Trip reference number: ITN-GUY004
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
Visit the small English speaking country of Guyana on a birdwatching tour, visiting four key destinations. Birdwatching in Guyana is suitable for experienced Neotropical birders and those looking to broaden their knowledge in a pristine wilderness environment. Discover the protected Iwokrama Rainforest with fantastic birding opportunities from the 35 metre high Iwokrama Canopy Walkway and Atta Rainforest for the Crismon Fruitcrow, Black Cruassow and Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.
The Amerindian community of Surama is home to a diverse range of species, with the potential to see the tough to find, Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo. Karanambu offers a host of different habitats for birding in woodland patches by Land Rover or by boat, discovering the forest birds along the river.
We also offer a pre-tour option visiting the Abray River to the east of Georgetown. Explore the mangroves which are home to Rufous Crab-Hawk, Blood-coloured Woodpecker and Piculet, and sail on the Demerara River to see Scarlet Ibis. Visit spectacular Kaieteur Falls, the longest single drop waterfall in the world. Close to the falls is a small Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
After Karanambu there is the option to drive across the Rupunini Savannah towards Karasabi. A truly remote area and possibly the only place on earth to spot the critically endangered Sun Parakeet. From the town of Lethem, explore the gallery forest in search of Hoary-throated Spinetail and Rio Branco Antbird.
Day 1 Depart the UK for your flight to Georgetown, Guyana via the Caribbean. Georgetown is the main hub, capital and the largest city in Guyana with architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, with most buildings constructed of wood such as St George’s Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings. Settle into Cara Lodge and soak up the local heritage and culture. Dine at The Bottle Restaurant, known locally as the best in the country.
Day 2 Depart from Ogle airport by light aircraft across the rainforest to Annai. After breakfast at Rock View Lodge transfer by 4x4 truck to Iwokrama River Lodge. The Iwokrama Rainforest covers a vast wilderness of one million acres, a protected area and part of the Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. The success of this area is dependent on the local Makushi people who have lived here for thousands of years. Enjoy an afternoon of birding along the Screaming Piha Trail near the lodge home to Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Amazonian Antshrike, Gray Antbird, and Strong-billed Woodcreeper. We may also see Gray-winged Trumpeter, Black-tailed, White-tailed, Violaceous and Collared Trogons, Plain-brown, Wedge-billed, White-chinned, Buff-throated, Chestnut-rumped and Barred Woodcreepers. As the day ends we will look for Ladder-tailed Nightjar; Great and Common Potoo and the rarer Rufous Potoo and White-winged Potoo.
Day 3 Early morning start on the Essequibo River to circumnavigate Indian House Island. Enjoy the dawn song on the river of species such as Tinamou, Marbled Wood-Quail, Band-rumped Swift, White-banded and Black-collared Swallows and Guianan Streaked-Antwren. After breakfast set out by boat to the foot of Turtle Mountain and along the way look out for Harpy Eagle. Explore the trails visiting the Turtle Ponds where anis, heron and Green and Rufous Kingfisher hunt. From a 900 feet elevation take in the panoramic view of the forest canopy with possible sightings of Green Aracari, White Bellbird or the chances of spotting one of the five type of eagles. As night falls, set out on the river in hope of finding caiman and listen for night birds such as the spectacled owl. You might also spot snakes such as the Cox boa, tree frogs, and maybe even a puma or capybara.
Day 4 Morning birding along the Greenheart and Woodcreeper Trails close to the lodge. Quill rattling by Spix’s Guan or Crestless Curassow are potential sightings and then we will look for Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Eastern Slaty-Antshrike, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet and Tiny Tyrant Manakin. After breakfast transfer through the heart of Iwokrama Forest for a chance of spotting the elusive jaguar! The road also offers excellent birding, especially in a locality known as Mori Scrub, an area of low, sandy forest. This area is home to range of bird species, among them are Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Black Manakin and Red-shouldered Tanager. Continue to Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, 35 metres high in the forest canopy. Look out for Caica Parrots, Painted Parakeets, Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Plumbeous Pigeon, Red-and-green Macaw, Screaming Piha and a host of crown specialists come within our view.
Day 5 Spend the day birdwatching from the mid and upper canopy on the walkway or bird along the jungle trails where antbird flocks include White-plumed Antbird, Spot-winged Antbird, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Ash-winged Antwen, Long-billed Antwren, McConnell’s Flycatcher, Gray-crowned Flycatcher, Plain Xenops and Wedge-billed Woodcreeper. 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. You are also likely to see the Black Curassow as there is a family which has become habituated to people and regularly visits the clearing.
Day 6 Another opportunity for early morning birding on the walkway or jungle trails. After breakfast we depart for the Cock-of-the-rock Trail, an easy 20 minute walk, to hopefully have our first view of the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. We will then visit a nearby Harpy Eagle nest if active. Continue to the Amerindian community of Surama where you will be welcomed by the village counsellor. This area has a diverse range of species however the highlight of any stay is a sighting of the Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo, although it can be tough to find. There will also be the opportunity for night birding.
Day 7 Early morning start for birding around Surama. Look out for Red-legged Tinamou, Painted Parakeet, Dusky Parrot, Lilac-tailed Parrotlet, Pale-throated Barbthroat, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Guianan Puffbird, Northern Slaty-antshrike, Rufous-bellied Antwren, White-browed, White-bellied & Ferruginous-backed Antbirds, Lemon-chested & Ashy-headed Greenlets and Finsch’s Euphonia. During our stay we will hope to encounter Great and Paradise Jacamars, Black-spotted Barbet, Golden-spangled Piculet, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Spot-tailed and Todd’s Antwrens. We may see Dusky, Rufous-throated and Guianan Warbling Antbirds and Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant.
Day 8 Final morning of birding at Surama before transferring through the Savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountians. Much of this area is dedicated to cattle raising, although not on a huge scale. Light forest in the region is home to certain ant birds and flycatchers. Travel south by road to Ginep Landing and then by boat on the Rupununi River. There are opportunities to look for various river-edge, wetland and open country species such as Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Jabiru, Wood Stork, Green Ibis, Northern (Crested) Caracara, Black-collared & Zone-tailed Hawks and Swallow-wing. At Karanambu Lodge, the birding is largely in woodland patches or gallery forest along the river. Explore the grasslands near the lodge looking out for the oddest looking members of the cotinga family, the Capuchinbird, the near-threatened Bearded Tachuri, Boat-billed Heron, Pinnated Bittern, Sunbittern, Sharp-tailed Ibis, Green-tailed Jacamar, Spotted Puffbird, White-fringed Antwren, Black-chinned Antbird and Rose-breasted Chat. We also intend to make a special effort to locate the Crestless (or Lesser Razor-billed) Curassow, however, this species is tough to find.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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