A country of unspoilt natural wonders, Guyana has amazing pristine rainforests, rivers and waterfalls and open savannahs full of flora and fauna. For the natural history enthusiast this is the perfect place for a superb wildlife holiday. Located next to Venezuela at the top of the South American continent it’s proximity to the Caribbean and the Amazon gives it a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Although the tourism infrastructure is slowly improving with better roads and more lodges, you can still expect just clean and simple facilities here, which is part of Guyana’s charm. You need to be reasonably fit and accept some discomfort to make the most of the natural wonders of the country. The main language is English due to colonial links to Britain.
The only people living in the interior of Guyana are the indigenous American Indian tribes who you may have the good fortune to meet through sustainable community tourism projects. One of the highlights of a natural history holiday to Guyana is a visit to the Iwokrama International Centre where conservation research work is carried out in the the rainforest. This eco-system is full of plant and animal species which are under threat. You can stay at the field station here, from where you can view the tree canopy from a high walkway, spot jaguar or black caiman and listen to the most amazing dawn chorus. This is the region that was featured in the BBC documentary ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’. It is possible to visit Kaieteur Falls and there is a good standard lodge and research centre at Iwokrama now.
More than 70% of Guyana is still covered in pristine forest and the country has one of the highest biodiversity levels in the world with 1600 species of birds, and around 1,170 vertebrates with new species constantly being discovered. Animals you may see here include the elusive Jaguar, Tapirs, Bushdogs, Caiman, Capybaras, Giant Anteaters and many different monkeys. New species are being discovered and recorded all the time including thousands of invertebrate and fish species.
It is possible to combines a holiday to Guyana with neighbouring Suriname and French Guiana, which will encompass many cultural, unique environments from waterfalls to mangrove swamps and offer you all kinds of cuisine from fine French wine to spicy curries!