Guyana nature experience, small group holiday
Description of Guyana nature experience, small group holiday
This Guyana nature experience takes you on an incredible journey around this little known South American country, which is home to some of the best wildlife experiences on earth. Brought to wider public attention by a BBC television series called ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’, Guyana is home not only to these mighty wild cats, but also to caimans, tapir and giant river otters, among many other fascinating species.
Much of your time will be spent in the heart of the rainforest, including time at Iwokrama, which is one of the best places on the continent to spot jaguars. A busy itinerary of nature treks, canoe trips and walks along a forest canopy walkway will introduce you to the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Highlights include taking part in an ongoing field study of the Black Caiman, an endangered species and the biggest member of the alligator family, and two nights spent at Karanambu Lodge, set up by a legendary conservationist, the late Diane McTurk. You’ll also get to learn about the lives of Guyana’s indigenous population with a visit to the Amerindian village of Surama.
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PlanetThis tour focuses largely on the natural wealth of Guyana concentrated in parks, reserves and conservation areas. By visiting these regions we contribute to crucial conservation and research projects designed to ensure the long term well being of the wildlife that lives here. We work with local guides in the parks who know the areas well – these are from the communities that surround the parks and this therefore ensures that these vital areas are seen not just as the preserve of wealthy western tourists but as a valuable source of employment and income for local people, thus further contributing to conservation and acting as a discouragement to unsustainable use of the parks’ resources. We issue guidelines to our travellers about the importance of leaving these parks as they were, and taking all litter out when we leave.
We spend two nights at Karanambu as guests of Diane McTurk, an almost legendary figure in Guyana and well known for her conservation efforts. Diane frequently cares for orphaned giant river otters and nurtures them until they are able to return to the wild – your stay here provides vital funds to enable this important work to continue.
At Iwokrama we stay at the research station, set up to conduct research on rainforest environments. Again, this allows money to be channelled towards an important project.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation - not only reducing our carbon footprint but we believe leading to a more enjoyable and intimate experience for our clients.
PeopleWe only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
Our local partner in Guyana is particularly passionate about helping remote communities realise some of the benefits that tourism can provide and has been instrumental in pioneering community led projects within the country.
On this trip we spend two nights at Surama. Surama is a village inhabited by Makushi Amerindians on the edge of the rainforest – it is very isolated and many miles from other settlements. The Eco-Lodge here is a community initiative that has been set up to allow local people to benefit from tourism, and the villagers take an active part in all aspects of the lodge, from managing it to acting as guides along the nearby trails. While here we are taught about the customs of the indigenous people of Guyana and shown their local traditions – not only is this a fascinating experience but it shows younger generations, who previously might have been tempted to leave the village and migrate to the capital, that there is value in maintaining these traditions. The employment that this lodge provides means that it is now a more viable option for younger people to remain in their home community.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
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