant River Otter
  • Jabiru, egrets, Capybara & Black Caiman
  • Ride with ‘vacqueros’ across savannah to look for Giant Anteater
  • Led by an expert naturalist guide

Food

Included in the price, except for evening meals in Georgetown. Allow £30.

Accommodation

A mixture of the best available hotels and lodges, some a little basic, most with private facilities.

Giant Anteater (Peter Price)

Giant Anteater (Peter Price)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Georgetown

Day 2/3 Kaieteur Falls and Iwokrama River Lodge

Day 4/5 Atta Rainforest Lodge

Day 6/7 Surama Eco Lodge

Day 8/9 Rock View Lodge

Day 10/12 Karanambu Ranch

Day 13 Georgetown

Day 14 Depart Georgetown

Day 15 Arrive London

Day 17 Arrive London

Guyana lies at the point where the Caribbean meets South America on its North Atlantic seaboard. Although little known, it is nonetheless a wonderful country, blessed with unspoiled natural beauty and great rivers, waterfalls and unexplored rainforest. Truly a timeless paradise, Guyana is a land of immense biodiversity. Here, Jaguars still roam the forests; rivers hold Giant River Otter, Black Caiman and Arapaima (the world’s largest freshwater fish) … and Harpy Eagle and Guianan Cock-of-the-rock thrive amongst an avifauna of over 700 species.

Our holiday begins with a morning flight to the majestic and breathtaking Kaieteur Falls. Situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo, Kaieteur was first seen by Europeans in 1870. With a sheer drop of 228 metres, the falls are five times the height of Niagara, and their pounding waters create an eternal rainbow over the mist-covered boulders of the gorge. There is no waterfall in the world discharging so much water over such a great drop! Nearby, the tabletop summit of a tepuis (the classic ‘Lost World-like’ table-top mountain typical of the region), on which our plane lands, supports an amazing ecosystem which we will explore, hoping to encounter a male Guianan Cock-of-the-rock in full display! With a backdrop of rolling, grass-covered hills, this is one of the most stunning locations in Guyana’s remote interior.

Next we take a short flight south to Fairview Village, from where we transfer by 4x4 to the Iwokrama River Lodge (which also functions as a working biological research station). Here we will explore the pristine rainforest which surrounds the research station, using a good network of trails and a boat to investigate the mighty Essequibo River. Red Howler Monkeys and calling toucans will wake us here each morning and we should be treated to daily fly-pasts by Blue-and-yellow, Red-and-green, and Scarlet Macaws.

We continue south to the intimate and peaceful Atta Rainforest Lodge, well known for its canopy walkway high within the treetops. This wonderful facility gives us access to sought-after birds that are rarely visible from the ground such as Pompadour Cotinga, Guianan Toucanet and Dusky Purpletuft. Rainforest mammals, although never conspicuous, are well represented within the Iwokrama forest. With luck, we may encounter the impressive Black Spider Monkey and possibly the curious-looking White-faced Saki. Though glimpsing a Jaguar is a difficult mission, we will certainly be keeping a sharp eye out in the hope of seeing this most impressive of South American cats. Leaving Atta, we journey onwards to Surama Eco Lodge, which is situated in a tranquil, beautiful location offering our best chances of seeing the magnificent Harpy Eagle.

Next we drive to Rock View Lodge at Annai where we will have time to enjoy all the comforts that our luxurious accommodation has to offer, as well as to explore the Pakaraima foothills and enjoy their panoramic views across vast savannahs.

A boat transfer then takes us to arguably the highlight of the tour, Karanambu Ranch, where endless rainforest dramatically gives way to a rolling savannah that is sliced by rivers and broken by hills which rise suddenly from the plains. This is the Rupununi Savannah, a vast land of huge skies and sun-scorched plains, interrupted by patches of scrub and riparian woodland, swamps and lakes, together with a scattering of Amerindian villages and cattle ranches. Karanambu is an isolated cattle ranch and former home of Diane McTurk, famous for her work rehabilitating orphaned Giant River Otters to the wild. Here we will explore the maze of lagoons along the Rupununi River with Diane’s family, in search of Giant River Otters, Red Howler Monkeys, Capybara and Black Caiman. The quiet backwaters here are home to the legendary Arapaima, the largest of all scaled freshwater fish. Lakes and ponds are crammed with Jabirus, egrets, herons and other waterbirds, and blanketed by the enormous pads of the Victoria amazonica water lily, Guyana’s national flower. On one morning we make an early start to reach an area of rolling grassland which is home to a population of Giant Anteaters. With luck, and with the help of the vacqueros riding barefoot in the stirrup, we will locate one of these 2-metre long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that stud the savannah.

