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The Cook-Up

Wilderness Explorers

The Cook Up Blog

“Cook Up” is a quintessentially Guyanese dish made up of rice, chicken, and just about anything else you happen to have in the kitchen that day. Here is our news “cook up” with items from traditional and social media of interest to those who have visited Guyana- or will soon. For older items, click over to our older News Page and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

Farwell Diane McTurk of Karanambu Lodge

It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to the passing of Diane McTurk. Diane was an inspiration to not just me but to the entire tourism industry in Guyana and the thousands of visitors that were privileged to stay with her at Karanambu.

Suriname updates Yellow Fever vaccination requirements

A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is now required for travellers coming from ​- ​or transiting​ -​​​ ​a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. Vaccination must be undertaken at least 10 days prior to travel to Suriname. Read more about these requirements to be sure you don’t get stuck at the border!

Otter Love at Karanambu

Tony Hogg writes in to let us know about his exceptional experience travelling across Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. A true highlight for Tony was his time at Karanambu Lodge in Guyana’s Rupununi where he and the local orphan-otter-in-residence, “Trib,” formed an unexpected bond. Otters are gregarious and social animals, but rarely do they warm up to strangers like this! Tony was fortunate, indeed, to gain the trust and companionship of this most remarkable creature of the Rupununi River.

Arapaima Conservation at Rewa

Rewa Village’s Role in Saving the Giant Arapaima Lesley de Souza from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has been researching the giant arapaima (with a befitting scientific name of Arapaima gigas) in and around Rewa for the past few years. South America’s largest freshwater fish, the arapaima (AIR-uh-PYE-muh), is in danger of disappearing before we know enough about it to save it. de Souza’s fieldwork in the remote Rupununi wetlands of Guyana is a first-of-its-kind study of the migratory patterns of arapaimas. By learning where these fish live, both in the dry […]

New York Times Frugal Traveler discovers Suriname

New York Times Frugal Traveler Discovers Suriname Frugal Traveler Seth Kugel takes a “back door route” through Suriname to the the World Cup games in Brazil and finds himself engulfed in an unexpected melange of cultural influences. The mixture of cultures in Suriname is intoxicating, in part because it’s a different sort of diversity than I’m used to, even in my home borough of Queens, a wildly diverse place. It’s been well over a century since Indians arrived in Suriname as indentured servants, yet at the resort the family spoke […]

Copa Airlines features Guyana in Panorama In-Flight Magazine

Panamanian Star Alliance carrier COPA Airlines begins service to Guyana this summer and is featuring Guyana in its award-winning in-flight magazine, Panorama de las Américas. The article introduces its newest destination with this opening: Copa Airlines opens the door to a young country that sits on ancient and wondrous land. Get to know Guyana, a republic founded on the benificent desire to cooperate and seek a better future for its children. This nation was born in the venerable remnants of a mountain range older than the Andes, grew up among […]

Wilderness celebrates 20 years of service

Wilderness Explorers celebrated its 20th anniversary in style Friday evening at Cara Lodge in Georgetown, graced by the company of friends and partners we’ve been working with for more than two decades. H.E. President Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister Sam Hinds, and Minister Mohamed Irfaan Ali represented the Government of Guyana’s delegation, recognizing the company’s role in building a tourism sector where – in the mid 80’s – there had been none before. We were delighted to share the company of many other friends and partners (far too many to mention) who […]

An Artist’s Quest to Protect Suriname’s Rain Forest

An Artist’s Quest to Protect Suriname’s Rain Forest New York is 3,000 miles—and an ecological light-year—away from Suriname, the rain forest–rich country nestled on the northeastern shoulder of South America. But for Manhattan-based jewelry designer Pamela Love, the sleepy, relatively untouristed spot was well worth visiting and revisiting: on vacation in 2012, and then on business last November. “Suriname is unusually rich in natural resources,” Love says of the country that produces about 80,000 pounds of gold each year. Love, who’s best known for her Native American–inspired pieces (like her iconic […]

Wildlife shock in Guyana’s Rainforest

Tom Shearman from UK adventure tour company Andean Trails recounts an eventful journey through Guyana’s Rupununi earlier this year. Tom compares his last four tours through Amazonia and says that Guyana was the most interactive and wildlife-rich.

