Fun things to do in Distrikt Sipaliwini

  • Former 'Hotel Het Park' on Stoelmanseiland
    Former 'Hotel Het Park' on...
    by theo1006
  • Hauling ramp downstream of Granholo Sula
    Hauling ramp downstream of Granholo Sula
    by theo1006
  • Arriving at Tjontjon village
    Arriving at Tjontjon village
    by theo1006

Most Viewed Things to Do in Distrikt Sipaliwini

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    Stoelmanseiland

    by theo1006 Updated Jun 2, 2013

    As part of our Marowijne journey we spent a couple of hours on Stoelmanseiland, an island located at the confluence of Tapanahony and Lawa rivers. The island is named after Dutch lieutenant Stoelman, in the 18th century commander of an army of slaves - the 'Redi Moesoes' - who had been promised freedom if they were willing to help conquer the rebel army of run-away slaves led by Boni.
    Since 1958 the colonial government established a settlement on Stoelmanseiland intended as a regional government centre serving the Aucaner population living in the area. However, the internal war of 1986 -1989 caused Stoelmanseiland to become depopulated.
    We saw that the airstrip and medical centre are functioning again, but also saw many former houses of government officials deserted and rotting away. When we walked more inland from these houses we saw newly built houses, offices, a school and a commissioner's mansion - as yet uninhabited. We were told that the government wants to develop Stoelmanseiland as a tourist centre.

    A deserted house on Stoelmanseiland New commisioner's house at Stoelmanseiland Former 'Hotel Het Park' on Stoelmanseiland Medical centre on Stoelmanseiland Lunch on Stoelmanseiland
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Historical Travel

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    With MaYeDu on Marowijne river

    by theo1006 Updated Jun 2, 2013

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    2013 saw us back in Suriname, we wanted to use the occasion for exploring one of the border rivers, Marowijne and Corantijn. On short notice we could get on a Marowijne river tour.
    The Marowijne river and tributaries are the exclusive operational area of MaYeDu Eco-Tourist Destinations. They offer tours of 3, 5 and 8 days. The longest tour is the most adventurous as it brings one far south to Apetina on the upper Tapanahony river. We only had time for the 5 day tour.
    On the first day we flew to Dritabiki (Drietabbetje) where we stayed one night. The following four days we journeyed downstream to Albina, see the video. We made many stops on the way and stayed over at Tjongtjong and Lokaloka (Wadaa resort, 2 nights).
    The most exciting moment was going down the Granholo rapids. From Tjongtjong we made a forest hike to Sada waterfall. On day three we spent a couple of hours seeing Stoelmanseiland, on the last day we stopped at Apatou on the French border.. At some places we could swim in the river, but with care to stay out of the swift current.
    Tapanahony river and the upper reach of Marowijne river south of the Pedrosungu rapids are the territory of the Aucaner marrons, descendents of slaves who took refuge in the wilderness. Their chief or “granman” resides in Dritabiki and wields more authority than the central government. He refuses to have a church in his village, upholding marron tranditions. North of the Pedrosungu rapids lives another marron tribe, the Paramaccaners. MaYeDu is run by marrons, our guide was an Aucaner. So he could give ample information on local culture and customs. We made a stop at his village of birth, Manlobi.
    Of all the tours we made to the interior, accommodation on this one was the most primitive. The first two nights we slept in hammocks (with mosquito nets!) and bathed in the river. No electric light either. At Wadaa resort we had beds and there was electricity for a few hours, though not in our room. Not that we minded, but considering the facilities we think the price of EUR 500 p.p. for the trip rather stiff.

    Hammocks at Dritabiki Our guide at Manlobi village Accommoation at Wadaa resort Arriving at Tjontjon village Last lunch near Apatou
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Eco-Tourism

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    The Granholo rapids

    by theo1006 Updated May 1, 2013

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    Our guide gave us the choice: get out of the boat at the upstream landing place and walk for a quarter of an hour to the downstream one, or risk the rapids. Of course we chose the latter.
    The main obstacle in the Granholo Sula or Granholo rapids is a step where the water falls about one metre. The difference in height is sufficient to allow for a hydropower station to function here.
    Surprise: the boatman turned the boat around and steered her down the step backwards. The river is narrow here and there is hardly room for manoeuvring. But before we knew it we had passed to calmer water.
    Of course the boat cannot go upstream the same way, It has to be hauled from the downstream landing site to the upstream site. There used to be a lorry on rails for that purpose, but these broke down and have not been repaired.

