The Iwokrama Forest is a Wilderness Preserve of nearly one million acres of untamed wilderness as part of the Guiana Shield. The forest sits on one of the oldest exposed rock surfaces in the world. This area is one of the last four "frontier forests" in the world - apart from small Amerindian settlements, it is uninhabited and offers unrivalled rainforest adventures for people seeking a truly unique ecotouring experience.
The purpose of Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation is to preserve values pertaining to the realtionship between nature and the local people who live here, visitors and the people of Guyana in general.
The contsruction of roads, tourist facilities and mineral extraction is prohibited, timber harvesting is restricted as is the use of motorised vehicles. Fairview is the only settlement within Iwokrama, a Macushi village of 127 people.
In Iwokrama there are estimated to be over 200 different species of mammals, 50 birds, 420 fish and 150 reptiles and amphibians.
At 741 feet, Kaieteur Falls is the highest single drop waterfall in the world - five times the height of Niagara!
The setting is beautiful, in the heart of the rain forest, surrounded by unspoilt wilderness.
There are hiking paths that lead from the small airstrip down to the falls. You are most likely to have the falls to yourself.
Surama is a small village of 232 people, set in the Pakoraima Mountains. The village is a long way from the hustle and bustle of life as we know it - just how remote the location is can not be appreciated until you try to reach the village overland!
The majority of the inhabitants in the village are of the Macushi tribe, and although English is the official language of Guyana, Macushi is now being taught in the schools in this area, in an effort to revitalise the Macushi traditions and culture. We found the people incredibly friendly, helpful and welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble!
The community have identified eco-tourism as a sustainable use of their land, which means that instead of having to leave the village to work on logging projects or gold mines elsewhere, employment is available nearer home within the eco-tourism industry. All tours to Surama are managed and operated solely by the Macushi and as well as the direct income from eco-tourism, the community also benefits from the purchase of local produce and a portion of every tour goes to a fund which is used for community development projects.
The lovely pale yellow butterflies were on a migration to Brazil, and were found in large numbers settled on any area of stagnant water. I have never seen so many butterflies in one place at one time ever before.
Disturbing the butterflies which had settled in this little pool of water, they all flew up at the same time, filling the air with little yellow flecks.
When they move off, they fly in "formation", one after the other, as if they are all attached to a string. One turns, and all the others follow. They remind me of those Chinese dances with long flowing ribbons!
Flying from Baganara to Kaieteur to Orinduik to Mahdia to Baganara, we covered large areas of Guyana from the air.
Three things really struck me during the flight:
1. How beautiful the countryside of Guyana is from the air
2. How much of the country is covered with rainforest
3. That you don't realise how many different shades of green there are until you've flown over a rain forest
Childhood memories come sweeping me back in the past of happy hours spent in the Botanical Gardens. About 50 hectares of Guyana's flora and fauna. I remember the pavilions where the police band played their music on a Sunday morning and the kissing bridge. The ponds showing off the Victoria Regia lily, the world's largest, growing up to 7 feet in diameter. The gentle manatees whom we fed with grass and the awful boys who tries to poke them with sticks. The zoo is also there but then even as a child I never really liked to see these jungle animals in cages.
One of the trekking possiblities at Iwokrama is to climb Turtle Mountain. After a boat trip of around half an hour, you make a rough landing before setting off on reasonable trails.
The first part of the trail was rather precarious, as you needed to cross a small creek. You could either try and balance on a fallen log which was rather tangled in vegetation - one of our party got a rather nasty burn mark on his neck when he accidentally brushed again a poisonous tree. The other option was to wade, but if you were unlucky you'd get water into your boots. Not recommended as wet socks often give you blisters.
