Guyana, South America! ~ March-April 2022 Trip Report
Reported by: Cindi LaRaia
I have recently returned from a wonderful agent Fam trip (familiarization) I was invited on to Guyana, South America!!
A most incredible country, where six different religions and different ethnic groups live in harmony! The only English speaking South American country. The local indigenous Amerindian people are delightful, live deep in the interior and work hard to maintain a sustainable way of life with a motto “keep are trees standing” what a concept seeing that Brazil is next door and all they do is cut them down as fast as they can!
We started our journey in historic Georgetown with a market and city tour. A fantastic market visit with the Singing Chef, a wonderful tour offered with local food! We made our own 7 curry dish, traditionally eaten with large Lotus leaves, we cut our own leaves at a neighborhood house, and created the best chicken Masala!
An afternoon River tour near Georgetown introduced us to some of the most amazing birds in the region, bring your binoculars and long lens you will be in birding heaven.
We flew across endless rainforests into the heart of the country to visit Kaieteur Falls, the tallest single - drop waterfall in the world! please have a look!
Some wonderful images there for you to see! I was lucky to see and photograph the amazing bright orange colored, Cock of the Rock bird, they nest in this one area!! Stunning!
We traveled to some very basic remote lodges, hence the name "eco-lodge" We observed the arapaima, the giant river fish and the goliath bird-eating spider! OY what a monster that thing is, bigger than a human hand and creepy as hell!
Night walks to see more spiders, tarantulas and giant toads & frogs!
I recorded my new favorite bird call from the Screaming Piha, finally got to see this amazing bird, not spectacular but the early morning sounds with the partner Piha returning the call was pure bliss for me! Not to mention one very insane night with the SCREAMING Howler monkeys, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyy gosh! We were so very close and it only takes a small family of 5 or 6 to make sounds so loud you are in a stunned mobility with the sounds reverberating through your entire body. Unreal the sounds of the Rainforest!!
So many gorgeous birds, I failed to write them down, they need a bird list to check off. I made this suggestion. Colorful parrots, parakeets, scarlet macaws, other macaws, red ibis, egrets, toucans, 5 types of Kingfishers, laughing Falcon.
Eight types of Monkeys; saw brown capuchin, black spider money, red howler, common squirrel, brown berded siki.
We were in the dry season; they have 2 seasons, long dry from November through April, long wet from May through October. However climate change offered rain in the dry season they did not get a full dry season this year. The river we traveled on the Rupunui was about 12 ft over the normal dry level for March / April time of year.
The black Caiman is the predator in this river reaching up to 15-16 ft. We also went on a black caiman tagging expedition in the night.
Five cats; Jaguar, puma, oscelot, oncilla, margate, jacurudi.
Giant River Otters, up to 9ft long!
One day we did a wonderful strenuous hike up a mountain for fantastic views. Another lodge offered fantastic canopy walks with more wonderful birds to spot. Living and walking through the rainforest is such a deeply rewarding experience, not many of us get to experience this ever for an extended period of time.
We visited many local indigenous communities of the Amarindian people! Loved their enthusiasm and grassroots work in conservation to 'keep their trees standing'!! What a magical refreshing feeling to be with them and passion for their land!! They have young kids training for forestry & wildlife management! This country of Guyana has 80% of pristine untouched jungle!
Many of our visits and experiences were done on boats plying the rivers. A peaceful Zen experience, the hum of the motors and smells of the rainforest wafting through all your senses.
Another lodge offered a hike to find Giant Ant Eaters, and they are Giant! OMG, maybe the craziest HUGE creature I have ever witnessed!
Most folks have to look up where the heck it is! It lies east of Venezuala and Brazil. My operator offers 3 country visits to Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana!
It was a wonderful experience! For anyone who loves wildlife, pristine rainforest, birding, quality insects, amphibians, snakes, photography and local indigenous people, you may wish to consider a visit to Guyana!