    Coming down Granholo Sula Power station at Granholo Sula Upstream of Granholo Sula Safely past Granholo Sula Hauling ramp downstream of Granholo Sula
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Sada creek and waterfall

    by theo1006 Written May 1, 2013

    Another highlight of our Marowijne tour was the forest hike along Sada creek to Sada waterfall. From Tjongtjong we crossed the river to the start of the trail. A second guide had been called in to lead the way. The walk to the fall took about 1.5 hours, easy at first, but gradually we had to tread more carefully around tree roots and rocks. The second half of the walk follows Sada creek, crossing over the creek several times, sometimes by a fallen tree, sometimes wading through. All the way the sound of birds accompanied us, notably the bird nicknamed “forest police” for its fierce whistle. One bird flew away when we passed by and doing so betrayed the location of its nest in a tree stump.
    To reach the fall itself one has to negotiate slippery rocks. The guide led us one by one up the fall where one can take a massage shower and hide behind the curtain of water.

    Guide leading to Sada waterfall Crossing Sada creek Sada waterfall in sight On Sada waterfall Bird's nest in a tree stump
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    Dritabiki village

    by theo1006 Written May 1, 2013

    As stated elsewhere, Dritabiki is the seat of the “granman” of the Aucaners. Unfortunately we did not meet him, as he was not at home. We spent a night on an island in the Tapanahony river and had a guided tour through Dritabiki village.
    The village centers around a sacred place where ancestors are worshiped, and the adjacent funeral house. One is not allowed to make pictures of these. Local people too are reluctant to be photographed, one cannot do that without their explicit permission. So here are just a few “neutral” pics of our time at Dritabiki.

    Unpacking at Dritabiki air strip Disembarking at the tourist island Favoured swim spot at the tip of the island The river is the highway Traditional house at Dritabiki
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    With Norri to Blanche Marie Falls

    by theo1006 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Blanche Marie Falls are situated in the Bakhuis mountain range, in a valley along the upper Nickerie river. It is a region of pure unspoilt nature, uninhabited save for the resort.

    The brothers Dubois & Dubois are owners of the resort, but they do not offer tours. When we applied at their office, they referred us to Norman ("Norri") Mac-Intosh of DISCOVER SURINAME TOURS , who has 20 years experience in customized tours to the interior. We took a 4-day trip by 4-wheel drive for USD 425 per person (minimum 3). The price includes full board and lodging, Norman doing the cooking himself!

    The journey by road is an adventure by itself, as the forest road has not been maintained for 25 years. It was 'little rainy season', and the distance of 330 km took us 11 hours including a few stops. See our travelogue Blanche Marie, there and back.

    So effectively we were two days at Blanche Marie. One day we spent discovering the falls and surrounding forest. The second day we visited the pioneer town of Apoera. See our travelogue Apoera, a failed city.

    Book with Norman Mac-Intosh, Sucadelaan 11, Paramaribo.
    Phone: +597.452684, cell: +597.8833886.
    Email: info@discoversurinametours.com or discoversuriname@sr.net.
    See Norman's all-new website: http://discoversurinametours.com

    Blanche Marie Falls Guesthouse Blanche Marie Electric Eel near the falls Bridge to Blanche Marie guesthouse Helen enjoying the falls
    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Road Trip
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    Fishing with Norri at Blanche Marie

    by theo1006 Updated Mar 15, 2007

    For those who like fishing (we are not particularly fond of it), the Upper Nickerie River at Blanche Marie is an excellent spot. See the anjoemara fish our guide Norman MacIntosh caught on the eve of our departure: one big anjoemara for each of us on the tour to take home. If you would like to catch one yourself, just say so to Norman.
    Norman (Norri for friends) also arranges hunting tours in the forest. But only in those parts of the forest that are not designated nature reserves.

    Three big anjoemara fish Norman with anjoemara
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    • Fishing
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    With METS to Awaradam

    by theo1006 Updated Feb 6, 2007

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    Awaradam jungle lodge is situated on an island in the Gran Rio. It is the exclusive domain of METS, other tour operators hire their facilities. The resort is well-maintained and well-run, great care being taken for the comfort of the guests.
    You have the choice of a 4-day trip or a 5-day trip, both for the same price, about 400 EURO. (Off-season they offer a discount.) The 4-day trip is from Friday to Monday, the 5-day trip form Monday to Friday. The 5-day trip has a day to spend each as one wishes.

