This wildlife tour takes you into remote and rarely visited parts of  the country.

Travel deep into Guyana, seeing waterfalls, community lodges and the Burro Burro river.

We visit Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls, experience 4×4 driving and trekking in the jungle, plus a community tourism project in this adventure holiday.

The tour package starts with a flight over the rainforest to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls.

We then head off deep into the interior by 4-wheel driv to Iwokrama International Centre to explore the rainforest with a local ranger.

More on Guyana Wildlife Tour

There are early morning boat trips and walks, including a local water hole where various birds, mammals and reptiles come to drink.

We also include a climb of Turtle Mountain for views over the forest canopy.

Observe wildlife and birdlife from the amazing perspective of a 35m canopy tower, then head by 4×4 to the Amerindian village of Surama where the locals welcome us and show us their village.

We walk in the savannah and rainforest alongside the Burro Burro river, then paddle up the Burro Burro River in search of wildlife and birdlife.

Swim or take walks into the forest on this wildlife trip, deep into Guyana.



Trip Highlights

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  • Visit Kaieteur Falls and Orinduik Falls.

  • Explore the rainforest with an Iwokrama field ranger.

  • Visit and stay at Amerindian villages.

  • Great birdwatching from walkways suspended among the canopies.

  • Travel up the wildlife-rich Burro Burro river.

  • Option to sleep in hammock camps in the rainforest.

After the excitement of seeing a giant anteater with baby, I thought the trip couldn't get any better until we saw a jaguar close up on the riverbank!

K. Dougal, Guyana

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guyana, transfer to Georgetown, hotel

Arrival in Georgetown. Pick up and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Kaieteur Falls, Orinduik Falls, return to Georgetown, hotel (B,L)

Full day trip to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls in light aircraft.

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.

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.

Overnight at Cara Lodge.

Day 3: 4x4 to Iwokrama, Lodge (B,L,D)

It’s an early morning departure by 4×4 today, through the heart of Guyana.

We pass through the mining town of Linden and then enter the rainforest on our way to Kurupakari on the Essequibo River.

We cross the river and reach the Iwokrama International Centre, where the afternoon is free to explore the trails around the field station with a local ranger.

Overnight at Iwokrama Field Station.

 

About Iwokrama

This is a protected area with a difference – the full involvement of people. Iwokrama is exceptional among conservation organisations 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.

Day 4: Turtle Mountain, Turtle Mountain camp (B,L,D)

Start the day with an early morning boat ride, followed by breakfast.

You will view wildlife on a morning walk to a local water hole where various birds, mammals and reptiles come to drink. Later you will set off for your journey to Turtle Mountain.

It is a leisurely one hour stroll up the mountain to its summit at 306/935ft approx. and the effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy when you get there.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent setting up camp and exploring the area near to the Turtle Mountain Satellite Camp (or return to Iwokrama if you prefer).

Day 5: Iwokrama walks & river rides, return to lodge (B,L,D)

After breakfast, you will travel back to the Field Station along the Essequibo River, with the chance to see fascinating wildlife.

Spend the rest of the morning on a wildlife walk near the field station and enjoy an afternoon of relaxing.

After dinner, you’re off on a boat ride to spot caiman and other nocturnal wildlife in the river after dark.

Overnight at Iwokrama Field Station.

Day 6: Jaguar spotting, canopy walkway, Atta Rainforest lodge (B,L,D)

Today you will be up before dawn to hit the trail to seek 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!

The trip ends at the new Atta Canopy Walkway, which winds 35m up through the treetops and allows you to observe the wildlife and birdlife from this amazing perspective.

After dinner you return to the walkway to experience the canopy at night – an unforgettable experience.

Overnight in Atta rainforest lodge.

Day 7: Surama Amerindian village, Burro Burro river, hammock camp (B,L,D)

Experience the dawn chorus, up close, in the canopy top.

After breakfast continue by 4×4 to the Amerindian village of Surama. Once you have settled into your accommodation, a local 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.

In the cool of late afternoon take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River.

Tonight join an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the magic of the forest after dark.

Overnight at Carahaa Landing Hammock Camp.

Day 8: Burro Burro river exploration, hammock camp (B,L,D)

Climb aboard a canoe and set out on the Burro Burro River to observe wildlife and birdlife.

Stop along the way to swim or take walks into the forest.

In the late afternoon watch or join in as your guides construct a camp on the river bank.

Enjoy a dinner cooked over an open fire before spending the night in your hammock camp.

Day 9: Burro Burro river exploration, return to Surama lodges (B,L,D)

Today continue paddling and exploring the Burro Burro River before returning to Carahaa Landing Hammock Camp, from where you will walk back to Surama.

Overnight at the Surama Guest House.

