This morning you have the opportunity to visit the Canopy Walkway as dawn breaks. Short-tailed nighthawks settle in for the day, swifts take to the sky, white-throated and channel-billed toucans yodel, and barred forest falcons call. The unusually timid black curassow can also be seen as at least one family party has become habituated and regularly feeds in the clearing of Atta Rainforest Lodge. The clearing around the lodge is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the crimson fruitcrow. This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis, coming in to feed in some of the nearby trees.
After breakfast we transfer by 4 x 4 along a trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive jaguar. The Iwokrama Forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans.
Along the road, we keep a look out for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including crimson and purple-necked fruitcrows, crimson topaz, green oropendula, spotted and Guianan puffbirds, scarlet and red-and-green macaws, blue-cheeked and orange-winged parrots and grey-winged trumpeters. This road is the only north - south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, including agouti, tayra, puma, tapir and black curassow. The road travels through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains with excellent opportunities for savannah birding. The Jabiru stork is often seen along this stretch of road.
Eventually we reach the Rupununi Savannah which is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland. It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive. Indeed, one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort. Needless to say, the birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rainforest.
We depart via a scheduled flight that takes us over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
The tour of Georgetown includes St. George’s Cathedral, consecrated in 1892 and one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. The foundation stone was laid on November 23, 1890 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield. The history of Guyana and the cathedral is depicted inside.
Other historic buildings on the tour include the Public Library, housed in the Carnegie Building on Avenue of the Republic, the gothic-styled Town Hall, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk - the oldest surviving church structure in Guyana, the National Museum and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology.
The famous Stabroek Market, once described as a “bizarre bazaar”, contains every conceivable item from household goods and gold jewellery to fresh meat and vegetables brought to town on the river daily. The clock tower can be seen for miles around and is a famous landmark. The Botanical Gardens house one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean and the Zoo has over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife including a wide variety of tropical fish and birds.
The tour is accompanied by an experienced guide who explains the history and facts and legends of Georgetown and its citizens. A vehicle is used for travel between areas of interest. During the