    We took the 4-day trip.
    On day one you fly about one hour to Kajana airstrip, and from there a boat takes you half an hour upstream. In the afternoon our group had a swim in the rapids near by.
    The next day our guide took us for a walk in de forest, with lots of information on plants, trees and nimals. Another swim to cool off, and in the afternoon a walk through the nearby maroon village of Ligorio. Here we attende a cultural evening. Return to base by the river in the dark!
    The third day we went 1,5 hours downstream to Gran Dam rapids. Special attraction: jumping into the rapids. Here we stayed all day, there were hammocks for everyone. Back at base in the evening a campfire and storytelling.
    The fourth they you leisurely prepare for departure at noon.

    More information on the METS website.

    Jumping into Gran Dam rapids Interior of a cabin for two Cultural evening at Ligorio village Taking a nap in a hammock Our first view of Awarradam resort
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism

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    With METS to Palumeu

    by theo1006 Updated Feb 6, 2007

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    Palumeu lodge lodge is situated on a high bank of the Tapanahony river, close to its confluence with the Palumeu river. It is the exclusive domain of METS, other tour operators use their facilities. The resort is well-maintained and well-run, great care being taken for the comfort of the guests.
    You have the choice of a 4-day trip or a 5-day trip, both for the same price, about 400 EURO. (Off-season they offer a discount.) The 4-day trip is from Friday to Monday, the 5-day trip form Monday to Friday. The 5-day trip has a free day to spend each as one wishes.

    We took the 5-day trip.
    On day one you fly about one hour to Palumeu airstrip, which is quite close to the lodge. After checking in our group had a swim at an island nearby, followed by a guided tour through Palumeu Amerindian village. The next day a boat trip of 40 minutes and a 3 hour jungle walk brought us to Poti Hill (234 m). The guide gives lots of information on plants, trees and animals. In the afternoon there was bow and arrow training, and we had a nightly boattrip to listen to the forest silence. The third day a boat trip of over an hour took us to Mabuka rapids, where we spent a leasurely day swimming and dozing in a hammock. The fourth day was free, we saw a slash-and-burn field, had a swim as well as rowing exercise. On the day of departure one could buy souvenirs at Palumeu village.

    More information on the METS website.
    See also our travelogue Amerindian culture at Palumeu.

    Bow and arrow training Engines of plane wrecked October 6, 1959 Our boat riding rapids in Palumeu river View of Roosevelt peak from Poti Hill Accommodation at Palumeu
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Eco-Tourism

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    With Stinasu to Raleigh Falls

    by theo1006 Updated Feb 6, 2007

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    The Raleigh Falls in the upper Coppename river are located at the northern end of Central Suriname Nature Reserve, the world's largest uninhabited rainforest reserve. Accommodation and an airstrip are situated on 2,5 km long Foengoe island. It can be reached by car to Witagrong and a further boat trip of 2,5 hours, but when you book a tour, you fly there in 50 minutes.

    For a 4-day tour we paid EUR 390,- p.p.
    The first day we departed rather late from Zorg en Hoop airfield, arriving at Foengoe island at 15 pm. After check-in we hand-fed a local tribe of squirrel monkeys and had a swim.
    The next day was reserved for the Voltzberg, a 3 hour 7,5 km hike plus half-hour climb to the 240 m high mountain. You have a magnificent view from and find some beautiful plants on this bare rocky hill. Two members of our group were bird watchers and went with their own guide to see the bright orange Cock of the Rock birds (Rupicola rupicola ).
    The third day was more leasurely, we went to the so-called mother falls, where a.o. we saw black spider monkeys and electric eels. Of course we bathed at the rapids. In the evening the guests danced on music of the Raleighboys (i.e. of the local personnel).
    The last day we walked the Foengoe island trail before flying back to Suriname.

    Service and catering of Stinasu are less sophisticated than that of METS. We were served by guide Steven and cook mrs Erna. However, there is electricity and the guesthouse is ok. We found on the last day that there are two private cabins set apart in the forest, which seemed not in use (see photo); if you like to sleep out like that, we suggest that you inquire about them when making your reservation.

    See the Stinasu website and our travelogue Hike to the Voltzberg peak.

    Arrival hall at Foengoe island Interior of guesthouse Enthousiastic Raleigh Falls kid Resting halfway on the Voltzberg peak Private forest cabin
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching

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    Slash-and-burn cultivation at Palumeu

    by theo1006 Written Feb 1, 2007

    On the free day our guide Aniel suggested a walk to a typical slash-and-burn field near Palumeu village.

    Recently cleared field Antroea or bush tomato Cassava sticks planted horizontally A sugar cane press
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

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