Day 10: 4x4 to Annai. Fly Georgetown, transfer to hotel (B,L)

We depart early morning by 4×4 for our drive back to Georgetown, with last wildlife spotting opportunities along the way.

Day 11: Transfer to airport, tour ends (B)

Transfer to airport for departing flight.


Prices From $3,400 / £2,883 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Accommodation in Georgetown hotel, Surama Guest House, Iwokrama shared cabins with up to 5 beds, camping equipment, meals as listed, all transport as indicated, local guides, internal flights, Kaieteur National Park fee.

What's Not Included?

International airfares (we can look for flights for you), departure tax, tips, personal items, insurance, alcoholic or soft drinks


Accommodation

Being mainly rainforest, and because much of the trip takes place in the rainforest, you will sleep in beds surrounded by mosquito nets. Rooms are comfortable and spacious but please note that in remote locations, such as Karanambu and Surama, insects can enter the rooms at night. Your guide will give any advice or help if you are concerned.

Sleeping within the rainforest and savannah is a fantastic experience, and comes as second nature after a day or two.

 

Rainforest and savannah lodges

Guyana has only a handful of lodges in its rainforests and savannahs, and most of these are small and remote establishments with fewer than a dozen beds. Some – like RewaSurama, and Maipaima – are run by the local Amerindian villagers who turn your visit into something like a homestay experience.

Others – like Karanambu – are captained by British expats who have carved out a slice of unexpected comfort in an otherwise rugged environment.

Others yet – such as Caiman House, Atta Rainforest Lodge, and Iwokrama River Lodge – have a strong science and nature focus and provide amply comfortable hospitality as well as a chance to learn about the vivid surrounding ecosystems.

Running water and at least a few hours of electricity are available at each lodge, and amenities are always clean and comfortable.

While no one comes to Guyana looking for a luxury travel experience, welcome creature comforts are on offer at the charming colonial boutique Cara Lodge in Georgetown as well as the storied Pegasus on the city’s northwest corner.

Meanwhile, Baganara Island on the Essequibo delights visitors with a host of recreational and relaxation opportunities. Georgetown’s newest international-class hotel, the Georgetown Marriott, opened its doors in 2015.

Tour Staff

A variety of expert guides may accompany on this tour, all of whom have many years’ experience and plenty of enthusiasm to make sure your trip is a great one.

Below are a few of the guides.

 

Wally Prince: Unrivalled expertise and experience leading tours and teams in Guyana.

Wally is one of the most sought-after guides for professional birders, documentary teams, and scientific expeditions visiting Guyana. He served for seven years as the guide coordinator, resident wildlife biologist, chief trainer, and operations manager at Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. He has identified more than 700 of the 800+ bird species recorded in Guyana and is intimately familiar with their habitats, behaviours, vocalisations, and mating rituals. He grew up wandering through Guyana’s lush and biodiverse interior.

 

Gary Sway: Amerindian, Expert Naturalist

Gary Sway is a Macushi Amerindian from the village of Surama. Having grown up in the rainforest he has a great understanding and affinity for his natural surroundings and the wildlife. He has been a guide at Surama Eco-lodge for nearly 15 years and is well loved by those who have explored and seen the rainforest through his eyes. Gary is also an experienced birding guide and has represented Guyana at the Bird Expo in Columbus Ohio, USA. His patience and keen eye means great rewards for those birding with him. In his spare time Gary is a leading player in the Surama Makushi culture group.

 

Nadir (Carlos) Allie: Guide, Bird Expert

Nadir (Carlos) Allie was originally from the west coast of the ancient county of Berbice. His family were rice farmers, but Carlos did not want to follow this path, and moved to Georgetown to learn his father’s profession and became a tailor. From an early age Carlos always had a love and passion for birds. He never joined the other boys in trying to shoot them with a slingshot, preferring to rescue and care for the injured ones.

In Georgetown, through his love of birds he became friends with Andy Narine and together they formed the Guyana Amazon Tropical Birds Society (GATBS). Through GATBS, Carlos was able to get involved in many different projects including bird counts for some of the interior lodges, and also collecting information on the avifauna of Guyana for a new Guyana bird list. Over the years Carlos has become an experienced bird guide, leading tours to Guyana’s top birding locations especially along the coastlands where he was born and continues to live. Carlos loves to share his passion and love of birds with visitors and locals whenever he gets the opportunity. He is especially fond of leading tours of the Botanical Gardens in Georgetown.


Meals

Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for – please enquire in advance as we have to organise supplied.

Whilst on tour the food is of a very good standard with fresh beef, chicken and fish and plenty of vegetables and fruit.

On camping trips/in remote areas, use is made of dried and salted produce, supplemented by fishing.

The blend of different ethnic influences – Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, English, Portuguese, Amerindian, North American – gives a distinctive flavour to Guyanese cuisine.

