Distrikt Sipaliwini Things to Do
Arriving at Tjontjon village
Arriving at Tjontjon village
Hauling ramp downstream of Granholo Sula
Crossing Sada creek
Unpacking at Dritabiki air strip
Disembarking at the tourist island
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The Granholo rapids
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.
With MaYeDu on Marowijne river
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...
Sada creek and waterfall
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.
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.
With Norri to Blanche Marie Falls
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...
Fishing with Norri at Blanche Marie
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.
With METS to Awaradam
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...
With METS to Palumeu
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...
With Stinasu to Raleigh Falls
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...
Slash-and-burn cultivation at Palumeu
On the free day our guide Aniel suggested a walk to a typical slash-and-burn field near Palumeu village.
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