Spirit of the Week: El Dorado 8yr Cask Aged Demerara Rum

WineAlign editor Margaret Swaine sings the praises of this mid-range premium rum, one of our favorites even though it can be hard to come by in North America. This blend includes output from four of the traditional stills preserved by Demerara Distillers including a double wooden pot still from Port Mourant and the original 182 year old wooden Coffey Still, the last fully working still of its type in the world today.

The biodiversity of Guyana’s Rupununi

The World Wildlife Fund in Guyana mounted the most comprehensive biological expedition ever assembled in the south Rupununi. A multinational biodiversity assessment team with more than fifty scientists, students, local coordinators, and field assistants spent over two weeks studying not only plants and animals, but also the quality of the water supply and the relevance of these natural resources to the community and ecosystem.

Film to focus on preservation of the Amerindian language

Conservation International, Iwokrama, and the people of Surama hope to promote the restoration and preservation of the Amerindian language and cultural heritage, through a groundbreaking film titled, Maira and her brother Mairun. The producers are crowdsourcing the final stages of project financing through IndieGogo.

The Guyana Manhattan

When you think rum, you might immediately conjure up images of brightly colored tropical drinks, tacky umbrellas and a keen anticipation of a bad headache the next day. Lo – behold the El Dorado Manhattan… a drink so “dark, leathery and rich” that the cocktail editor at Playboy (that’s right, Playboy) said the concoction “made me rethink everything I knew about cocktails.”

Guyana goes “Happy”

The “Happy” craze hits the streets of Georgetown and we love the way GT shines through in this take-off hit. Dare you not to tap your feet!

Wilderness Explorers honors the UN’s inaugural World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being. For these reasons, […]

CNN looks for the “Wild Things” and finds Karanambu in Guyana

Moscow-born zoologist Vladimir Dinets, the author of Dragon Songs: Love and Adventure Among Crocodiles, Alligators and Other Dinosaur Relations is a research assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After a globe-crossing search for the world’s last remaining wild places, he reports that Guyana.. “…is my favorite corner of the Amazon, where I studied caimans in 2007, and it’s beautifully preserved. It has miles upon miles of Victoria regia water lily-covered lakes, pristine forests, tranquil rivers and lush savannahs.” Dinets and CNN are particularly taken by Karanambu Lodge in the […]

Guyana travel warning: you may fall in love with the people

Traveling Ted says: Guyana travel warning was the most common piece of information I found when researching for a recent trip to South America.  Besides warnings, it was hard to get concrete travel advice. Even Traveldudes did not have one travel tip for Guyana (this has now changed as I own the Guyana section) and besides Brendan Van Son, who has been everywhere, there were not many travel blogs on the subject. Happily , he finds that the hype is much worse than reality, especially once he set foot in the Rupununi. Follow his travels […]

National Geographic at Kaieteur Falls (video)

Visitors traversing the eastern coast of South America on the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship spent a few days in Guyana this Autumn. The journey was awarded National Geographic’s 2013 Tours of Lifetime distinction. Wilderness Explorers is proud to be recognized for the 2nd time with operating a Guyana tour carrying this prestigious label. Our Amerindian Guyana itinerary was singled out in 2011 as one of National Geo’s Tours of a Lifetime. Tour planners from Nationial Geographic wrote in to say “…thank all of you belatedly for all you did […]

Rapid Assessment Team identifies species new to science in Suriname

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Braving perilous river rapids in Suriname’s rainforest, international scientists found six frogs and 11 fish that are among 60 creatures that may be new species, a tropical ecologist with a U.S.-based conservation group said Thursday. Trond Larsen, with the nonprofit research and advocacy organization Conservation International, said in a phone interview that the team catalogued creatures and studied freshwater resources during a three-week expedition in pristine forest of southeast Suriname near the border with Brazil. The upper Palumeu River watershed is among the world’s most remote […]

An Experience to Remember

Guyanese musician, historian, philosopher, and global personality Dave Martins spent time on the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship which recently made a call at the Port of Georgetown, Guyana. He reflects on the experience meeting the passengers and crew as they encounter his home country for the first time.

New Fly Jamaica service lands in Guyana

Fly Jamaica landed their 757 at Chedi Jagan International Airport for the first time last night. The airline hopes to bring some healthy competition to the market for international flights to and from Guyana.

