Last Modified: 08 May 2013
Guyana Nature Experience
Trip code: GWSG
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2013
Visit one of South America's lesser known locations. Low in tourist numbers but high in natural beauty and friendly local faces, Guyana is a versatile destination that is sure to please. This sun-soaked tour visits the best of Guyana, beginning with the Caribbean beats of Georgetown. See the vibrant natural landscape of the Iwokrama Rainforest and marvel at the force of Kaieteur Falls. Search for jaguars on a safari adventure and paddle down the refreshing flow of the Burro Burro River. Along the way visit small villages and learn of the local customs and lifestyle, not to mention trying traditional South American cuisine.
Table of Contents
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Day 1 Georgetown
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Georgetown, the capital, and largest, city of Guyana is situated on the right bank of the Demerara River Estuary. It was chosen as a site for a fort to guard the early Dutch settlements along the river. The city of Georgetown was designed largely by the Dutch and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide, tree-lined avenues and irrigation canals that criss cross the city. Most of the buildings are wooden, and the main street contains several old colonial homes, including the State House, dating from 1852. Other sites worth visiting are St George's Cathedral, Avenue of the Republic, Stabroek Market, Botanical Gardens, National Museum, Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, and the Demerara Harbour Bridge - the longest floating bridge in the world.
- Complimentary airport arrival transfer
Lodge (1 nt)
Day 2 Kaieteur Falls
Travel to the famous Kaieteur Falls where the Potaro River flows over sandstone and drops 741 feet into a deep gorge below. There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. We then travel on to Orinduik Falls, where the Ireng River thunders over steps and terraces of solid jasper, a semi precious stone.
- Day trip to Kaieteur Falls & Orinduik Falls
Lodge (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Iwokrama Rainforest
This morning we transfer to Ogle Airstrip for a flight across the rainforest to Annai. We stop for lunch at Rock View Lodge and then transfer by 4x4 vehicle to Iwokrama River Lodge.
The Iwokrama Rainforest is a vast wilderness of one million acres, in the heart of one of four of the last untouched tropical forests of the world. This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development.
Iwokrama’s mission is a sustainable tourism program which hosts hundreds of visitors each year. Guests have an opportunity to learn about the research and conservation work at the Centre while experiencing the surrounding pristine rainforest first-hand. Iwokrama is home to a great number of bird species and during the right season there is probably no better place on earth to see jaguars in the wild with many visitors viewing the big cats at dusk or dawn.
The afternoon here is free to explore the trails around the lodge with a ranger.
After dark, we’ll set out on the river, in hopes of finding one or another of its four species of caiman, and listen for nightbirds such as owls, potoos, herons and nightjars. You may almost certainly see snakes including Cox boa, tree frogs and if lucky maybe some mammals. Maybe even a puma or capybara.
Accommodation is offered in eight timber cabins with shingle roofs, on the banks of the Essequibo River. Each cabin has it’s own bathroom facilities and veranda overlooking the river. Running water and flush toilets are standard, however water is not heated (and rarely desired in the tropical heat).
Electricity is provided by a combination of solar and diesel generator systems, and wireless internet access is provided for free in the main building. Meals are served buffet-style in the Fred Allicock dining hall, where you can mingle with the rangers, administrative and scientific staff.
Making an early start we will embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate Indian House Island giving us a chance for dawn song on the river including five species of tinamou, marbled wood-quail, band-rumped swift, white-banded and black-collared swallows, and Guianan streaked-antwren before returning to the River Lodge for breakfast.
After breakfast, you will leave the river lodge for the journey to Turtle Mountain, and an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at 935 ft (approx. 360 m). It takes nearly 2 hours to walk up the mountain, but the effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy when you get there, and chances of sighting of green aracari, white bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing black spider monkeys and red howler monkeys, and if we are very lucky, even a jaguar. This pristine forest offers huge buttress trees and the endemic greenheart, a highly sought after hardwood. Return to the River Lodge for lunch.
