- Duration 11 days
- Difficulty 3/5
- Group Size 8 (Minimum 6)
11-21 April, 2019
Our trip explores Guyana’s unspoiled interior with a focus on close-up wildlife observation. We will visit spectacular Kaieteur Falls, the Amerindian village of Rewa, Iwokrama Forest Reserve, Atta Rainforest Lodge and the famous Karanambu Lodge, where Diane McTurk rehabilitated many giant otters for release back to the wild. In the many ecosystems we explore, we will have opportunities to see several species of monkeys, diverse birds including the Guianan cock-of-the-Rock and possibly the majestic harpy eagle, giant anteaters, river otters, tapirs, amphibians and reptiles.
PARTNERING WITH THE OCEANIC SOCIETY
USD $8,250.00 Per person sharing
Single Supplement: USD $800.00
Arrival: Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Georgetown, Guyana
Departure: Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Georgetown, Guyana
Arrival Time: afternoon of 11th April, 2019
- Accommodations for 10 nights in jungle and eco lodges.
- Airport transfers.
- National park fees.
- All meals and water, tea, coffee.
- Local English-speaking driver/guide as well as one Pete Oxford Expeditions trip leader.
- International airfare to and from Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
- Items of personal nature including laundry, bar, personal shopping and internet.
- Travel/medical insurance.
- Laundry service where possible in the lodges.
- Tips for local guides and lodge staff.
ADay 1, April 11th, 2019: Arrival in Georgetown
We will pick you up at the airport, and then transfer you to Cara lodge in Georgetown.
BDay 1, April 11th, 2019 pm: Cara Lodge overnight
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.
CDay 2, April 12th am, 2019: Kaieteur Falls
After breakfast we transfer a short distance to the Eugene F. Correia International airport to fly by chartered aircraft to the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, the longest single-drop waterfall in the world, plummeting 224 m (741 feet) set in the middle of stunning rainforest. Kaieteur supports a unique micro-environment, and you will see giant tank bromeliads (the largest in the world), in which the tiny golden frog spends its entire life as well as some carnivorous plants. We will also look for the rare Guianan cock-of-the-rock, which has a lek close by.
DDay 2, April 12th pm, 2019: Rewa Eco-Lodge
Re-boarding our flight after the falls visit we continue our journey to land at the village of Apoteri. Our trip to Rewa is then by boat along the Rupununi River with opportunities to see wild giant river otters and black caiman. We will pass locals fishing and bathing in the river and a host of wildlife until reaching the Rewa River and the Amerindian community of Rewa. The journey is approximately 50 miles by river and takes from 2-4 hours depending on the water level. In Rewa we spend the late afternoon exploring the forest in search of brown capuchin monkeys, capybara and many bird species including limpkin, wattled jacana, black-collared hawk, green kingfisher and Guianan puffbird. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge.
DDay 3, April 13th, 2019: Rewa Eco-Lodge
We enjoy a full day exploring the diverse habitats of the Rupununi and Rewa Rivers and the surrounding Amazonian rainforest. This may include a visit to an oxbow lake and a hike up Awarmie Mountain. We will be on the lookout for black spider monkeys, red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and other primates, as well as many bird species including the white bellbird, ornate hawk-eagle, black curassow, red-fan parrot, spotted tanager, and bay-headed tanager. The area also has a high density of macaws including scarlet, blue-and-yellow and red-and-green. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge.
EDay 4, April 14th, 2019: Rewa Eco-Lodge to Iwokrama Rainforest Lodge
After breakfast we will have the opportunity to walk through the community of Rewa and visit villagers’ homes where we can experience their everyday life and see residents busy grating cassava, weaving baskets and tending kitchen gardens. We travel by boat along the Rupununi River to Kwatamang Landing and then drive to Rock View Lodge for lunch before continuing our journey by open 4×4 Bedford truck to Iwokrama River Lodge set on the mighty Essequibo River. We drive the main (dirt) road that connects Georgetown to the Rupununi. This is a deliberate addition to the itinerary as the road passes through primary rainforest and is well known as an area to spot jaguars. No promises, but we have seen many ourselves!
We explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including the capunchinbird, black nunbird, ant wrens and antshrikes, spotted puffbird, green aracari, Guianan toucanet, Guianan red cotinga, rufous-crowned elaenia, bronzy jacamar and strong-billed woodcreeper. The forest is also home to many mammals. Reptiles too are abundant including the rare black caiman. The Iwokrama Rainforest 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. 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 nocturnal species such as the spectacled owl, white-winged potoo, rufous potoo, zigzag heron or blackish nightjar. We may also see snakes, including tree boas and frogs. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge.
EDay 5, April 15th, 2019: Iwokrama Rainforest Lodge to Atta Lodge
After breakfast we 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 ½ – 2hrs 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 various birds including possible fly-bys 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 we 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.
Late this afternoon we drive in the 4×4 Bedford truck once again through the forest along the main dirt road looking for jaguar. Apart from these elusive cats there are other wildlife opportunities along this corridor. 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 often seen along the road includes Agouti, Tayra, Puma, Tapir and Black Curassow.
We arrive at Atta Lodge and the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway 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.
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 surrounded by forest 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.
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 grounds. 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.
EDay 6, April 16th, 2019: Atta
Taking our truck to a short trail, we hope to see the amazingly brilliant Guianian cock-of-the-rock at its lekking site. We continue to the nest (presuming it is still active) of a harpy eagle pair – the world’s most powerful eagle! In the pm and evening we will walk one of the rainforest trails maximizing on local knowledge and group interest. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.
EDay 7, April 17th, 2019: Atta to Karanambu Lodge
Before dawn we will return to the canopy for some more birdwatching and another chance at red howler and black spider monkeys.
After welcoming the dawn chorus from the walkway we return to the lodge for breakfast before departure by road 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.
Karanambu was the home of the late Diane McTurk, conservationist and a world-renowned expert on giant otters. It is located in the North Rupununi, a region of south western Guyana known for its expansive wetlands, savanna, marshy ponds and riparian forest. It has a 30-mile stretch of the Rupununi River on the property. Karanambu is an extraordinarily rich and diverse area with at least 600 species of fish, along with 600 species of birds, and over 200 species of mammals. The ranch 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. 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. 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. In the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild giant river otters and as dusk falls we will watch the giant water lilies bloom. On the return trip we will spotlight for black caiman, birds and creatures of the night. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.
FDay 8, April 18th, 2019: Karanambu Lodge
This morning we 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. An evening visit to a nearby pond to see water-loving birds including ibis, anhinga, herons, jacanas and egrets is a highlight. If you are interested in birdwatching you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where we’ll hope to find such species as the spotted puffbird, striped woodcreeper, pale-bellied tyrant-manakin, golden-spangled piculet, bearded tachuri and capuchinbird. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.
FDay 9, April 19th, 2019: Karanambu Lodge
With both the river and the savannahs close at hand there is a wide variety of activities to be enjoyed at Karanambu. We are free to determine what we want to do based on our interests, local conditions 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. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.
BDay 10, April 20th, 2019: Karanambu Lodge – Georgetown
In the event we have not yet seen a giant anteater we have time to travel out to search the savannah once more for another try! After breakfast we then take our charter flight from the private Karanambu airstrip over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land in Ogle airport, Georgetown and transfer to the Cara Lodge. After a late lunch enjoy a guided tour of Georgetown, the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana. Overnight at Cara Lodge.
ADay 11, April 21st, 2019: Cara Lodge & Departure.
You will be transferred from the Cara Lodge to the airport in time for your flight home.
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Photographer | Owner | Trip Leader
Pete and his wife Reneé Bish have published two important books on Guyana. Rupununi: Rediscovering a Lost World with Conservation International and a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales and Undiscovered Guyana, with WWF and a foreword by His Excellency David A. Granger, President of the Republic of Guyana. This book was commissioned by the government to celebrate 50 years of Guyanan independence.
Pete works in some of the world’s most pristine and remote wildlife and cultural destinations as a full-time professional conservation photographer. His images have appeared in major magazines including National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Photography, and Smithsonian, and have been featured ten times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.