Birding Tour Guyana: The Lost World – Guiana Shield Specials and Sun Parakeet


THE 2025 ITINERARY SPENDS THREE NIGHTS EACH AT ATTA AND SURAMA - PRICE INCLUDES EXPENSIVE CHARTER FLIGHTS.

Dates and Costs

 

21 January – 03 February 2025

Price (includes expensive charter flights): US$8,990  / £7,452 / € 8,811 per person sharing – based on 5-8 participants.

Single Supplement: US$580 / £481 / €568

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 14 days
Group Size: 5-8
Start: Georgetown
End: Georgetown


Price includes:

Domestic and charter flights within Guyana
All transfers airport/hotel/airport
All accommodation described in the itinerary
All meals (except where indicated)
All land transportation including 4×4 vehicles
River excursions
Entrance fees
Private tour leader services
Local guides
Bottles of water and snacks

 

Price excludes:

International flights
Visa
Medical and trip cancellation insurance
Any activity not included in the itinerary
Items of a personal nature (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls, internet access)
Meals on day 1
Soft/alcoholic drinks
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

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Birding Tour Guyana: The Lost World – Guiana Shield Specials and Sun Parakeet
January 2025

 

Guyana conjures up visions of one of the last few truly wild places on Earth that still holds incredible landscapes covered by thousands of miles of untouched rainforest, pristine forest rivers, water lily-covered lakes, rolling grassland and savannas, and magnificent, breathtaking waterfalls. Guyana truly gives visitors the sense of being in the Lost World.

Guyana birding toursGuianan Cock-of-the-rock is one of the key species that we will search for on this trip.

 

This relatively small country, found in northeast South America, has become a mandatory destination for adventurous birders as it hosts many species that are hard to find in adjacent South American countries. Some of these species include Capuchinbird, Black Nunbird, Crimson Fruitcrow, Blood-colored and Waved Woodpeckers, Black and Crestless Curassows, Bearded Tachuri, Red-fan Parrot, and Rufous and White-winged Potoos. It also offers great chances for Harpy Eagle, if there are active nests in the area. With the help of our Birding Ecotours leaders and local guides we will do our best to find this most-wanted and massive raptor. In addition, Guyana offers a unique set of species called Guiana Shield specials, including Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Trogon, Guianan Red Cotinga, Guianan Streaked Antwren, and Guianan Puffbird. There are also good chances for some forest species including White-plumed Antbird, Rufous-throated Antbird, and with luck Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo.

Guyana birding toursThe distinctive Black Curassow will be searched for at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

 

Our 14-day Guyana birding tour is designed to explore the best that this country has to offer to birders in two parts. The first part takes in the coast at Georgetown, looking for the localized Rufous Crab Hawk and Scarlet Ibis. We will then explore the awesome Kaieteur Falls and visit a lek of the gorgeous Guianan Cock-of-the-rock near Surama Eco-Lodge, where we will be based. Next up are the rainforests of Atta Rainforest Lodge with its magnificent canopy walkways which should give us eye-level views of several canopy-dwelling species. The second part of the trip includes long 4×4 drives exploring remote Amerindian communities in search of two localized, Endangered, and most-wanted species, Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin. We will make all possible efforts to provide you with these unique species as well as the localized Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetail.

Finally, Guyana also offers visitors good chances of encountering interesting wildlife, with sightings of Giant Otter, Giant Anteater, and even Puma and Jaguar are not uncommon in this fantastic country.

Guyana birding tours
We may get lucky with a Puma sighting (photo John Christian).

 

Itinerary (14 days/13 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Georgetown and transfer to the hotel

You will arrive at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, located 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the capital city, Georgetown, meet our local representative, and transfer to the hotel. Dinner would be for your own account tonight.

