Northeastern South America
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Average expected number of birds seen during the trip: 320 to 350 species.
Guyana Vegetation Types: 7 out of 26.
Total habitats visited: 10+.
Altitude Range: 0 to 274 meters (3 to 900 feet).
Guyana is South America's little-known curiosity. It shares borders with Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname, yet remains well-off South America's beaten tourist track. The English speaking locals and colonial past make for a culture that is decidedly more Caribbean than Latin.
There are 83,000 square miles but 90 percent of the sparse 750,000 inhabitants live along the coast, leaving Guyana's forested interior--80 percent of the landmass--relatively unpopulated outside of Amerindian villages.
Guyana is where the Guiana Shield (one of four pristine tropical rainforests left in the world) converges with the Amazon Basin. The unique geography creates a myriad of habitats for birds, ranging from coastal waters to mangroves, marshes, savannahs, mountains and tropical rainforests. Just over 800 species of birds have been recorded in Guyana, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers the world over.
Having been there only a month ago, living in the Birding Capital of the World like I do, I have come to appreciate the easy access to the endemics of the region and colorful birds that are offered in Guyana and what is more, a wonderful promise to see mammals.
I am opening this opportunity to go with Lelis this coming December, 2008, to Guyana and enjoy this short 12 day trip. For the birds to be seen, prices and details contact Mercedes
A Top-Ten Bird List by Habitat follows:
Top Ten Highlight Birds
Coastal swamp forest and Dakama forest
Black curassow, Grey-winged trumpeter, Racket-tailed coquette, Black-necked araçari, Red-billed toucan, Cayenne Jay, Buff-cheeked greenlet
Coastal swamp forest and Open samps
Spot-tailed nightjar, White-fronted manakin, Little chachalaca, Green-tailed goldenthroat, Ferruginous-backed antbird, Finsch's euphonia
Dry grassland and Gallery forest (Lowlands grass/shrub savanna)
Sharp-tailed ibis, Río Branco spinetail, Rio Branco and White-bellied antbirds, Saffron crested tyrant-manakin, Smoky-fronted tody-flycatcher, Crested doradito, Black hooded thrush, Great-billed seed-finch.
Lowlands rain forest (Forest on steep hills)
Grey-bellied goshawk, Yellow-knobed curassow, Sun parakeet, Red-fan parrot, Todd's antwren, Capuchinbird, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
Coastal swamp forest, Open samps and Mangrove forest
Plain-bellied emerald, Blood-coloured woodpecker, White-bellied and Ferruginous-backed antbirds, Bearded tachuri, Yellow Oriole.
Arrive in Guyana. Transfer to Georgetown (0.91 m / 3 ft). Overnight at Cara Lodge.
Transfer by boat to Prairie Docks on the Demerara River, slowly, to allow bird and wildlife watching on the way to Timberhead Rain Forest Resort. Afternoon exploration of the rainforest trails. Overnight at Timberhead Rain Forest Resort.
Spend all day birding at Timberhead Rain Forest Resort. Overnight at Timberhead Rain Forest Resort.
After some early morning birding, we leave the Timberhead and visit the nearby Amerindian community of Santa Mission. Transfer, by boat and by a 4x4 vehicle to Shanklands Rainforest Resort. Overnight at Shanklands Rainforest Resort.
Birding the premises and habitats around the lodges, grounds and banks of the Essequibo River. Overnight at Shanklands Rainforest Resort.
Early morning birding. Then, embark on a boat birding expedition up the mighty Essequibo River, disembarking at Baganara Island. Arrive to Kaieteur Falls. Continue over a vast expanse of savannah only interrupted by patches of gallery forest, meandering rivers and scattered lakes on our way to Karanambu (Link).
Karanambu is Diane McTurk's home, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters to the wild. Dinner with Diane, Edward and Melanie will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannahs. Overnight at Karanambu Ranch.