As the afternoon cools we'll set out on a boat trip to visit Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs (dependent on the water level). Then visit the small Amerindian village of Fair View where you can experience the processing and use of cassava, the staple of the Amerindian diet. We will also visit the Butterfly Farm where butterflies are bred for export.
- Night wildlife-spotting river trip
- Kurupukari Falls & Amerindian village visit
- Morning Essequibo River trip
Lodge (2 nts)
Day 5 Iwokrama Canopy
At dawn take a wildlife walk with an Iwokrama Ranger close to the River Lodge.
After breakfast we will transfer you by 4x4 along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive jaguar. The Iwokrama Forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky! Along the road, we will watch for the myriad bird species that frequent the forest edge, including macaws and parrots. This road is the only north–south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, such as agoutis, tayras, pumas and tapirs. The journey concludes at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is a great place to bird watch from the vantage of 35 metres up in the canopy. Parakeets, Guianan puffbirds, woodpeckers, antwrens, Caica parrots, and a host of crown specialists may come within our view. From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see red howler monkeys and black spider monkeys.
At the base of the canopy walkway is Atta Rainforest Lodge, resting amidst towering trees and grassy lawns. The lodge provides comfortable accommodation with 8 private rooms, three home-cooked meals per day, and ample opportunities to explore the surrounding rainforest by foot, canoe, or 4X4.
The trails around the lodge have an interpretative walk with the trees named and you can learn about their varied uses in the Makushi culture. Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge.
- Dawn wildlife walk
- Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
- Jaguar spotting 4x4 drive
Lodge (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Surama Village
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway. Short-tailed nighthawks settle in for the day, swifts take to the sky, white throated and channel-billed toucans yodel, and barred forest falcons call. The unusually timid black curassow can also be seen as at least one family party has become habituated and regularly feeds in the clearing of the lodge.
After breakfast travel by 4x4 vehicle to a trail in the Iwokrama Forest to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianian cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can show the use of the plants.
We continue on to the Amerindian village of Surama. The village is set in five square miles of savannah and surrounded by the densely forested Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices of their ancestors. On arrival in Surama receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle into your accommodation. Your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses. Later in the afternoon a local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. See the forest through the eyes of your indigenous guide and learn about the medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.
Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the exhilarating climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Breakfast will be served at a lookout point which affords incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains.
Return to village for lunch and then take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe giant river otters, tapirs, spider monkeys and many more species. Return to the village for sunset.
- Village Visit
- Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
- Canoe trip on Burro Burro River
Lodge (2 nts)
Days 8-9 Annai
After breakfast depart Surama by 4x4 vehicle for Rock View Lodge at Annai. The road travels through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains with excellent opportunity for seeing bird life of the savannah. Jabiru storks are often seen along this stretch of road.
Eventually we reach the Rupununi Savannah and Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and sparse woodland. Much of it is devoted to cattle raising, although one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort.
Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own.
At dawn take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular, as is the variety of bird life you are likely to encounter.
Today you can visit nearby Amerindian villages. Enjoy an explanation and demonstration of traditional cashew nut roasting.
Finish the day with drinks around the pool.
- Amerindian Village Visit, Annai - Free
Lodge (2 nts)
Days 10-11 Karanambu
After breakfast transfer by 4x4 vehicle along the road through the savannah and at the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. Jabiru storks and toucans are often seen along this stretch of road, as are red howler and spider monkeys. From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Ranch. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for giant otters as there are several family groups which live along this stretch of the Rupununi River. The journey ends at Karanambu Ranch, the home of Diane McTurk, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters. Diane sometimes has resident orphaned otters and you can help her as she tends to them.
Late in the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild giant river otters, and as dusk falls we travel to the ponds to see the giant Victoria Regis waterlily, bloom at dusk. On the return trip we will spotlight for black caimans and birds and other creatures of the night. Dinner with Diane will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannah.
