Does untamed wildlife and pristine wilderness press all your buttons? Then the Protected Areas of Guyana should be on your itinerary. The spectacular timeless forests of these regions are home to countless species of fauna and flora, keeping things fresh at every new turn. The extraordinary jungle experience plus a glimpse into faraway villages makes a visit truly unique.
Kaieteur National Park
Epic views with superlative statistics complete the picture for Kaieteur visitors. The Potaro River thundering down 741 feet to a rock bed is the star of the entire experience. After all, it makes the Kaieteur Falls one of the highest single drop waterfalls in the world. Flights and overland treks allow for the splendid views of this frothy curtain of 30,000 gallons of water. To get a fully loaded experience of the National Park, stay for the 2-hour trip at the head of the Falls, seeing it from different viewpoints. Also, walk through the nature trail to spot the endemic, tiny poisonous golden frog and the bright orange cock-of-the-rock bird.
The Iwokrama protected region covers a million acres – an area so massive that it’s hard to imagine its complete span. But all you should know is that this is Guyana’s largest continuous woodland area and home to the best of nature – animals, birds, amphibians and plant life. The Essequibo runs through the forest, livening up the eco-system with a wide array of fish and caimans. This was once the land of Makushis where they hunted, fished and gathered food. History lovers will be happy to see scenes from their lives depicted in petroglyphs around the region. Little disturbed stretches of this virgin forest can be explored from different eco-lodges in the forest.
One of the wildest and remotest regions of Guyana, the Kanaku Mountains amp up the adventure quotient on several accounts. The forest is home to 60% of all bird species found in Guyana and over 150 mammals – a single stop for your wildlife cravings. Arresting sights guaranteed in this vibrant protected land include harpy eagles, jaguars, armadillos, giant river otters, giant anteaters and arapaima fish. No wonder the Wapishanas named the region ‘Kanaku’, which simply translates to ‘rich forest.’ Kanaku is one of the last remaining Amazonian habitats in the world.
Located in the far south of the country, Konashen is the first community-owned protected area of the country. The Wai Wai Indigenous people are the keepers of this land. They do so with gusto for strictly one reason – the forests of Konashen have been intact for centuries and their dense tracts are a sanctuary for wildlife. The reward for travelling to the deep south comes in the form of spotting giant armadillos, harlequin toads and Brazilian tapirs – three globally threatened species. Apart from these, one is never too far from labbas, jaguars, giant anteaters and more than 200 species of birds. It’s a virtual paradise for nature lovers