Guyana is undoubtedly South America’s best-kept secret. The thick forests and river systems are home to iconic animals and birds. 820 plus birds, 228 species of mammals, 900 species of fish and more than 6500 plants have given Guyana its deserved reputation as a serious wildlife and birding destination.
Due to its pristine nature, its ecosystems can sustain vibrant populations of some of the world’s giant species like the jaguar, giant anteater, giant river otter, black caiman, anaconda, arapaima, and the world’s largest lily, Victoria Amazonica. As a result, it is often referred to as “The Land of the Giants” by intrepid wildlife enthusiasts. Guyana is a bird watcher’s paradise as well, a few star birds that are relatively easy to access include the Harpy Eagle, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, and the Hoatzin. Other heart-stoppers include puma, leatherback turtles, bird-eating spiders, sloth, several species of monkeys and a host of snakes – bushmasters, rattlesnakes, labarias and corals.
Of the country’s population of about 780,000, 87% lives along the coast, leaving the country’s lush interior untouched and ripe for exploration. Guyana is a shining example of how community-owned lodges can work, with several Amerindian communities now running successful eco-lodges to stay. The result is more jobs, funds for education and healthcare, and culture and wildlife being conserved.
With breathtaking waterfalls, mighty rivers, and a large diversity of wildlife and bird species, Guyana has emerged as a playground of the 21st-century explorers and travellers.