Gaining its independence 50 years ago, Guyana was formerly part of the British Empire. Bordering Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil, this English speaking country is part of both the Amazon Biome and Guiana Shield, a two billion year old Precambrian crystalline rock formation, which is home to one of the largest portions of pristine forest in the world.
Guyana contains a combination of magnificent landscapes and great diversity of spectacular wildlife and plants. Jaguars, harpy eagles, giant anteaters, a multitude of attractive birds, many endemic species and more wonderful creatures inhabit and coexist in the interior of its green lands. 85% of the country is covered by intact forest as well as wide network of rivers, rich wetlands and vast open savannahs that need to be preserved, sustained, discovered and valued.
The presence of protected areas such as Kaieteur, Iwokrama or Shell Beach attracts travellers looking for new ways of exploring nature. Ways that include being actively engaged in the conservation of its biodiversity and habitats, while also empowering local communities – this is exactly what we do in our Lost World of Three Guyanas small group tour. Guyana’s iconic landscapes and location go in fact way beyond their immediate and captivating beauty: they play a key role in reestablishing a true link between humans and nature.
Take the Kaieteur National Park and its waterfalls for example. These are one of the world’s most powerful falls with a height of 741ft (almost five times that of Niagara Falls.) They are also home for many incredible species that only inhabit this part of the world, such as the golden rocket frog.
Iwokrama is another special place, where biodiversity protection, sustainable uses of forest and eco-tourism have met. A worksite for conservation managed in partnership with local communities on one hand, and one of the natural wonders of Guyana’s interior on the other, this protected area features a suspended path set above the forest floor where travellers can wonder into the thick rainforest canopies and see species that could never be seen from the ground.
Iwokrama provides that natural attractions can also be essential to actively involve indigenous communities in the conservation of their own lands.
Other eco-tourism destinations with similar purposes include the North and South Rupununi, where the local ranch and cattle culture of the Amerindians has found a new purpose within tourism; and Shell Beach, a long stretch of beaches that are important marine turtle nesting grounds, located on the coast close to Venezuela.
Tips for travelling to Guyana –
Dreaming of exploring the Guyanas? Join us on our small group tour!
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.