Unadulterated fun and adventure in Guyana is the hallmark of the country’s attractions. One such compelling reason to get here is the 4X4 safari through the tough North Pakaraima Mountain tracks that lie on the western edge of the country. The safari first commenced in March 2003, when a troupe of four Land Rovers and two tractors and trailers journeyed from Karasabai to Orinduik Falls and set the tone of adventure for the years to come. Today, this is one of the most coveted activities for travellers, who can choose from four off-road safaris throughout the year that cover the length and breadth of the country. Of these, the North Pakaraima Safari, is timed just before Easter for an 8-day adventure from Georgetown all the way to Lethem. It traverses high mountains, dense forests with abundant wildlife, hilltop villages, stunning campsites and ends at the Rupununi Rodeo festivities.
Here are the top five reasons to secure your spot on the next North Pakaraima Mountain 4X4 Safari in Guyana:
- Pulse-quickening experience: The 4X4 safari in the North Pakaraima Mountains offers an ample dose of action since the convoy crosses rivers, steep hillsides and muddy trails of the rainforests. There are parts with over 60-degree inclines, which are exhilarating to cross in one swift move. Expect a lot of grunt, grind and thrilling moments to maneuver through and travelling with a close-knit group who is always available to help. Off-road enthusiasts can choose to hire their own SUVs or be accommodated in other cars going in the safari.
- Varied landscapes: A long trip from the northern edge of the country to the southern countryside of Guyana means that one gets to traverse through a lot of different landscapes. Expect to be flanked by towering 100 feet tall trees in thick rainforests, stop to witness stunning waterfalls like Orinduik on the edge of Brazil and grasslands teeming iconic wildlife. The safari also passes through welcoming Karasabai Village, which is one of the best birding hot spots for sun parakeets in Guyana. The best of part of the trip is camping out in tents or swinging asleep on a hammock under the stars.
- Community tourism: The safari is designed in a manner that everyone gets to experience a different side of life in the far-flung villages of Guyana. The convoy crosses through 15 indigenous villages, making some of them their home for the night. It’s an excellent way to see local life, their tribulations and celebrations if you happen to arrive during a festival. Most of the communities serve meals or sell fruit and handicrafts on these trips. This is great way for your visit to directly benefit the villagers and their communities.
- Meeting great people: The most thrilling part of the safari is the lifelong friendships that are made on a trip like this. Sharing the hardship on the road, helping each other out of difficult situations (including the correct way to hang a hammock), sharing a cold beer by cascading waterfalls and endless selfies with each other, frame not just the moment but also memories to last a lifetime. Not only do you get to travel with local adventure enthusiasts, but other travellers from all over the world.
- Lethem and the rodeo festivities: The North Pakaraima Safari is timed in a manner that the convoy reaches Lethem on the border of Brazil, just in time for the annual Rupununi Rodeo celebrations. The two-day festival falls on the Easter weekend and is a wonderful showcase of life in the Rupununi and their mainstay of farms and vaquero life. The Rodeo is a 48-hour party with a number of family friendly vaquero events in the day and nights of live music, dancing and drinking. The stands are packed to the rafters to cheer their favourite vaqueros from different ranches, enthralling the crowd with taming horses and bulls or riding them bareback bronco or saddles. There are lighter events for the audience to participate as well. The safari convoy reaches just in time for the festivities and is the perfect way to indulge after the rough and tumble of the off-road adventure of a lifetime.
Travel Better in Guyana: Guyana is working hard to conserve its vibrant wildlife and ecosystems and protect its culture and heritage. We realize that it is often difficult to understand how you can support these aims and make a difference when you travel. That’s why we’ve set out to help you by creating Visitor Guidelines for Sustainable Travel. All passionate globetrotters, curious culture seekers, and bold adventurers are encouraged to do all you can to leave a positive impact on the people and places you visit in Guyana.