Perched on South America’s North Atlantic coast, Guyana is a vibrant country where nature is celebrated in all its wild and unruly glory. In this tropical haven, you’ll find a luscious landscape that’s teeming with diverse animals. From the rare birds nestled in the treetops of Iwokrama Forest to the free-roaming mammals in the Rupununi Savannah, Guyana is a treasure trove for explorers seeking unique wildlife-viewing opportunities – and, as soon as it’s safe to travel again, you can experience the best of it for yourself.
As a country that carries the torch for sustainable tourism, Guyana offers travellers the chance to reconnect with nature in a responsible and constructive way. For a truly authentic experience and a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, it’s worth booking a stay at one of the region’s eco-lodges. Many offer guests the chance to join planned wildlife excursions, as well as the opportunity to spend time within local communities.
Amazingly, Guyana has a human population of just under 800,000, so it really is the perfect destination for getting off the beaten track and back to nature. What’s more, it’s the only country in South America where English is the official language, which means you'll be able to communicate easily during your stay. Are you excited to visit Guyana? Start planning your trip now.
Sprawling across an impressive 627km² of the Guiana Shield – one of only four pristine rainforests in the world – Kaieteur National Park is the beating heart of Guyana. This fertile landscape has been left virtually untouched by humans so, naturally, the region is home to a plethora of diverse animals and insects.
One of the park’s most notable residents is the golden frog, a rare species of amphibian that thrives amongst the giant tank bromeliads succulents. Overhead, you may catch a glimpse of the red howler monkeys, who use their specially adapted tails to swing between the towering trunks and branches. Of course, these unique creatures have earnt their name for a reason, so you’ll likely hear their distinctive calls before you actually see them!
While you’re here, join a tour to the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, which can be found just southwest of the park and is most easily accessible by plane. At a staggering 482m tall, this natural phenomenon is one of the world’s most powerful single drop waterfalls and reaches almost five times the height of Niagara Falls.
Bordered on the west by the Pakaraima Mountains and on the east by the verdant highlands, the Iwokrama Rainforest is a thriving ecosystem that sits within the Guiana Shield. This vast expanse of nearly 100,000km² is a sanctuary to more than 500 species of birds, making it a prolific destination for ornithologists and keen bird watchers.
The most majestic of them all is the breathtaking harpy eagle, an extremely rare bird of prey that survives in this rainforest thanks to its ample supply of unwitting prey. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the hoatzin, an unusual-looking bird that’s often compared to a reptile, thanks to its distinctive feathers and propensity to reside near swamps and water basins. And, no trip to Iwokrama would be complete without seeing the iconic Guianan cock-of-the-rock, a bright orange-feathered bird that’s native to the leafy canopies of these trees.
If you’re planning to visit the Iwokrama Rainforest, your best chance of spotting these wonderful birds is by staying in one of the eco-tourism accommodation facilities, such as the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre. The knowledgeable staff here enjoy taking guests to all the best viewing points, such as the canopy walkway, and teaching them about the local wildlife along the way.