Overnight: Cara Lodge, Georgetown

 

Day 2. Mudflats birding, Mahaica River boat cruise, and Georgetown Botanical Gardens

Today we will have an early start to head to the Atlantic coast and check the mudflats for the beautiful Scarlet Ibis. We will then continue towards the village of Mahaica, where we will take a boat trip along the Mahaica River. Among our targets will be Guyana’s national bird, the bizarre and distinctive Hoatzin. We will also look for a host of other species, including Rufous Crab Hawk, a localized Guyana special. Other target birds include Black-collared Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Long-winged Harrier, Barred Antshrike, Silvered Antbird, Mangrove, Striped and Little Cuckoos, Green-tailed Jacamar, Blood-colored Woodpecker, White-bellied Piculet, and Mangrove Rail. Depending on the level of the tide we may be able to check the shoreline for waders, including White-rumped and Western Sandpipers, Hudsonian Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, and other coastal and typical aquatic species such as White-cheeked Pintail, Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal, Gull-billed, and Least Terns, and Brown Pelican.

After lunch we will visit the famous Georgetown Botanical Gardens. This parkland area with open grass, scattered trees, bushes, and several ponds is famous for holding a good selection of species, including the localized Blood-colored Woodpecker. In addition we will look for White-bellied Piculet, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, the impressive Toco Toucan, Black-capped Donacobius, Wing-barred Seedeater, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Black-collared Hawk, and a colorful and noisy selection of parrots, including Red-shouldered Macaw, and Orange-winged, Yellow-crowned, Southern Mealy, and Festive Amazons. Flowering trees may support hummingbirds such as Black-throated Mango, and White-chested and Plain-bellied Emeralds.

Overnight: Cara Lodge, Georgetown

Guyana birding toursThe Georgetown Botanical Gardens usually hold a good selection of parrots such as Festive Amazon.

 

Day 3. Kaieteur Falls – Surama Eco-Lodge

After breakfast at our hotel we will take a chartered flight over unspoiled pristine forest to Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Though Venezuela’s Angel Falls is greater in total height, its filamentous drop occurs in stages, whereas Kaieteur Falls is a single, massive, thundering cascade 330 feet (100 meters) wide, as the Potaro River makes a sheer drop of 750 feet (228 meters), nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. The spectacle is even more impressive due to its remoteness – it is entirely possible that we will be the only people viewing the falls during our visit. Here we hope to find White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts swirling over the gorge. The other two targets are the astonishingly colorful Guianan Cock-of-the-rock and the most-wanted Orange-breasted Falcon. We should also be able to find the rare and endemic Beebe’s Rocket Frog that lives in water held in the leaves of giant bromeliad plants.

Afterwards our chartered flight will take us to Fairview village, from where we will be transferred to Surama Eco-Lodge in the heart of Guyana’s beautiful rainforest. Arriving at the lodge by 3 p.m., we will settle into our accommodation and should have time to look for some classic and common species around the lodge grounds before it gets dark. When darkness falls, this will be our first opportunity to look for Tawny-bellied Screech Owl and other species of nightjars including Pauraque, White-tailed Nightjar and Short-tailed Nighthawk.

Overnight: Surama Eco-Lodge

Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo at Surama Eco-Lodge (photo Anne Koke).

 

Days 4-5. Birding Surama Eco-Lodge

We will spend the next two full days exploring the forest interior of Surama Eco-Lodge looking for specials such as Black-faced Hawk, White-bellied Antbird, Cream-colored, Ringed, and Waved Woodpeckers, Guianan Puffbird, Caica Parrot, Spix’s Guan, Little Chachalaca, Red-and-green Macaw, White-crowned Manakin, Black-crested Antshrike, Rufous-bellied, Long-winged, and White-flanked Antwrens, Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant, Cinnamon-throated,  and Wedge-billed Woodcreepers and if we are lucky, we may find the elusive Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo.

We will spend the afternoons birding some diverse habitats such as forest edge where we could find species such as Ochre-lored Flatbill, Golden-headed Manakin, White-throated Toucan, Red-fan Parrot, Black-necked Aracari, and perhaps even Pompadour Cotinga and Marail Guan. The open grasslands in the area offer chances for Finsch’s Euphonia, Yellow-bellied and Wing-barred Seedeaters, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, and Savanna Hawk. With some luck we may find the secretive Ash-throated Crake.

