Waterfalls, Rainforests and Wildlife, a Guyana exploration with Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell
Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell invites you to join him on an exploration of gloriously unspoilt Guyana. Embark on a journey through this fabulous country, immersing yourself in the wilderness, drinking in the capital city and culture, before taking to the rainforest in search of nature’s most exotic birds and wildlife.
This small, beautiful country on the northern coast of South America is sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname and blessed with an extraordinary landscape of towering trees, large mountains and sprawling savannahs. Also known as the ‘land of many waters’, the rivers that flow through Guyana foster an ecosystem that allows flora and fauna to flourish, resulting in a rich and diverse variety of wildlife and plants.
Our Guyana itinerary has been meticulously crafted for a small group of like-minded individuals looking to discover the delights of this widely unexplored and fascinating country. Over the course of this 12-day expedition, you’ll have the chance to explore the country in depth. The journey begins in capital city of Georgetown, which makes for an exciting gateway before heading out to revel in nature’s treasures: From a chartered flight over Kaieteur Falls, paddling up the Rupununi River and watching Guyana’s national flower bloom as dusk falls, to learning how to make delicious local dishes, you’re guaranteed to return home with memories to treasure for a lifetime.
Having spent many years exploring Latin America, our very own Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, co-owner and director of cazenove+loyd, is the ideal leader for this extraordinary journey. Capitalising on his rich varied experiences in the region, Christopher has ensured that our guests will experience Guyana in the finest way possible.
Truly one for your bucket list, let us introduce you to one of Latin America’s most remarkable countries on this unique Small Group Trip.
What makes this trip spectacular?
Chartered flight over the Kaieteur Falls – the world’s longest single drop waterfall
Travel on a chartered flight to the breath-taking Kaieteur Falls and experience a bird’s eye view of the majestic waterfall as it plummets some 224 metres onto the rocks. This is Guyana’s landmark attraction and the world’s longest single drop waterfall. On the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to view the falls from several vantage points – as the waterfall thunders down, a magical, misty spray forms in its wake, creating perpetual rainbows that seem to chase each other across the falls.
The Kaieteur National Park is also home to numerous exotic flora and fauna, some of which can only be found in Kaietuer, including the makonaima bird or ‘Kaieteur swift’ as it’s known locally. There is also the opportunity to spot the tiny golden frog and the rare ‘cock- of-the-rock’ bird.
Situated in central Guyana is the Iwokrama Rainforest, complete with several trails and an epic canopy walkway. With four suspension bridges leading to three platforms (the highest of which is 30 metres from the ground), you can enjoy a treetop vantage point, which allows for an excellent opportunity to spot some of Guyana’s most exotic birds in their natural habitat.
Many bird species, amphibians, insects and primates make the forest their home, making the Iwokrama forest a remarkable destination for nature-lovers, birdwatchers or anyone seeking an authentic retreat into the rainforest.
Be part of a caiman conservation project
Set in the heart of the Yupukari Village is Caiman House Field Station, an education centre focused on research and conservation. Guests are welcomed into the village with open arms by the Wapishana and Makushi, indigenous peoples who are working together to oversee community-led development initiatives, including the Black Caiman Conservation Project. From the safety of a separate boat, you’ll witness the indigenous crew search and capture black caiman on the river, then join them to assist with data collection – think weight, measurement and sex – before the reptile is lovingly released back into its natural habitat.
The Journey You Will Take
This 12-day expedition begins in the capital city of Georgetown, which makes for an exciting gateway before heading out to revel in Guyana's natural treasures
Day By Day Itinerary
Arrival in Georgetown
Welcome to Guyana! On your arrival there will be a driver waiting to take you to Cara Lodge, a hotel that was once home to the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown.
Where You Will Be Staying For Two Nights
Built in the 1840s, Cara Lodge is one of the oldest and grandest structures in Georgetown, famous for welcoming international dignitaries such as King Edward VIII and President Jimmy Carter. Not only is this boutique hotel rich in tradition and nostalgia, but it also offers a supreme comfort level and the premium service one would expect from an international luxury hotel.