Try dishes such as Pepper Pot, meat cooked in casareep (bitter casava) juice with peppers and herbs. Garlic pork, a specialty at Christmas.  Curry and Roti is popular everywhere. Seafood is plentiful and varied, as is the wide variety of tropical fruit and vegetables. Try casava and yams.

Rum is the most popular drink and Guyana blends some of the worlds best. There are many inexpensive rums that are an excellent rum with mixers. The better rums such as Banks Extra, Banks XM 10 Year and DDL’s 12 year old King of Diamonds are smooth rums and great straight or on the rocks. DDL’s 15 year old El Dorado was voted the best rum in the world in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and is as smooth as a good brandy. The local Banks Beer is a good beer.

The water from the tap is brownish in colour, which is from the tannin in the water, and not polluted. However, it is recommended that bottled water, which is readily available, is used for drinking. Remember to drink plenty of it to prevent dehydration as it does get humid in Guyana.

Activity Level

You need to be have a reasonable level of walking fitness to hike the mountain walks, altough the walks are not mandatory.

Most days you will walk for a couple of hours, spotting wildlife. The humidity can make a short walk feel a lot harder than it is, and take on board lots of water.

The trip is open to anyone who wants to experience the rainforest and who wants to be active and interesting without it being demanding or without time to relax.

In the rainforest, we wake early, around 06.00-08.00 as most animals are active before the heat of the day kicks in. We breakfast, either on the hoof or back at the hotel, and enjoy a trip during the morning.

Transport could be by dug out canoe, 4×4, light Cessna plane or on foot. Guyana is a fantastic place to travel around as adventure awaits on every corner.

After lunch, we undertake another activity, or move to new lodgings, settle in, and then head out at dusk to see the wildlife once more.

Night walks are possible in some areas – or you may choose to relax – then it is dinner and time to recount the day’s highlights.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Introduction to Guyana

Guyana is the only English-speaking country on the South American continent and has a Caribbean feel. 

It is a destination for the nature lover looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination with many attractions. Guyana offers pristine rainforest, abundant wildlife, jaguars and the mighty Kaieteur Falls.

Start your adventure in the melting pot that is the country’s capital – Georgetown. Here Hindu, Muslim and Christian cultures blend in harmony.

Head off to visit the breathtaking Kaieteur Falls – the  world’s highest single-drop waterfall.

Then the interior beckons. Jungle and Savannah await. With luck you might spot the Cock o’ the rock or a harpy eagle.

Bigger mammals such as the ant eater might surprise you or if incredibly lucky the mighty jaguar. Travel by road or river and stay in rustic but comfortable lodges – all with an authentic Guyanese welcome.

Guyana will be an unforgettable adventure.  

Geography of Guyana

Guyana has five natural habitats to discover, the most famous of which is is its dense rain forest.

This ‘jungle’ is also known as the Forested Highland Region and is in the south of the country, and is very sparsely populated.

The majority (around 90%) of Guyana’s population lives in a marshy plain on the Atlantic coast, known as the low coastal plain.

 

Most of the country’s mineral deposits (bauxite, gold, diamonds) are found a little further inshore in that is called the white sand belt.

The south west of the country gives way to a desert savannah which then becomes an interior savannah.

From here, the grasslands and mountains of the interior highlands start to rise towards the borders with Brazil and Venezuela.

This is the largest of Guyana’s geographical areas and consists a series of plateaus, flat-topped mountains, and savannahs.

The Pakaraima Mountains dominate the western part of the interior highlands and include Mount Roraima, Guyana’s highest peak at 2,772m (9,094 ft) on the Venezuelan border.

 

The largest expanse of grassland, the Rupununi Savannah, covers about 15,000 square kilometres in southern Guyana.

Guyana has three large rivers, the Essequibo at 1,010km(628 miles), the Courantyne River (which forms a natural border with Suriname) at 724kms (450 miles), and the Berbice – 595kms (370 miles).

Weather in Guyana

Guyana is a hot and humid country. February and March are prime times to visit, along with Aug-Jan.

The mean shade temperature is 27°C, while maximum is 31°C and the minimum is 24°C. The heat is greatly tempered by cooling breezes from the sea.

There are two wet seasons in the north of the country, from May to June, and from December to January.

The south and the Rupununi region receive one wet season from May to July.

All wet seasons may extend into months either side.

Rainfall averages 2,300 mm a year in Georgetown.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.

 

Overview

Guyana is a hot and humid country.

Take sunscreen, sun glasses and a hat to Guyana.

It can rain at any time, so always have a poncho/waterproof jacket handy.

