TRAVEL: Guyana Nature Experience – 12-day Itinerary into the Interior

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Guyana Nature Experience

This classic, 12-day, small-group scheduled departure takes in many of the highlights of Guyana:
Visit Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls before travelling to the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve and its lodges for jungle hikes, boat trips, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive jaguar. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before going into the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and black caiman at Karanambu.



The beauty of the Rupununi region is on full display in this short video. You can also get a quick look at the Karanambu Lodge and some very cute giant river otter pups. There are a couple of additonal surprises, as well. Watch the video. 


PERSON OF THE MONTH – MELANIE MCTURK was supposed to be a chemist, but true love derailed those plans. Melanie McTurk, who is currently part of the leadership team at the Karanambu Lodge, first fell in love with the Rupununi region of Guyana. She then fell in love with Edward McTurk. And, finally, she fell in love with giant river otters. The net result of all these affections is that the Georgetown native now leads the Karanambu team in its giant river otter rescue and reintroduction program.

Melanie also serves as the current President of Visit Rupununi – Guyana’s first Regional Destination Management Organisation, and is the founder of Eiripan – a charity that promotes literacy, participation in the development process and culture preservation in indigenous communities across the Rupununi. She is proud to carry on the work of Diane McTurk and is always more than happy to share its wonders with Karanambu Lodge visitors.



There are five reasons Guyana is often referred to as “The Land of The Giants.” The giant river otter is one of them.*

These playful characters are social animals, and can be found in groups along most rivers in Guyana’s interior region. However, that wasn’t always the case.
Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, poachers would hunt the animals for their valuable pelts, often orphaning their pups. Not surprisingly, the survival rate of these defenseless pups in the jungle was minimal.
In the 1980’s, a friend bestowed Diane McTurk (aka Auntie Dee to many locals) with a giant river otter pup as a Christmas gift. McTurk,who opened the Karanambu Lodge a decade earlier, named the pup Frankincense, or Frankie. And so began Auntie Dee’s work with giant river otter pups.
Over the next three decades, until her death in 2016, Diane McTurk rescued approximately 60 giant river otter pups, guiding their growth until they were ready to be reintroduced to the wild, a process that takes two to three years. Auntie Dee and the rescue team learned the importance of helping the pups maintain their wild instincts that would be necessary for them to survive once reintroduced.
“We try to fulfill that space in an orphaned otter’s life,” says Melanie McTurk, who is part of the team carrying on Auntie Dee’s work at Karanambu today. “For two to three years, we’re here to support them, until they are strong and independent enough to survive on their own.” Today, giant river otter populations have rebounded, though the species is still listed as Endangered by IUCN, and protected by the government.
Visitors to the Karanambu Lodge have the opportunity to seethe giant river otter rescue at work. They can observe how the pups play, swim and feed, and how the rescue team works to maintain the pups’ natural wild instincts.
It’s a perfect example of how tourism can help support grassroots conservation efforts, and once it’s safe to travel again, we encourage travellers to come and enjoy this fascinating program and why your trip to Guyana helps to give back to Planet Earth.
 * There are an average of 15 known giant species in Guyana.Some of the other popular ones you can see include the giant anteater, the arapaima (largest scaled fresh water fish), the jaguar (largest cat in the Americas) and black caiman (largest member of the Alligatoridae family).
 You can learn more about Conservation and SAVE (Scientific,Academic, Volunteer & Educational) Travel in the Guyana SAVE Travel Guide.

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  • kamtanblog  On 08/30/2020 at 3:07 am

    Beautiful Guyana 🇬🇾
    Eco tourism great 👍

    Direct flights UK/EU/USA/CANADA wayforward
    2021 and beyond….

    Kamtan uk

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