Your introduction to Guyana starts with food. Enjoy a morning tour of the markets with your host for the day, chef Delven Adams. From fabulous fish and meat to exotic fruit and vegetables, he will gather ingredients that you would like to try. Then, as you continue your tour of the city with a guide, he will head to his kitchen to prepare lunch.
After lunch in his famous Backyard Café, you’ll visit the Botanical gardens and wildlife rehabilitation centre, with a chance to meet and feed endangered West Indian manatees.
In the early evening, you will take to the Demerara River for evening drinks and snacks.
Kaieteur Falls & Rewa Community
The world’s tallest single drop waterfall is simply spectacular. You will travel in a chartered aircraft to view the majestic falls before moving on to Apoteri. A 20-minute river trip along the Rupununi River leads to the Rewa community, keep your eyes open for giant otters and colourful birdlife along the way.
This will be your first night in the interior of the country, staying in an eco-lodge on the edge of the river surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the forest.
Where you will be staying for two nights
The Rewa village community constructed this ecolodge in 2005 to establish a sustainable ecotourism business owned and operated by its people. The gorgeous riverside location is the ideal spot in which to relax and get a taste for local culture and the community, who pride themselves on exceptional service.
Rupununi River & Wildlife
Early this morning you will take to the Rupununi River with your guide, then hike up Awarmie Mountain looking out for a variety of birds and Black Spider Monkeys. Once at the top you’ll enjoy spectacular views, including a look at the oldest mountain in South America – Makarapan.
In the afternoon, you’ll travel further up the river discovering beautiful lakes, rock formations and sandbanks, as well as a variety of wildlife.
Venture along the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
After breakfast, you’ll head on to your next adventure in the Iwokrama Forest. On a guided rainforest walk you’ll learn about the medicinal uses of native plants, as well as enjoy an opportunity to spot Guyana’s ‘must see’ birds.
The next couple of nights will be spent in the beautiful Atta Rainforest Lodge, which boasts the sensational Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Feeling brave? Take a walk across the four suspension bridges, elevated up to 30 metres above the ground.
Where you will be staying for two nights
Atta Rainforest Lodge
Atta Rainforest Lodge places guests at one with the wild thanks to its stunning rainforest location. Hammocks and outdoor benches adorn the beautiful gardens, home to fabulous heliconias that attract more than 10 different types of hummingbirds. Expect warm Amerindian hospitality and delicious homecooked meals.
Explore Iwokrama Forest
You’ll be up extra early this morning to return to the canopy for birdwatching. From the tree top vantage point, you’ll be able to spot a host of different birds as the sun rises over the beautiful rainforest landscape around you.
Iwokrama Forest has a variety of different trails where you can take the time to explore and observe wildlife in its natural habitat. Then, as darkness falls, you can join the guides on a night walk, with the possibility to spot one of Guyana’s big cats roaming the rainforest.
Head to Surama & Burro Burro River
After saying goodbye, you’ll be whisked to our next stop – the indigenous community of Surama – located in the heart of Guyana. You will be staying in the Surama Eco Lodge, which is owned by the community.
Once settled, you’ll be guided across the savannah to the Burro Burro, where your guides will paddle you down the river while enlightening you on the rich local wildlife. You’ll be taken to an active harpy nest, on the lookout for the near-threatened Harpy Eagle (one of the largest eagles in the world), which fortunately still finds refuge in Guyana.
Where you’ll be staying for one night
Set amongst savannah and ringed by the Pakaraima Mountains, Surama Ecolodge is the perfect place to learn about Amerindian culture while exploring the pristine rainforest. Profits from the lodge go directly to the village council, who decide how they will be best spent to benefit the whole community.
Journey to Aranaputa & Karanambu
Get ready for an active day of sightseeing. Visit the village of Aranaputa and the community-operated peanut butter factory. From there, you will continue on for an authentic home-cooked lunch, listening to the fascinating stories of local character and host, Charlie De Freitas.