The next day is free for you to relax or further explore the area around the ranch.
You can visit Simoni Pond for some of the best inland fishing in Guyana including peacock bass, or explore the flooded forest or savannah.
An evening visit to Crane Pond to see hundreds of ibis, anhingas, herons and egrets roosting is a highlight. If you are interested in birdwatching you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where we’ll hope to find such species as spotted puffbird, striped woodcreeper, pale-bellied tyrant-manakin, golden-spangled piculet, bearded tachuri and capuchinbird. When water levels are appropriate a wooded swamp near the ranch is the site of a surprisingly large colony of boat-billed herons, as well as several species of egrets, anhingas and wattled jacarnas. A feature bird for the area is the agami heron.
- Birdwatching, Karanambu - Free
- Fishing at Simoni Pond, Karanambu - USD15.00
Lodge (2 nts)
Day 12 Yupukari Village
This morning travel out onto the savannah to search for a giant anteater. Explore the Rupununi River in search of wild giant river otters, black caimans and arapaimas.
After breakfast transfer by boat, birdwatching along the way, to the Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. Caiman House is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an internet-enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a nonprofit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development.
Tonight enjoy a foray on the Rupununi River from Caiman House Field Station. As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the black caiman, the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. Guests will observe the capture from a separate boat, but will be offered the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caimans are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river. The research has already discovered interesting information on caimans’ nests that was previously unknown.
Skilled guides expertly escort visitors aboard outboard powered boats, and help to interpret the sights and sounds of the river after dark. Just after dark many creatures emerge such as caimans, boas, iguanas, frogs, and many fish species, including piranhas. Sleeping birds, bats, (harmless) spiders, insects, moths, and more can be closely approached in way not possible during the hours of light. Less likely, but not rare, sightings include possums, tree dwelling rodents, capybara and sleeping monkeys (esp. squirrel monkeys) amongst other mammals. Few nights pass without some unusual offering.
Please note that if the water level is too high the caiman experience may not be available. In these cases an alternative wildlife-spotting boat trip will be offered instead.
Lodge (1 nt)
Days 13-14 Georgetown
This morning we will have some time to visit the village, to learn about their way of life. Or go birdwatching in search of the many good savannah, gallery forest and river-edge birds found in the Caiman House area.
After an early lunch take a flight back to Georgetown.
This afternoon we take a guided tour of Georgetown. The tour will take us along the avenues with an experienced guide. Along the way sample exotic local fruits, snacks and refreshments. There is also time to purchase unique gifts and handicrafts. If you are feeling brave you might like to delve into the gold and diamond market.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Lodge (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- GWSG Single Supplement (GWSG)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
You should be aware that the climate in Guyana is very hot and humid, so please factor this in along with your general fitness when deciding if this trip is right for you.
Throughout the trip there are more adventurous optional activities that require some consideration regarding your physical abilities to complete the activity.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The unit of currency in Guyana is the Guyanese dollar (G$). ATMs can be hard to find, but cash can be exchanged in banks or cambios (exchange houses). Cambios normally offer the best exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted at upmarket hotels and restaurants in Georgetown, but are not widespread. The best currencies for exchange are US$ or GBP.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping is not expected, but appreciated if you are happy with the service. As a guide, a 10% tip is adequate. In the interior it is suggested that tips are given to the manager or village captain for equal distribution amongst all involved. In the interior a tip is better in Guyanese dollars rather than foreign currency, as there are no facilities for exchanging the money.
Departure tax of G$4,000/GBP13/US$20 is payable in cash (Guyana dollars, Sterling or US dollars).
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Wilderness Explorers and is a "join in" adventure, which means you may be joining with other non Intrepid Travel passengers for the duration of this tour.
There is no minimum age on this trip however anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian. You should be aware that some activities have a minimum age of 12, and child-sized equipment may not always be available.
Maximum of 10 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Lodge (13 nts)
Most of the lodges are quite simple. Some accommodation has shared bathroom facilities, and hot water and electricity are not always available. The lodges generally do not have air-conditioning.
