This classic small group adventure takes in many of the highlights of Guyana: visit Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls before travelling to Iwokrama for jungle hikes, boat trips, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive jaguar. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before going into the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and black caiman.
Day 1 Daytime flight to Georgetown and transfer to Cara Lodge. Dating back to the 1840's, the hotel is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the city. Over the years it has hosted many dignitaries including George V who back in 1923 planted the sapodilla tree in the front garden. Rooms are in keeping with the traditional style of the property and ooze old world charm.
Day 2 Take the scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers to Kaieteur Falls. From the air marvel at the lush green tropical rainforest before landing at the local airstrip. At 228 metres, Kaieteur falls is almost five times the height of Niagara Falls and a truly wonderful sight.
Day 3 Take a scheduled flight over hundreds of miles of tropical forest to Fair View Airstrip and transfer by road to Iwokrama River Lodge. The Iwokrama Rainforest stretches over one million acres and is a specially protected area located inside one of the last remaining untouched tropical forests. Inside the Iwokrama Rainforest, the Makushi people have lived for the last thousand years. In the afternoon, explore the trails around the lodge which is home to many bird species as will as many mammals; you may see Red-rumped Agouti and various species of monkey including Red Howler, Black Spider and Wedge-capped and Brown Capuchins. Under the cover of darkness head out in search for caiman, snakes, tree frogs, night birds and even puma and cabybara.
Day 4 In the early morning you will travel on the Essequibo and to Indian House Island spotting birds along the way and then arrive back at the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast you will climb for just under two hours up to the peak of Turtle Mountain where you can enjoy amazing forest canopy views and en route possibly spot the red howler monkeys and maybe even a jaguar! After lunch at the lodge you will travel to Kurupukari Falls by boat to see the Amerindian petroglyphs.
Day 5 This morning explore the trails surrounding the lodge accompanied by an Iwokrama ranger before setting off in a vehicle in search for the illusive jaguar. Along the road, look out for the myriad of bird species. The journey ends at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway with its four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, allowing for great views into the canopy. 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. Spend the night at Atta Rainforest Lodge, close to the canopy walkway.
Day 6 Before dawn return to the canopy for birdwatching and monkey spotting from this treetop vantage. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself, here you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the lodge. 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.
Day 7 Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. After breakfast travel by 4x4 to a trail in the Iwokrama to try and spot the Guianian Cock-of-the-rock. Afterwards you will travel to another Amerindian village, Surama, which is located deep within the rainforest and surrounded by forest clad hills. At Surama, you will be welcomed by the people and taken to the simple accommodation and afterwards you will go on a tour of the village seeing the church and school. In the evening there will be a wildlife walk and you will have the opportunity to see the forest by night.
Day 8 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.
Day 9 Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest. Choose from a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or relax around the lodge before breakfast and departure. Travel by 4x4 to Rock View Lodge at Annai. The road winds through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains and offers the perfect opportunity for savannah birding. Jabiru Stork are often spotted in this area. The Rupununi Savannah is an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland. Rock View Lodge is located inside the Rupununi Savannah at the point of intersection with the Pakaraima Mountains and resembles an oasis which attracts many species of bird.
Day 10 Today, during the drive you might catch sight of a Jabiru Stork or Toco Toucan. You will take a boat trip to Karanambu Ranch and may spot some Giant Otters on the way. You will reach the ranch and once settled take a boat to see the otters and as dusk falls to the ponds see the giant Victoria Regis waterlily bloom. On the way back to the lodge look out for Black Caiman and the birds and creatures of the night.
Day 11 This morning make an early start to reach an area of rolling grasslands, which is home to a population of giant anteaters. With luck you might spot one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that stud the savannah. In the evening visit a nearby pond to see hundreds of Ibis, Anhinga, Heron and Egret roosting (only in rainy season). If you are interested in bird watching explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where you might 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. Enjoy an evening walk along the airstrip which offers seven species of nightjar and among the grasslands the Double-striped Thick-knees.
Day 12 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. After breakfast transfer upriver by motorised boat to the nearby Amerindian village of Yupukari and 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 p...
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