An in-depth and rich exploration of Guyana’s ultra-rich coastal avian populations
Explore the rivers, mangroves, and coastline around Georgetown, as well as the dense rainforest just a few miles south of the capital. This short tour provides stunning exposure to many of Guyana’s 814 bird species!
We will pick you up at the airport, and then transfer you to your hotel. Kanuku Suites offers budget style accommodation in a quiet, residential community on the outskirts of central Georgetown. The ensuite rooms are air-conditioned and have high speed internet access. The hotel is a stone’s throw from the street that never sleeps: Sherriff Street, and within walking distance of restaurants, supermarkets, gift shops and the some of the most popular entertainment hot spots in the city. The city centre and commercial district are 5 minutes away by taxi.
0545hrs pickup and transfer to the extensive and beautiful Georgetown Botanical Gardens where, if we are lucky, we will have views of the Blood-coloured Woodpecker. This astonishingly colourful Veniliornis is found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens host Snail Kite, Gray Hawk, Pearl Kite, Carib Grackle, Red-bellied Macaw, and Red-shouldered. We will walk on trails in the back on the gardens and may see Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Black-crested Antshrike, Silver-beaked Tanager, Buff-breasted Wren, Golden-spangled Piculet and Ashy-headed Greenlet. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Later, we will travel to the Demerara River and if the tide is out it exposes the mud flats which normally host feeding Scarlet Ibis, Little Blue and Tricolored herons, while Magnificent Frigatebirds take to the air and we will search for other shorebirds.
0430hrs departure with packed breakfast, where we will travel eastward from Georgetown to Abary Creek Trail to look for Blood-coloured Woodpecker and Rufous Crab-hawk, the last of the many range-restricted species we will be hoping to find on this tour. We will also look for the poorly known White-bellied Piculet and Guianan Gnatcatcher, both of which can also be found in this area. On our return journey to Georgetown, we travel along the coast to the Mahaica River. We will take a boat on the river to see Guyana’s national bird the Hoatzin, which is found in abundance along this river system. On the way back we will stop and bird as opportunities arise.
An early morning transfer by road along the East Bank of the Demerara River will take you to the Arrowpoint Marina. From the Marina, it’s a short boat ride across the Demerara River to the mouth of the Kamuni River and onwards towards Pokero Creek, a smaller “black water” tributary which is quite a contrast after the muddy brown waters of the Demerara. The dark shimmering water leads you through a corridor of overhanging vegetation and as we enter the Santa Mission Amerindian Reserve, the habitat changes from forest to more open savannah and seasonally flooded swamp. Ringed Kingfishers and Greater Anis, together with other riverside birds, are common here.
We will visit the village of Santa Mission, which is a community of Arawak and Carib Amerindians. Arrowpoint Nature Resort is found within the Amerindian reserve of Santa, situated overlooking savannah and the Pokerero Creek, and surrounded by rainforest.
The lodge is surrounded by a variety of habitats, including open grassy marsh and scattered stands of Moriche Palm and fairly tall sandbelt forest. There is an ample trail system (which we will be making full use of this afternoon) and additionally there is the attractive option of birding by canoe along the more peaceful stretches of water upstream. All rooms have full bathroom facilities with fresh running water.
Dinner is served under the stars with the delight of the sounds of the night creatures. When the sun goes down, the beach is transformed into a festival of lights provided by traditional mounted flambé and a spectacular large bonfire. An indigenous atmosphere is created as a mouth-watering three course dinner is served buffet style on the beach.
After dinner enjoy a night walk through the dark jungle trails with your own head lamp (provided by resort) and experienced local guide. For your return journey you will paddle along the dark waters of the creek which will surprisingly become nearly transparent as you look into it with your head lamp and the colourful eyes of the marine life looks back at you.
This morning before breakfast take canoes out to bird watch along the creek. In palms we may encounter the strikingly beautiful Point-tailed Palmcreeper. We may also see Sungrebe, Sunbittern, and a myriad of hummingbirds including the Black-throated Mango and Green-tailed Goldenthroat. But the one everyone wants to see is the magnificent Crimson Topaz which occurs along the streams.
Continue bird watching in the late afternoon, watching for flocks of Red-bellied Macaws crossing the sky en route to their roosts, and perhaps seeing an evening gathering of euphonias and other tanagers in low trees of the clearing. Sapphire-rumped Parrotlets occasionally roost in the area. You also have the choice of hiking on the trails network system. This is a vast and interesting system. There are three 4 hour hikes that start and end at the resort. You can do the complete hike or just part of it to suit your fitness and interest. The trails vary in difficulty and are all located in the jungle and will take you through areas of wilderness for many miles, passing along the way isolated Amerindian dwellings. There is also the option of various levels of mountain biking.
Return to the Arrowpoint Marina via boat, then transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for your departing flight. If you are continuing on to another tour, you will be transferred to your Georgetown hotel or the Eugene F. Correia International Airport to meet the tour.
We will pick you up at the Arrowpoint Marina, and transfer you to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport for flight to Kaieteur Falls. Kaieteur Falls was first seen by an European on April 29, 1870 and is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo. The water of Kaieteur, one of the world’s natural wonders, flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge – a drop of 741 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. Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), committed self sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls. It was believed this would encourage the Great Spirit Makonaima to save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi.
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.
Depending on the day, trip may include an extension to Orinduik Falls or Baganara Island Resort, at no additional cost. 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. Its name is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name of an aquatic plant found in these falls. The Ireng River forms the border between Brazil and Guyana. In contrast to Kaieteur, Orinduik is ideally suited for swimming and you will find natural Jacuzzi’s as the falls tumble down the steps of Jasper.
On days when the Kaieteur flight stops at Baganara, you will be invited to spend the afternoon just relaxing or choosing from a variety of activities such as canoeing, fishing, table tennis or volleyball to name a few; after you have enjoyed our delicious buffet lunch.
Why Travel with Wilderness Explorers?
For more than 20 years, we’ve been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism. Not from the sidelines or behind a desk, but on the ground. In the jungle. On the boats. Getting our feet dirty and seeing everything first-hand. Tourism isn’t our business – it’s our life. Our handcrafted itineraries prove it.
Our partners in the field aren’t just suppliers in the traditional sense: we are deeply involved with the development of the lodges, tours, training programs, and attractions that draw adventurous souls to this part of the world. Back in 1999 Wilderness Explorers was one of the first tour operators to embrace the now-fashionable idea of community tourism, partnering with the Amerindian Makushi village of Surama in Guyana to provide marketing and administrative support for that country’s first indigenously-operated ecolodge. These days we continue to work with lodges and regional consortiums with tourism development aspirations. Hand-in-hand we are building opportunities for economic growth that don’t rely on resource extraction or the mass-market.
We know that tour companies are increasingly looked upon as unnecessary middlemen in a world where the internet connects everyone with marvelous ease. And, no doubt, someone with ample time and patience could organize their journey independently. But we know that sometimes you want to spend less time researching and more time travelling. If that’s you, we can vastly simplify your trip planning, get you into the best (and often least-known) lodges, prioritize your activity list, and set you up for an unforgettable getaway. Having the time of your life once you get there? Well, that part is entirely up to you!