13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
The blend of different ethnic influences – Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, English, Portuguese, Amerindian, North American – gives a distinctive flavour to Guyanese cuisine. Whilst on tour the food is of a very good standard with fresh beef, chicken and fish and plenty of vegetables and fruit. Special diets can be catered for but we must be informed in advance so that appropriate food can be supplied.
Boat, 4x4, Plane
The tracks in the interior can be extremely difficult and seem impassable. However, the drivers are very experienced and are normally able to pass through flooded creeks and seemingly undriveable stretches of road. Consequently, the 4x4s range from excellent condition to battered old Land Rovers or a safari-style truck. Inevitably, from time to time vehicles do break down, but the drivers are masters at fixing them on the spot and they are prepared for the more frequent repairs. In many cases the travel can be in hot and dusty conditions and even in the back of a pickup or truck.
Some light aircraft are used on this trip. Aircraft used are Briton Norman Islanders and Cessna Caravans. Flights typically have a maximum of 9 or 13 seats.
Life jackets are provided while travelling on boats.
On this trip you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader. Instead there will be a local leader for each region that we visit. They will all be to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. While some may not be guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
10 Aug 2013 (GWSG130810), 07 Sep 2013 (GWSG130907), 12 Oct 2013 (GWSG131012), 09 Nov 2013 (GWSG131109), 07 Dec 2013 (GWSG131207)
294 Quamina Street
Phone: 592 225 5301
Fax: 592 225 5310
Joining point instructions
A local representative from our partners, Wilderness Explorers, will meet you on arrival at Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan International Airport and transfer you to the hotel. Please advise us of your flight details at least 14 days prior to departure to ensure we are able to provide this service. The arrivals hall is quite small so there should be no problem finding the representative, however if you unable to locate them, please call +592 6242225.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
10 Aug 2013 (GWSG130810), 07 Sep 2013 (GWSG130907), 12 Oct 2013 (GWSG131012), 09 Nov 2013 (GWSG131109), 07 Dec 2013 (GWSG131207)
294 Quamina Street
Phone: 592 225 5301
Fax: 592 225 5310
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
Shorts and sandals are acceptable attire, even in the evenings. Comfortable walking shoes or boots, and trekking sandals are highly recommended. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are essential.
We also recommend that you bring a good pair of binoculars.
There is a strict luggage limit on internal flights of 20 lbs per person.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Tap water is not safe to drink however bottled water is available everywhere. Due to the remote locations we visit, having water refill stations is not practical so we advise you to purchase bottled water, and dispose of the bottles thoughtfully and responsibly.
REMOTE AREA TRAVEL:
Please note this trip operates in remote regions and as such medical facilities may be difficult to access. If you have any medical conditions or take any form of medication please provide full details & nature of condition. Please provide details of medication taken.
Many visitors are surprised at the lack of bugs and mosquito’s in the dry season in Guyana. Quite often tourists mention that they have more at home. Many of the areas you visit in Guyana’s interior will have no malaria. However you should consult your physician prior to your departure. Dengue fever is also a risk, and Guyana is regarded as a yellow-fever infected area so your next destination may require a vaccination certificate.
All beds in the interior are netted. It is advisable to use an insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long trouser at night. The mosquito’s are at their worst at dusk and dawn.
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY
Like any city, certain areas of Georgetown are not particularly safe, especially after dark. Our local representative or hotel reception will be able to advise you. You should especially not go out alone at night, and should use a taxi at night to get around. In general though you will find Guyanese people to be extremely friendly and helpful. In the interior and at the lodges it is very safe and secure.
Official taxis can be identified by a "H" on the number plate. It is recommended that you have the hotel reception organise a taxi for you from a reputable country. Taxis do not have meters, but do have set fares for a route. A short trip around Georgetown should cost approximately US$1.20, or US$4.50 for an hour.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.