Our last full day in the Pakaraima region included a 6 hour hike in the scorching sun that took us from Kurukaburu to a little village on the Guyana/Brazilian border. From here we would catch a flight back to Georgetown. Our reward at the end of this grueling trek was the discovery that we were at the site of Orinduik Falls. The falls are found on the Ireng River, one of the tributaries that forms the Amazon River system. These beautiful falls stretch from one side of the river to the other, tumbling over rocks and terraces. What I really loved about these falls were the natural pools that formed, big enough to swim in. There's nothing more enjoyable than relaxing in Mother Nature's jacuzzi. It wasn't long before we grabbed our green bio-degradable soap and showered under one of the gentler cascades, luxuriating at the same time, in an invigorating massage...
...and at the end of the day, after the sun had set, we were lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of this beautiful waterfall.
The falls are not high, but the setting in the fact that they tumble over solid Jasper, a semi-precious stone, make them very attractive.
From the airstrip there is a short walk down to the falls, over some rocks.
The falls are named after orin, a kind of sea weed which covers the rocks around the falls.
My first glance at Kaieteur Falls from the air took my breath away. Kaieteur Falls are in the centre of Guyana's rain forest and a National Park has been established to highlight the falls and the biodiversity of the rain forest. As soon as our plane landed, we wasted no time in walking down the nature trail that led to the falls. As we approached, the roar of the thundering falls got loader and louder. Finally, the falls came into view and I was simply awestruck by their magnificence. You can admire the falls from several vantage points and there are some great photo opportunities.
On the way back from the falls, we took our time to enjoy the nature walk. A guide pointed out the interesting flora and fauna of the park, such as the golden frog that spends its entire life inside the water- collecting bromeliad plant. The guide also pointed out a mosquito eating plant that will hopefully reduce the number of these pesky critters in the area.
Also on the site, for those of you Canadians who were Pierre and Margaret Trudeau fans, is the lodge built for their honeymoon. It still serves as a lodge for visitors.
Although many large mammals roam the forests og Guyana, we did not see many. There are jaguars, agouti, capybara, coatimundi, deer, giants otters and caiman to name a few. Of those we actually saw a deer, two agouti and the eyes of a caiman at night.
There are, however, plenty of lizards, iguanas, geckos, frogs and insects.
There are over 800 different species of birds in Guyana, including the amazingly colourful Cock-of-the-Rock (see Kaieteur pages).
We saw very many birds everywhere we went, including:
Smooth billed Ani
Red and green macaw
Brown throated parakeet
Blue throated piping guan
Black nun bird
White breasted emerald hummingbird
Dusky cap flycatcher
Blue grey tanager
Swallowing puff bird
Orange winged parrot
Red billed toucan
White necked heron
Channel billed toucan
White tailed hawk
Blue and gold macaw
Turkey necked vulture
Little blue heron
Yellow headed vulture
At 200,000 inhabitants, a multinational mix including large numbers of East Indian and native Americans, Georgetown is said to be the least densely inhabited capital in the world. It is also the largest city in Guyana, and its chief port.
Georgetown is located at the mouth of the Demarera River, where it joins the Atlantic Ocean. Many older buildings are raised on stilts above the flood level.Part of the city was destroyed by fire in 1945.
The city was founded in 1871, then called Demerera. It was renamed Georgetwon in 1812 when the British took over protectorate of Guyana, prveiously, under the Dutch, it was called Stabroek.
Also known as Kurupukari, Fairview is an Amerindian viilage inside the Iwokrama reserve. The people are mostly from the Macushi tribe, and exist mainly from hunting, fishing and working at the Field Station. 127 people live here.
If you go to Berbice area (one of the counties: Essiquibo and Demerara are the other two) you will more than likely see HOUSES MADE OUT OF CLAY....just a site....Simple and many of them are CLEAN ...as the residents are poor.
And in Kamerang...Is where you will find a lot a native indians Some what like the American Indians...They are called the Amerindians....(Aztecs, Incas, etc.)...Living out of hunting in the RAIN FOREST...
65 Anira & Peter Rose Sts, opposite the Brazilian Ambassador's Residence, Georgetown, Guyana
Good for: Couples
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Cara Lodge is a colonial-style building and has two floors of rooms above a ground floor that...more
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