BOOK: My Guyana Jungle Adventures – By Lisbeth Cameron

This book is about my daily life in the Guyana bush during the early 1970’s. My husband worked for the Guyana Geological Surveys and Mines Department and at that time there were regular expeditions, made possible by the director Dr. Sobraham Singh, to the interior to map the geology and explore for minerals, and wives were allowed to accompany their husbands.

In my case I was joined by my cats and parrots. Most expeditions were by boat from Bartica to the Essequibo, Cuyuni and Mazaruni rivers. Each was fully equipped with everything that could be needed and food supplies could be supplemented by fishing and hunting. And there was pickled pork in big barrels.   

I describe these journeys and the day-to-day happenings and camaraderie in the field camps. No days were the same with so many things happening. But every day I was amazed at how well things were organised and just how comfortable and safe life could be living under tarpaulins.  But there were big spiders and snakes encounters and had it not been for the crew’s skills on the rivers, in the camps and the bush, it could have all been so different. I enjoyed every moment of it.

Portaging on the Cuyuni River.

You will follow me up the rivers where the impenetrable world slowly let itself known. You will learn, amongst other things, how camp life was organised, what to consider when setting up camps, how to organise hygiene and even bake bread, dry clothes, cut hair and play badminton. Described are the daily happenings with bush animals, insects, humidity and heat.

What does one do when ants are carrying away in a long stream the rice from the supply tent? How can escaped parrots be caught when the camp is about to move and they are up a tree and don’t wish to come down? Nature itself could be most unpredictable. Waking up in my hammock to a camp deeply flooded overnight is just one example.

Looking back this has become an historical account of Guyana life and scenes 50 years ago. Many pictures are included and I hope Guyanese readers may be able to discover pictures of family. I can see from modern pictures just how much Bartica has changed. But the bush and rivers must still be as they were.

The book can be purchased through or at a bookshop by quoting the ISBN which is 978-1-9998335-6-5.

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