Explore the flooded forest or savannah, and nearby ponds for birdwatching and to view the Victoria Amazonica, the world's largest water lily and Guyana's national flower.
Explore the Rupununi River in search of wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Arapaima. An evening visit to Crane Pond to see hundreds of Ibises, Anhinga, Heron and Egret roosting is a highlight. Overnight at Karanambu Ranch.
Early morning excursion out into the savannah and into a variety of wetland habitats and lakes. Transfer by boat along the Rupununi River to Ginep Landing and then by 4x4 to Annai. We will arrive at Rock View in time for lunch. Venture out into the surrounding habitats in search of some of the specialist wildlife this wonderful area has to offer. Overnight at Rock View Lodge.
Early morning excursion to the Pakaraima Foothills, with panoramic views out into the vast savannahs. Mid day heat-provoked brake. Afternoon session exploring the specialist zone where the tall rainforest meets the open savannah until it gets dark (Nighthawk hunting). Overnight at Rock View Lodge.
After breakfast, transfer by 4x4 to the Amerindian community of Surama. Birding the village area, a small savannah ringed by forest covered mountains. Overnight at Surama Eco-lodge.
Sunrise hike across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burrro Burro River. Breakfast and lunch out at a comfortable camp deep in the forest. Paddle canoe excursion along the Burro Burro River. Afternoon session birding the network of forest trails. Overnight Surama Eco-lodge.
Today we make a very early start to travel by road through the forest (in the dark) to visit the recently constructed canopy walkway deep in the Iwokrama Rainforest. Breakfast will be taken at the canopy walkway. Before transferring to the Iwokrama Field Station for lunch, we will visit a special area of habitat known as Mori scrub. After dark we will take a boat trip out onto the Essequibo River in search of night animals and nocturnal birds. Overnight at Iwokrama Field Station.
Early morning excursion out onto the Essequibo River and circumnavigate the nearby Indian House Island, before returning to the field station for breakfast. Boat ride to the Foot of Turtle Mountain and its trail to Turtle ponds (274 m / 900 ft) looking for a spectacular view of the forest canopy below, and probably our best chance of seeing Harpy Eagle. After lunch, go birding some of the elusive birds of the extensive rainforest trails near the field station. Overnight at Iwokrama Field Station.
Today we leave the Iwokrama Field Station and make an early start by 4x4 vehicle to Annai. En route to Georgetown we will stop at four locations: the Iwokrama Canopy walkway, and the rainforest trail to a special locality for the Guiarian Cock-of-the-Rocks, Annai, the Rupununi's northern most community, and Rock View.
Transfer to the airstrip for our early afternoon flight back to Georgetown. On arrival we will transfer to the Le Meridien Pegasus our palatial accommodation for the night, where we will be able to relax and enjoy a wide range of facilities. This afternoon, visit the nearby Botanic Gardens where a range of habitats support a wealth of birdlife, many of which will be 'new' to our trip. If we are extremely lucky, we may see the rare and elusive Blood-coloured Woodpecker, an astonishingly colourful Veniliornis found only in the Guianas. Overnight Le Meridien Pegasus.
Morning at leisure. Transfer to the airport for our departing flight.
Notes on Accommodation : In most cases we will have double or twin rooms with private facilities. However, depending on the size of the group, at the Iwokrama Field Station we may use dormitory accommodations with shared facilities. The new Surama Eco-lodge has 4 cabins with ensuite bathrooms.
The original guest house has only four rooms with a shared bathroom, so larger groups will also use the village office or local homes. Camping sections will be in hammock style camps. Single supplement provided where possible. Single Supplement US$ 235.00
double or twin accommodation (single room for odd sized group)
single room for escort
meals as listed
local bar at Rock View Lodge and Karanambu Ranch
activities as described
all road and river transport
Kaieteur National Park fee
hotel room tax
items of a personal nature
alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
Come with us and let us introduce you to the Guyana Birds!
FOR PRICES AND ITINERARIES PLEASE CONTACT US: