Key Info

For more information contact us on +44 (0) 7414 00 66 03paul@greigsmithtravels.com

Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

© Greig Smith Travels Ltd 2011

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Guyana Nature Experience - wildlife group tour

This classic 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. This is a very popular tour and we have ten scheduled departures in 2012.

Highlights

Take in the breathtaking views high up in the canopy at the Iwokrama canopy walkway.


Photograph the staggering array of birds found here, from Cock of the Rock, Green Aracari, Rufous Potoo,  to various fly catchers and even the worlds largest eagle - the Harpy Eagle.


Spot a puma if your lucky or maybe even a jaguar!


Meet & learn all about the Amerindian people and their culture.


Meet Diane McTurk and go looking for Giant River Otters


Look for giant anteaters


Take a boat ride in search of caiman at night

Group Departure Dates for 2012:


25th February – 9th March 2012


17th – 30th March 2012


14th – 27th April 2012


5th – 18th May 2012


18th – 31st August 2012


8th – 21st September 2012


20th October – 2nd November 2012


3rd – 16th November 2012


8th – 21st December 2012


Depart for Guyana.


DAY 01. Saturday.


Arrive in Guyana.  Transfer to Georgetown. 


Overnight at Cara Lodge.


DAY02.  Sunday.   


Today enjoy a trip to Kaieteur Falls  and

Orinduik Falls


Overnight at Cara Lodge.  BL

   

DAY 03. Monday   


0915hrs transfer to Ogle Airstrip for a flight across the rainforest to Annai.  Lunch at Rock View Lodge and then transfer by 4x4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford Truck (converted with forward facing seats and canopy) to Iwokrama River Lodge.  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. Iwokrama was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management because the unsustainable utilisation of these forests will result in the extinction of half the world's plant and animal species and unknown changes to global climate. 


This is a protected area with a difference - the full involvement of people. Iwokrama is exceptional among conservation organizations because it joins with local people in every aspect of its work. From research to business, Iwokrama ensures local economic and social benefits from forest use and conservation.  The Forest is in the homeland of the Makushi people, who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years. People are a vertical part of the ecosystem. The success of Iwokrama relies on the ownership of local people and the combined skills of specialists and communities.



Iwokrama does what so many International conventions have acknowledged as best practice. It has begun conservation locally and integrated conservation into national development.  Afternoon free to explore the trails around the river lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger.  Iwokrama is home to many bird species including Capunchinbird, Black Nunbird, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Amazonian Antshrike, Brown-bellied Antwren, Spot-tailed Antwren, Todd’s Antwren, Spotted Puffbird, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, 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.  Finally, after dark, we’ll set out on the river, in hopes of finding one or another of its four species of caiman, and listen for nightbirds 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 


DAY04. Tuesday   

Making an early start we will embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate Indian House Island giving us a chance for dawn song on the river including five species of Tinamou, Marbled Wood-Quail, Band-rumped Swift, White-banded and Black-collared Swallows, and Guianan Streaked-Antwren before returning to the River Lodge for breakfast.  After breakfast, you will leave the river lodge for the journey to Turtle Mountain, and 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 we are very lucky even a Jaguar.  This pristine forest offers huge buttress trees and the endemic Greenheart, a highly sought after hardwood.  Return to the River Lodge for lunch.  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). Then visit the small Amerindian village of Fair View where you can experience the process and use of cassava, the staple of the Amerindian diet.  We will visit the Butterfly Farm where butterflies are bred for export. 


Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. 

Meals (B,L,D)


DAY05. Wednesday   

At dawn take a wildlife walk with an Iwokrama Ranger close to the River Lodge.  After breakfast we will transfer you by 4 x 4 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 where we can bird watch from the vantage of 35 Metres up in the canopy.  Painted Parakeet, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Guianan Puffbird, Green Aracari, Waved Woodpecker, Pygmy Antwren, Guianan Streaked-Antwren, Dusky Purpletuft, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet, Caica Parrots, and a host of crown specialists may come within our view.



From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler Monkeys and Black Spider Monkeys.  The trails also have an interpretative walk with the trees named and you can learn about their varied uses in the Macushi culture.  Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge.  As dark falls on the Canopy Walkway, we will hope to see the White-winged Potoo. 


Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge


BLD


DAY 06. Thursday    

Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway.  Short-tailed Nighthawks settle in for the day, Swifts take to the sky, White throated and Channel-billed Toucans yodel, and Barred Forest Falcons call.  The unusually timid Black Curassow can also be seen as at least one family party has become habituated and regularly feeds in the clearing of Atta Rainforest Lodge.  After breakfast travel by 4x4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford Truck (convert with forward facing seats and canopy) to a trail in the Iwokrama Forest to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianian Cock-of-the-rock.  This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can show the use of the plants.  Continue your trip onto the Amerindian village of Surama.  The village is set in five square miles of savannah and surrounded by the densely forested Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices of their forebears.  On arrival in Surama receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle into your accommodation.

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. As the afternoon cools a local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life.  See the forest through the eyes of your indigenous guide and learn about the medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture.  Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.  Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge

BLD 



DAY 07 Friday   

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah

and then the exhilarating climb up Surama

Mountain in the cool morning air.  This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail.  Breakfast will be served at a lookout point which affords incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains.  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  


DAY 08. Saturday   

After breakfast depart Surama by 4x4 vehicle or

4x4 Bedford Truck for Rock View Lodge at Annai.

The road travels through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains with excellent opportunity for savannah birding.  Jabiru Stork are often seen along this stretch of road. 


Eventually we reach the Rupununi and Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland.  It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive. 


Indeed, one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort. Needless to say, the birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rainforest. 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. 

Overnight at Rock View Lodge

BLD



DAY 09. Sunday   


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.  Today you can visit nearby Amerindian villages.  Enjoy an explanation and demonstration of traditional cashew nut roasting.  Finish the day with drinks around the pool.  Overnight at Rock View Lodge.  BLD


DAY 10 Monday   

After breakfast transfer by 4x4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford Truck along the road through the savannah and at the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains.  Jabiru Stork and Toco Toucan are often seen along this stretch of road, as are Red Howler and Spider Monkey.  From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Ranch.  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.  The journey ends at Karanambu Ranch, the home of Diane McTurk, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters.


Diane and her otters have appeared on National Geographic, Jeff Corwin Experience, Really Wild Show (BBC) and the Calgary’s “Zoo World”.  Karanambu has a long history of visiting naturalists and Diane’s father, Tiny McTurk, has welcomed David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell (Three Singles to Adventure).  Diane sometimes has resident orphaned otters and you can help her as she tends to them. 


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 Regis waterlily, bloom at dusk.  On the return trip we will spotlight for Black Caiman and birds and creatures of the night.  Dinner with Diane will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannahs. 

Overnight at Karanambu Ranch.

BLD



DAY 11. Tuesday   

Diane sometimes has resident orphaned otters and you can help her as she tends to them.  You can visit Simoni Pond for some of the best inland fishing (add US$15.00) in Guyana including Peacock Bass or explore the flooded forest or savannah.  An evening visit to Crane Pond to see hundreds of Ibis, Anhinga, Heron and Egret roosting 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 Spotted Puffbird, Striped Woodcreeper, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Golden-spangled Piculet, Bearded Tachuri and Capuchinbird.  When water levels are appropriate a wooded swamp near the ranch is the site of a surprisingly large colony of Boat-billed Herons, as well as several species of Egrets, Anhingas and Wattled Jacarnas. A feature bird for the area is Agami Heron.

Overnight at Karanambu Ranch.

BLD


DAY 12. Wednesday    

This morning travel out onto the savannah to search for a Giant Anteater.  Explore the Rupununi River in search of wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Arapaima.  After breakfast transfer by boat, birdwatching along the way, to the Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House.  Caiman House is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an internet-enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a nonprofit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development.  Tonight enjoy a foray on the Rupununi River from Caiman House Field Station. 

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. 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. 




During periods of high water it is difficult to capture Caiman to you will have another chance to enter the nocturnal world of the Rupununi River and associated gallery forests which offer an experience, and world of wildlife entirely different than those viewed on a day trip.  Skilled guides will expertly escort visitors to meet elusive denizens of darkness by outboard powered boats, while interpreting the sights, and sounds of Guyana after dark.  Just after darkness settles on the River many creatures emerge such as black caiman (to over 12 feet), spectacled caiman, tree boas, iguanas, frogs, and many fish species( i.e arrowana, piranha).


Sleeping birds (kingfishers, small perching birds) nightjars, potoos, Boat-billed Herons and other aquatic birds, bats, (harmless) spiders, insects, moths, and more can be closely approached in way not possible during the hours of light.  Less likely, but not rare inclusions for night viewing include possums, tree dwelling rodents, capybara and sleeping monkeys (esp. squirrel monkeys) amongst other mammals. Few nights pass without some unusual offering.  

Overnight at Caiman House

Meals (B,L,D)


DAY 13. Thursday   

This morning we will have some time to visit the village, to learn about their way of life.  Or go birdwatching in search of the many good savannah, gallery forest and river-edge birds found in the Caiman House area including Pinnated Bittern, Green-tailed Jacamar, Black-chinned Antbird and Capuchinbird.  After an early lunch take a flight back to Georgetown.  Enjoy an afternoon George town city tour  (see description below). 

Overnight at Cara Lodge. 


Meals (B,L)



DAY 14. Friday   


Transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

Meals (B)


End of our Services



Rate Includes :   

-airport transfers in Guyana

-double or twin accommodation

-meals as listed

-limited local bar at Karanambu Ranch

-all road and river transfers

-activities as described

-local guides

-VAT

-Kaieteur National Park fee

-Iwokrama Forest User Fee

  1. -Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee

  2. -Public liability insurance

  3. -Internal Flights - Whilst these are included in the price, our ground agent will issue the ticket and a local payment to them will be required. The amount you need to pay for internal flights will come off the quoted price and you will pay that to our ground agent.


Not Included :

-items of a personal nature

-alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above

-departure tax

-international flights

-Optional tours & activities mentioned in the itinerary.

-Beverages and personal expenses

-Other excursions and entrance fees & anything not mentioned

-Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)


Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls


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 world’s natural wonders, flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 822 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 who 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-the-rock 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.


The Orinduik Falls is where the Ireng River thunders over steps and terraces of solid jasper, a semi precious stone.  With a backdrop of the rolling grass covered hills of the Pakaraima Mountains, this is truly one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana’s hinterland.


It’s name is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name of an aquatic plant found in theses falls.  The Ireng river forms the border between Brazil and Guyana.  In contrast to Kaieteur, Orinduik is ideally suited for swimming and you will find natural Jacuzzi’s as the falls tumble down the steps of Jasper. 


Guyana’s most popular day trip takes in both of these spectacular falls.  The trip departs from Ogle Airstrip and lasts 7 to 8 hours with two hours spent on the ground at each water fall.


Condition of Sale :   

  1. 1.Flights to Kaieteur and Orinduik 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 8 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.  retains the We retain the right to reschedule a flight as a first option.  If we cannot reschedule the flight our ground agent will guarantee a flight, with a minimum of 7 passengers, to Kaieteur Falls only or a combination of Kaieteur Falls and Baganara Island Resort.  This means you see the major falls of Kaieteur, but miss Orinduik Falls. 

  2. 2.If a flight is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as weather, we will endeavor to reschedule the flight during your itinerary.


Disclaimer:  Please be advised all tour customers must provide us with body weights of passengers booked to travel on tour to Guyana for all internal flights. Failure to provide us with this information or the incorrect information can cause delays to flights and inconvenience to other passengers and in some cases either passengers and/or luggage being taken off the flight.  To ensure a holiday that is enjoyable and hassle free, it is imperative that passengers provide us with this information.  We appreciate some people are sensitive about providing their body weights, but all customers and their baggage are weighed at check-in.  This is procedure by the airline so as to ensure that the weight of the load is within the payload limit for the aircraft, and neither they nor we or our ground agents will compromise on safety.  All passengers are subject to removal of themselves or luggage from the flight if over the weight they provided and/or over the baggage allowance.  Passengers are advised to provide a body weight with clothing similar to that which they would expect to travel in on the flight.  We cannot be held responsible for any passenger denied boarding or luggage not transported if they are over the weight provided.  Weights supplied are provided to the airline in advance to ensure the flight is within the allowable payload.


Georgetown City Tour


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 Carnigie 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 collection 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 tropical fishes and 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 Demerara Harbour Bridge is the longest floating bridge in the world and connects the east and west banks of the Demerara River.


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.  Along the way visitors will sample local exotic fruits, snacks and refreshments.  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.

£2778 Per Person Sharing, ex international flights

(based on 2 people traveling)

Subject to Change & Availability

Single Supplement £435

Please note single supplement is for a single room (where available), but as part of a group with a minimum of 2 pax.  Not for a single traveller on trip alone.  Rate for a single traveller can be provided on request.

SUITABLE FOR:

Wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers, & anyone seeking real adventure, stunning scenery and an incredible wildlife experience

ACTIVITY GRADING

Moderate - a good general level of fitness is recommended