Another new species – this time a Plec is discovered in Guyana

A new genus and species of a weakly armoured plec has been described from the upper Mazaruni River in northwestern Guyana. and was named by Jonathan Armbruster and Donald Taphorn as Paulasquama callis. The head and body of most plecs are covered with bony plates, with only the belly, lower surface of the head and the area around the fins lacking plates. Paulasquama differs from most plecs in lacking bony plates in two oval areas on the top of the snout, and the bony plates below the dorsal fin being […]

Significant archaeological discovery in Guyana’s Rupununi

Intriguing remains of a culture long extinct have been unearthed in the Rupununi savannah close to Amuku Lake which in the 18th century was believed to be the site of the fabled golden city of El Dorado. In June, Victor Pires, the owner of the Waikin ranch located in the North Rupununi, Region Nine was digging post holes outside the paddock when he hit a huge ceramic pot covered by another. The pot, which has all the characteristics of a burial urn, was excavated by employees and was in an […]

New Electric Fish discovered in Guyana

A previously unknown genus of electric fish has been identified in a remote region of South America by team of international researchers including University of Toronto Scarborough professor Nathan Lovejoy. The Akawaio penak, a thin, eel-like electric fish, was discovered in the shallow, murky waters of the upper Mazaruni River is northern Guyana. Lovejoy’s team at UTSC analyzed tissue samples collected during a recent expedition by researchers led by Hernán López-Fernández at the Royal Ontario Museum. By sequencing its DNA and reconstructing an evolutionary tree, Lovejoy’s team discovered the fish […]

New orchid species discovered in Guyana

A new species of orchid has been discovered in the Pakaraima Mountains, atop the majestic Kamarau Falls, Kurupung River. The new species named Sobralia pakaraimense was found during field studies by the University of Gdansk in 1992, but has only now been described as a distinct species. Eight species of the genus Sobralia are now known from Guyana. Download the research paper here.

The wonders Leatherback turtles

The mouth and esophagus of the leatherback turtle are a perfect example of how an animal can become adapted to its diet and habitat. When the turtle consumes jellyfish (and it must eat many, as jellyfish have low nutritional value), the esophagus stores both the jellyfish and the seawater that have been swallowed. However, to prevent the stomach filling with water, the seawater must be expelled. So how does this happen? The answer lies in the backwards-pointing spikes you see in the mouth of the turtle, which continue down the […]

Stunning Guyana photography from Andrew Snyder

We just can’t get enough of Andrew’s stunning wildlife photography. Here he catches an Amazonian Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus) near Surama in Guyana’s Rupununi region. Guyana is regarded as one of the world’s best birdwatching venues with more than 800 species identified and numerous IBA’s. Thousands of acres of unspoiled primary rainforest,  butted up against the Rupununi Savannahs, make for a stunning ecosystem that will keep bird watchers and photographers on their toes. Check out more of Andrew’s remarkable work on his Facebook page.

New LIAT service direct to Georgetown’s Ogle Aerodrome

Starting this week, LIAT airlines introduces regional service between Barbados and Guyana’s Ogle Aerodrome. Ogle is the in-town airport just 15 minutes outside the Georgetown city centre. LIAT expects to operate two morning departures and three afternoon/evening arrivals during a 3-month trial run of this service. Click on the yellow tab at the bottom of our website window to chat live with one of our agents who can answer your questions and assist with bookings.      

Sloth rescue in Suriname

Housing and commercial development in and around Paramaribo regularly disrupts existing colonies of wildlife, and this summer the world was riveted as a large group of three-toed sloths were rescued from imminent demise by Surinam’s Monique Pool. Watch the heartwarming video below, and read more about Pool and her efforts (in partnership with Conservation International) at Mother Nature Network.

Rainforest Gondola Service links Georgetown to Iwokrama

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA (April 1, 2013) – Demerara Distillers, Ltd. (DDL), of Georgetown Guyana announced the opening of the world’s first – and longest – trans-national tramway today in the remote jungle of South America.The remarkable engineering feat was financed by the Government of China and engineered by global transportation firm Skidmore Owens and Merrill (SOM). Georgetown tour operator Wilderness Explorers has been selected as the exclusive booking agent while DDL has partnered with the Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development to provide on-board service, educational programming, and catering.Operating […]

Explore Guyana 2013 Edition published

Explore Guyana is the official tourism magazine for Guyana, published by the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG). It’s a great collection of feature articles, photography, maps, and directories that you’ll find particularly useful once you hit the ground here in Guyana. Give it a look!   View the entire magazine online.

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