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Passenger/s traveling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 20lbs/9.1KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$150.00 (price subject to change) equivalent to US$ 0.77cents per pound. Please note that additional baggage allowance is subject to availability and cannot be confirmed until day/time of check-in by the airline.  We can book excess weight on your behalf but it is subject to being within the payload of the aircraft and at the discretion of the airline. We understand you may want more than 20lbs/9.1KG of baggage and wish to have guaranteed excess baggage/weight and so an alternative is to pre-book an extra seat on the flight which will afford you 175lbs/79.4KG for you to use individually or for your group. 

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Detailed kit list

  • Good binoculars.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Tight-weave, light weight long trousers.
  • Quick dry socks.
  • Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof – test before you leave home).
  • Long-sleeved tight-weave shirts.
  • T-shirts.
  • A warm jumper – it can feel cold on some boat journeys.
  • Water bottle (2 litres approx.) & purification tablets.
  • Sun cream (high factor, min. 30+) and lip salve.
  • A broad-brimmed hat that will not come off on windy boat-rides.
  • Shorts.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • A pair of trainers.
  • Ankle high hiking boots.
  • Insect repellent.
  • The original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • Yellow fever inoculation certificate.
  • A large, bright head torch, spare batteries and bulb.
  • Cash (small denomination bills, USD or GBP sterling) for souvenirs at the lodge, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antibiotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Head-lamp (plus spare bulb and batteries).
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

 

Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. dollars / GBP sterling cash, mixed-denomination notes, undamaged and unmarked.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel, smart clothes for Georgetown

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.


Atta rainforest lodge, Guyana

Get up into the trees like monkeys at Atta Lodge, for some up close and personal wildlife viewing.

The major attraction here is a 154m/505ft long canopy walkway, with four platforms some up to 30m into the canopy.

An array of birds and animals you struggle to see from the forest floor soon zoom into view.

Among these are endangered and protected species such as the jaguar, the bullet wood tree, greenheart and the waramadan (endemic in Guyana only to the Iwokrama Forest).

The lodge provides comfortable accommodation with 8 private rooms, three home-cooked meals per day, and ample opportunities to explore the surrounding rainforest by foot, canoe, or 4X4.

Caiman House, Guyana

You’ll need to keep quiet in your kayak as you help researchers from Caiman House search and tag black caiman at night time.

By staying here, you’ll get an inside look at the work of those trying to protect this endangered species.

You can help to collect the data of any captured caiman – some reaching up to 12 feet in length! – before they are released back into the wild.

Caiman House is once-in-a-lifetime and thrilling part to any tour of Guyana, especially for wildlife enthusiasts who can also look out for snakes, frogs, bird spiders and more

 

Georgetown, Guyana

The Atlantic gateway to Guyana, Georgetown is a fascinating mix of people, history fusions.

The ex-British colony contains influences from Amerindians, Asia, Brazil and more, making it a lively and welcoming destination.

The Natural History Museum is well worth a visit, as well as the world’s largest wooden cathedral and the thrumming market.

English is widely spoken and friendly local people are normally up for a chat about the unique atmosphere of Georgetown.

Iwokrama Field Station , Guyana

Deep into Guyana’s enormous rainforest lies Iwokrama, a one million acre wilderness full of wildlife.

Birds, trees frogs and the elusive puma live in the forests, whose verdant canopy you can enjoy from the Turtle Mountain vantage point.

The area is protected and known as Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation, with the full involvement of the local people.

You can see their history in the Amerindian petroglyphs close to some rivers, a fascinating insight into how animals and humans have coexisted for centuries in this pristine rainforest.

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Flying over the jungle canopy, the views confirm that there are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur.

Being so remote, you can walk right up to the flowing water, which gushes 822 feet into a deep and forested gorge.

Look for Golden frogs, unique to a tiny area, living in bromeliads growing in the warm, humid air.

Most likely your group will be the only souls in this remote location, adding to its incredible appeal.

Karanambu Ranch, Guyana

Famous for rescuing orphaned giant river otters, Karanambu also represents the spirit of travel of old.

An outpost, miles from civilisation, there’s a warm welcome and great wildlife.

See the giant Victoria Regis water lily bloom at dusk, or cruise the river looking for giant otters and caiman.

If you wake early enough, you may be able to find a giant anteater snaffling around for a treat.

Sadly, Diane McTurk is no longer with us, but the ranch continues to write its own chapters in the history of conservation.

Roraima Mountains, Guyana

Rumoured to have inspired parts of Conan Doyle’s Lost World book, ‘Tepuys’, or table top mountains, after visiting, it’s easy to see why.

From the sabanna that links Guyana’s western front with Venuzuela, the Tepuys rise dramatically.

They provide unique eco-zones for many species and the lunar-like surface is home to species found nowhere else on earth.

Waterfalls, rapids and rainforest criss-cross the various faces and sections of the Tepuys, making Mount Roraima one of the most acclaimed sights in South America.

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