After lunch, you’ll make your way up the Rupununi River to Karanambu, a region rich in history that’s home to more than 600 species of bird and 200 mammals. At dusk, you’ll be taken by boat to look for wild giant river otters; on your return, you’ll be on the lookout for the creatures of the night.
Come nightfall, after a busy day, be sure to make use of the hammock on your veranda at Karanambu Lodge.
Where you will be staying for two nights
We love this lodge as it’s situated in a conservation area, making it the perfect place to spot some of Guyana’s most endangered wildlife species. Accommodation is in traditional clay and brick cabins, each with an ensuite and a veranda, which makes for an enchanting and authentic stay.
Explore Karanambu and Wildlife
You’ll be up early this morning to visit an area of rolling grasslands, home to a population of giant anteaters. These fascinating animals excavate their breakfast from one of the termite mounds that studs the savannah.
The afternoon will be spent enjoying the beautiful rainforest landscape before embarking on an evening river excursion to look for more species of birds and wildlife. A feature bird of the area is the agami heron, which resides along the river.
Participate in Caiman Conservation
After breakfast, you’ll transfer upriver by motorized boat to the Caiman House Field Station and Guest House, which focuses on research and conservation projects along the Rupununi River. As a guest, you’ll have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the black caiman.
You will accompany the crew as they search for the black caiman and observe the capture from a separate boat. You will then be given the opportunity to assist with the data collection and witness the animal’s release back into the river.
Where you will be staying for one night
Caiman House is a one-of-a-kind lodge situated in the heart of Yupukari Village. Made up of comfortable guest rooms that boast open decks dotted with hammocks, it’s perfect for evenings spent immersed in nature.
Where You Will Be Staying For Two Nights
You’ll be back at Cara Lodge for the next two nights – our firm favourite in Georgetown.
Discover Guyana’s Culture
Get ready for another early morning rise, this time on an excursion to Awariku Lake for bird and wildlife spotting, escorted by skilled guides.
Following the early morning adventure on the lake, you’ll be escorted to the airport to catch your flight to Georgetown.
On arrival, you’ll meet with a local guest speaker who will provide a presentation on Guyanese culture before enjoying a silver service Heritage Dinner in the historical Ballet Room of Cara Lodge.
Discover Guyana’s Cuisine
You will be up before dawn to travel to the Mahaica River, an excellent opportunity to spot Guyana’s national bird – the Hoatzin.
The afternoon will be spent at Bourda market collecting vegetables to make the seven curries you’ll be enjoying later in the afternoon. You’ll have the unique opportunity to visit a secret garden where you will be taken through the process of how each curry is made, learning special techniques from Eon John, the singing chef. Once prepared, you will sit under a gazebo to enjoy a delicious feast.
Your evening will finish with a private concert by Eon, who will entertain you with lovingly crafted Guyanese songs.
Your friendly driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport for the return flight home.
Meet Your Host
Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell is the Co-Owner + Director of cazenove+loyd. He is extremely well travelled and has led several very successful small group trips, including a private boat charter on the Irrawaddy in Myanmar and another private boat journey along the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia. His experience and knowledge of our destinations make him a wonderful, entertaining host and travel companion, full of inspiring stories and amusing anecdotes. Guyana is a particularly exciting trip for him to lead having set up the South American division of c+l 25 years ago.
Christopher meticulously refines every itinerary, ensuring that his guests are introduced to the country in the best way possible- travel in Guyana particularly lends itself to this with good lodges and guides few and far between. He believes that every trip should form memories that last a lifetime, which means enjoying experiences that are truly unforgettable, meeting top specialist guides along the way and seeing a side of a place that others cannot usually access.
Per person based on two sharing . Single supplement: £2,194/ $2,677
- Accommodation, tours, transportation, and transfers as set out in the above itinerary
- Breakfast Lunch and Dinner (excluding arrival and departure days, dinner on Day 02 and lunch on Day 11)
- Limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
- Activities as described
- Local guides
- Kaieteur National Park fee
- Iwokrama Forest User Fee
- Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee
- Guide from Day 01 to Day 13
- International Flights
- Weight limit for domestic flights is 15kg with excess at approx. $4/kg
- Alcohol unless specifically stated as included
- Anything stated to be optional
- Telephone, laundry, or any personal items
- Travel insurance
- Entrance fees where you are not travelling with our guide
- Any surcharge levied on payment by Credit Cards
- Any changes you may choose to make during your holiday
- Departure tax
What You Need to Know
The Benefits of Small Group Travel
Our hand-picked specialists, guides and leaders ensure unrivalled insider access that you wouldn't normally be able to achieve unless you were travelling as a group, allowing guests to experience the destination in a very special way.
Small group travel gives you an amazing opportunity to spend time with true experts in their field. Each trip is accompanied by a cazenove+loyd Destination Expert– as well as top specialists, guides, and leaders.
MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS
Our Small Group Trips often form the beginning lifelong friendships. Much of the journey is spent as a group, however there is always plenty of time to relax and enjoy your own space too. Our trip leaders are brilliant at reading the group and being proactive and reactive to the flow of the trip.
DESIGNED BY EXPERTS
Each Small Group Trip is hand-crafted by one of our Destination Experts. Using their passion, knowledge, and curiosity for a destination they create a bespoke journey that showcases the wonders of the place you’re visiting.
Getting it right every time
Secure your Small Group Trip spot
Personalise + Extend
We work in some of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive parts of the world, so have always been conscious of operating in a way that has a positive impact on both the environment and the people.
When you join one of our Small Group Trips, we will make a contribution on your behalf to one of the following charities: All About the Light Foundation in Africa, ABOUTAsia Travel & Schools in Cambodia, the Alalay Foundation in Bolivia and Scott Polar Research Institute in the Polar Regions.
If you are interested, we are always keen to get clients involved in local projects and conservation efforts. Whether it be whale counting in Antarctica or rhino relocation in Kenya, you will leave knowing your actions have made a difference.
The price of all our Small Group Trips includes domestic flights but excludes international flights. We suggest flights for our clients that work well with the itinerary and are happy to book and manage these flights. However, you can also book your own international flights if you would prefer. We can also organise private charters and private jet travel for both international and domestic flights.
We have a fantastic VIP service in place to help you navigate the airport and make your journey as smooth and easy as possible. We can collect you from your home, take you to the airport and escort you through check-in and immigration to avoid any queues, straight through to the airport lounge before boarding your flight. The same service can be put in place on your return journey.
We understand that one of the most important factors to our clients is flexibility in order to give you peace of mind when booking your trip. If you would like to discuss the latest updates on flexibility on any of our luxury small group tours, feel free to contact us.
We have excellent relationships with a handful of insurance companies who provide various forms of cover. Each one offers a different policy with varying terms and conditions, so we strongly recommend getting a series of quotes and discussing your personal requirements in detail with them in order to find the best one for you.
Booking and travelling with an accredited tour operator is more important than ever. cazenove+loyd is a bonded tour operator and is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our ATOL number is 3208. This means that the UK government guarantees all funds paid out to a bonded operator and is bound to pay in full if the bond holder is unable to deliver as contracted. This gives our clients peace of mind and full financial protection. Please see our booking conditions for further information.
We have put the relevant measures in place on every one of our Small Group Trips, so that we are ready to welcome you safely. Sanitation and hygiene in our vehicles and the properties in which we will be staying is extensive, with cleaning protocols followed rigidly as well as other necessary safety requirements.
Each trip has a set price per person that is dependent on the intricacies of the itinerary. We have detailed above everything that is included, excluded and the cost of a single supplement if applicable. For the latest details on deposit and balance payments and schedules, please get in touch to speak to an expert.