Scenes from Guyana
Culturally it is where Latin America meets the Caribbean, with an intriguing mix of Afro-Caribbean, Amerindian, European and Asian influences.
Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, the British ultimately prevailed following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. The territory was then declared the colony of British Guiana, a status which it retained until independence in 1996.
After the abolition of slavery in 1834, the plantation owners imported laborers from India. Indians now form the largest racial group, with most living in the agricultural areas, particularly around Demerara. Other immigrants were Americans, Europeans (Portuguese, British and Dutch) and Chinese.
Guyana's attractions range from the 19th-century stilted wooden houses of its capital, Georgetown, to the awesome natural splendor of the towering Kaieteur Falls along the Potaro River, five times the height of Niagara. The country's mixture of rainforests, beaches, savannah and rivers draws adventure tourists hoping to camp, trek, fish or perhaps be lucky enough to spot a jaguar.
Guyana has a small human population concentrated along the coast and the rest of the country is a marvelous stretch of unbroken, mostly untouched rainforest blending into savanna on the border with Brazil. Guyana lies in the northeast of South America, bordered by Venezuela to the West, Suriname to the Southeast and Brazil to the South and its Northeastern boundary is the Atlantic Ocean. The word ‘Guiana’ (the original Amerindian spelling) means ‘land of many waters’ and the name was well chosen, for there are over 1,600km (965 miles) of navigable rivers in the country. The largest of the three main rivers is the Essequibo, which contains 365 islands, large and small, inhabited and uninhabited. The interior is either high savannah uplands (such as those along the Venezuelan border, called the Rupununi, and the Kanuku Mountains in the far southwest), or thick, hilly jungle and forest, which occupy over 83% of the country’s area. The narrow coastal belt contains the vast majority of the population, and produces the major cash crop, sugar, and the major subsistence crop, rice. The country has 322km (206 miles) of coastline. More than 25% of the population lives in or near Georgetown. Towards the Venezuelan border the rain forest rises in a series of steep escarpments, with spectacular waterfalls, the most famous being the Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River. In the southwest of the country is the Rupununi Savanna, an area of open grasslands also accessible from Brazil.
BIRDS & ANIMALS OF GUYANA
TIPS FOR VISITORS
Do not litter areas visited. You are requested to deposit it in well-designated areas, or request the guide for advise on this. Litter pollutes and reduces the quality of the environment.
Please ensure that natural resources are utilized sparingly in order to avoid over use and over exploitation as these resources are scarce and in most cases non renewable. Water and energy resources are scarce and make sure you use them well. Switch off the lights and turn off the taps when not in use.
Ensure that the areas visited are protected against any environmental damage, which may cause disruption of wildlife in protected areas. Remember we value environmental conservation for the long-term use of resources and we seek such places for recreation.
Do not light or start fires in protected areas as this may cause environmental damage, minimize campfires and where possible make use of eco-friendly Charcoal, which may be available in our campsites. Fuels should also be used sparingly and with little environmental dangers.
Respect the local culture and maintain cultural interaction. Allow the local people to protect their local cultures and value their social settings without any interference. However, we encourage cultural interaction.