Finally, a little culture in colonial Georgetown, together with a visit to the Botanical Gardens where the astonishing Blood-coloured Woodpecker is a possibility, will round off what is likely to be an unforgettable tour.

Otter eating PiranhaGiant River Otter (Peter Price)Giant River OttersBlackish Nightjar (Peter Price)Giant Anteater (Peter Price)Rock View LodgeThree-toed SlothSpotted Puffbird (Peter Price)Santa Village (Peter Price)Kaieteur Falls (Peter Price)Jabiru (Peter Price)JaguarHoatzinCanopy Walk (Peter Price)Iwokrama Rainforest (Peter Price)Giant AnteaterHoatzin and chickHarpy Eagle (Peter Price)Guianian Cock-of-the-rockGreat Potoo (Peter Price)
D.C.
Buckinghamshire
We had some incredible sessions with the Harpy Eagle and Cock-Of-The-Rock. Luke is a great fellow and I feel privileged to have travelled with him.
Mr & Mrs H.
Lincolnshire
Ron Allicock was an excellent leader, handling the group very well, kept to the programme and dealt very efficiently with the general organisation. Through his efforts we saw a great deal, including Jaguar ... Many thanks to you and your team for arranging such a memorable trip.
A.K.
Oxfordshire
Many thanks to you and Naturetrek for another great trip, Guyana was a fascinating experience and we were extremely lucky in our sightings including a male Jaguar, Giant Ant Eater, Cock of the Rock displaying, young Harpy Eagle and FOUR Potoos (Common, Long Tailed, White Winged and Great) and I was happy as I got to photograph my bugs (some extremely interesting ones) and Odonata (which were in abundance!!!)
D.B.
Somerset
Guiding was splendid. Ron know his birds and was expert in both finding and showing them…we found most of the key bird species, and out final bird list was about 250; there were enough snakes, otters, caimans, spiders and so on to keep everybody happy. For me (and I think for others) the most memorable feature was the use made of waterways, both by day and by night; we will always remember the Topaz Hummingbirds at Arrowpoint.
D.B.
Somerset
Guiding was splendid. Ron know his birds and was expert in both finding and showing them…we found most of the key bird species, and out final bird list was about 250; there were enough snakes, otters, caimans, spiders and so on to keep everybody happy. For me (and I think for others) the most memorable feature was the use made of waterways, both by day and by night; we will always remember the Topaz Hummingbirds at Arrowpoint.
J.H.
Essex
Everything worked well...all the lodges were enjoyable and each had its own special element to offer; the hummingbirds at Arrowpoint, views and trails at Shanklands, Simplicity and quiet at Surama etc. Special thanks to the team at Karanmbo who went to particular trouble to find otters for us on our last day. Andy was a great trip leader; his expertise needs no comment from me and he retained his sense of humour throughout. The group was great too - we had lots of laughs and everyone got on with things together as a team. All in all, a wonderful experience of a pristine rainforest environment, bugs and all!
J.M.B.
Cumbria
Andy Smith is an excellent tour guide...and always made sure we were comfortable wherever we were. The best part of the holiday was the boat trips. The local guides pointed out everything from snakes to caiman. We enjoyed the country, the people and the experience as a whole.
C.M.
Cambridgeshire
First of all we would like to say we enjoyed our holiday and the experience of Guyana. The birding and people were great.
C.W.
Buckinghamshire
Andy Smith was excellent - an ace at recognition, very helpful with his telescope, and very patient with less experienced birders. He also knew his mammals, insects and arachnids very well. Arrow Pint was a good starting point...Shanklands was marvellous and quirky...Surama had a wonderful ambience...the walks were good at Iwokrama...Rock View was interesting and Karanambus rooms, food, and activities were excellent. All in all, an enjoyable and memorable holiday which more than met my expectations. Everywhere the people we met were friendly and keen to share their knowledge. Although I was a tourist I certainly didn’t feel like one! Thanks to all.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Fri 6th February 2015 - Fri 20th February 2015

7

£4595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3845 More info

Room sharing options: Male sharing is available More info

Fri 6th November 2015 - Fri 20th November 2015

YES

£4595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3845 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Guyana

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Andy Tucker
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01962 733051

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Mammals

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Tour Reviews

We had some incredible sessions with the Harpy Eagle and Cock-Of-The-Rock. Luke is a great fellow and I feel privileged to have travelled with him.
D.C., Buckinghamshire