Cap off your adventure in Guyana’s wild interior with a special cultural event in Georgetown, or interrupt your flight home for a long weekend on a Caribbean beach!
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Harpy Eagle & Iwokrama Forest
Arrive in Guyana and transfer to Georgetown.
0915hrs transfer to Ogle Airstrip for a flight over rain forest and savannah to Annai. Lunch at Rock View Lodge. Then transfer by 4×4 to the Amerindian community of Surama. The village is set in five square miles of savannah and surrounded by the densely forested Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices of their forebears. On arrival in Surama receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle into your accommodation. A local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your 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. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast take a one and half hour hike to the site of the Harpy Eagle nest. Spend the day observing the nest for views of the adults and chick. This can be enjoyed with observations of other birds and wildlife and a stand of Green Heart trees and a picnic lunch in the forest. Return to the village in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the gentle climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Breakfast will be served at a point overlooking the village, whilst looking for Pearl Kite, White-tailed and Savannah Hawk, and with a broad prospect of savannahs and the rounded peaks of the Pakaraima’s. Return to village for lunch and then in the cool of late afternoon take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rain forest to the Burro Burro River. Tonight overnight in a hammock at Carahaa Landing Camp. BLD. (B,L,D)
Soon after daybreak we’ll set out on the river for a quiet and skillfully guided paddle, hearing the voices of many birds singing in near darkness in the forest, and seeing many of them later when the light grows stronger. We’ll also search the banks for such mammals as Giant River Otter, Tapir, Tayra and Black Spider Monkey and many more species. Return to village for lunch before departing Surama by 4×4. Travel along the trail where there is a good chance to see 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! Eventually we reach the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Here you will be able to experience the rain forest from the vantage of 30 metres up in the canopy. The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is a series of suspension bridges and decks of up to 30 metres in height and 154 metres in length, located in the Iwokrama Forest. It gives visitors a new view of the mid and upper canopy of the forest and allows wildlife to be relatively free from human intrusion. The forest around the walkway contains some important flora and fauna. 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). (B,L,D)
This morning welcome the dawn chorus from the tree-tops. After breakfast transfer by 4×4 to the Amerindian village of Wowetta and then trek along 5kms of well maintained trail through virgin rain forest to a Guianan Cock-of-the–rock lek with over 30 birds. It is an exciting experience to view Guianan Cock-of-the–rocks (Rupicola Rupicola) in their natural habitat. You have the opportunity to see them nesting in caves, performing their mating dance on the lek, bathing in pools and perched in trees for perfect viewing. The tour is a community based project managed by the Indigenous Community of Wowetta. In the late afternoon we’ll set out for the drive to the Rupununi and Rock View Lodge in Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland. It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive. Indeed, one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort. Needless to say, the birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rain forest . Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own. (B,L,D)
This morning you can birdwatch in the magnificent gardens, join the vaqueros on horseback* as they round up the cattle, hike along the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains or explore nearby Amerindian villages. After lunch take a flight back to Georgetown. Enjoy an afternoon Georgetown city tour (full description below) to see its extraordinary wooden architecture and to shop in its exciting markets and craft shops. We’ll conclude at the extensive and beautiful Botanic Garden, where, if we are lucky, the trip’s ornithological finale will be Blood-coloured Woodpecker, an astonishingly colourful Veniliornis found only in the Guiana’s and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight. (B)