How to make the most of your trip to Guyana? The easiest answer would be, ‘Visit Rupununi’. A dose of deep jungles and savannahs of North Rupununi offers only a glimpse of what’s to come. South and Central Rupununi offer travellers unending tracts of wilderness, unique animals and birds, along with an authentic taste of ranch life. Every hill and riverside throws up breathtaking scenery and the best way to take it all in is to travel slowly and to savour nature’s bounty.
Lethem and Around
Located at the border with Brazil, the town of Lethem is home to the annual Rupununi Rodeo that takes place on Easter weekend. The red laterite roads flanked with golden brown savannahs, massive termite hills and rainforests, make for a truly picturesque location. Use Lethem as the base to explore cattle-filled ranches, community led eco-lodges and indigenous villages. The wildlife here is equally unique, giant anteaters, red siskins, giant anacondas and a host of other animals and birds, makes this region an amazing place for wildlife enthusiasts.
If you haven’t already, add this to your wish list right away! Watching a vaquero show off his skills of saddle bronc or bareback riding will take you back to memories of films about the American Wild West. The two-day event is a throbbing party of cowboy hats and boots, beer and rodeo events that will enthral you. The Rupununi Rodeo is followed by the lesser-known Sand Creek Rodeo which takes place a day later. It’s a great way to extend an epic weekend and watch more barrel racing, tie down roping and, bull and horse riding.
Living The Ranch Life
Dust off your cowboy hat and boots, and saddle up! This is going to be a ride of a lifetime. Check-in at some of the oldest and most iconic working ranches in the South Rupununi to experience life in a typical cattle farm. Dadanawa used to be the largest ranch in the world at one point in time. The vast verdant landscape, vegetable gardens and cassava farmlands and the bounty of organic foods truly celebrate the fertile Rupununi landscape. Riding into the sunset may be on your mind but if you are staying here, then plan to get dirty – herd the cows back, clean them and feed the pigs and poultry. The ranch life is authentic as it gets on a trip to Guyana.
Get Lost in the South
Come back with some tremendous memories from the South Rupununi. Your list could include the “999-steps” hike to the Mountain plateau at Moco Moco Village, to dipping your travel-weary feet in the cool waters of Kumu Falls. In the deep south, Konashen offers close encounters with wildlife and birds and if you are lucky, you may be able to spot the iconic jaguar. This was Guyana’s first community owned and protected region where visitors can enjoy primary evergreen forests and golden savannahs, and an astounding variety of wild creatures. The rugged beauty and rustic charm of Rupununi is at full display here, so be sure to have time on your hands to take in all in.