Surama Eco-Lodge is also well known for Harpy Eagle which often nest in the vicinity. We hope to find this majestic and most-wanted species, if there are any active nests in the area.

Overnight: Surama Eco-Lodge

Guyana birding toursHarpy Eagle photographed near Surama Eco-Lodge in 2023 (photo Ron Allicock).

 

Day 6. Transfer to Atta Rainforest Lodge

Today we will leave Surama Eco-Lodge and head to Atta Rainforest Lodge. Here, the impressive Guianan rainforests protect a unique ecosystem in the heart of the Guiana Shield, where the high species richness of Amazonian and Guianan flora and fauna make it one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Along the drive we may spot a series of great birds such as Spangled and Pompadour Cotingas, Black-necked Aracari, Red-throated Caracara, Gould’s Toucanet, Blue-throated Piping Guan, Green-backed Trogon, Green Aracari, Black Nunbird, Green-tailed Jacamar, Black-spotted Barbet, Guianan Toucanet, and Black-crowned Tityra, amongst others. We will start looking for our first Crimson Topaz from roads running along blackwater streams in the area.

We will spend three nights at Atta Rainforest Lodge, looking for species such as Black Curassow, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Red-necked Cotinga, Capuchinbird, and Spotted Antpitta, amongst other targets. Canopy flocks may also produce Ash-winged, Todd’s, and Spot-tailed Antwrens, Buff-cheeked and Lemon-chested Greenlets, Olive-green and Guianan Tyrannulets, Zimmer’s Flatbill, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, and Guianan Puffbird. Before arriving at our lodge, we will look for Rufous Potoo and if any birds are at their day roosts, we will be able to enjoy this very rare and elusive bird.

Overnight: Atta Rainforest Lodge

 

Days 7-8. Atta Rainforest Lodge

We will have two full days to explore the forests around Atta from which we will visit the canopy walkway to look for passing flocks of canopy-dwelling species. Time will be spent looking for Todd’s and Spot-tailed Antwrens, Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant, Guianan Toucanet, Green Aracari, Painted Parakeet, Screaming Piha, Black-headed Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Guianan Trogon, Dusky Purpletuft, Paradise and Opal-rumped Tanagers, Golden-sided Euphonia, and Black Nunbird. The entire morning will involve birding from the canopy walkway and walking the trails around the lodge. This wonderful area is famous for its variety of colorful cotingas, and if we can locate a few fruiting trees, we will be in for an avian spectacle with possibilities of Pompadour, Purple-breasted, and Guianan Red-necked Cotingas as well as the most-wanted Crimson Fruitcrow. The forest interior is our best bet for Grey-winged Trumpeter, Amazonian Barred and Red-billed Woodcreepers, Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Waved, Chestnut and Red-necked Woodpeckers, as well as Guiana Spider Monkey and White-faced Saki.

The white-sand forest patches are good habitat to look for Black Manakin, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Guianan Streaked Antwren, Amazonian and Mouse-colored Antshrikes, and Black-chinned, and Grey Antbirds. Other interesting birds to look for here include Rufous-bellied Antwren, Collared Puffbird, White-throated Manakin, Cinnamon-crested Spadebill, Common Scale-backed, White-plumed, Ferruginous-backed and Rufous-throated Antbirds.

At night we will look for the localized White-winged Potoo which is one of the targets for this area as well as Amazonian Pygmy Owl, and Crested and Black-and-white Owls.

Overnight: Atta Rainforest Lodge

 

Day 9. Atta Lodge to Rock View Lodge – Northern Rupununi

Before leaving the lodge, we will have a final morning’s birding session around the lodge, scanning the treetops looking for Marail Guan, Green Aracari, Guianan Puffbird, Dusky Purpletuft, Black-spotted Barbet, Golden-collared Woodpecker, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Green Oropendola, and Crimson Fruitcrow.

After breakfast we will depart for Rock View Lodge, with our journey taking us across the North Rupununi Savannah. The road skirts numerous gallery forests and wetlands, offering great views of a variety of herons, ducks, Jabiru, Pinnated Bittern, Plumbeous and Grey Seedeaters, Bicolored Wren, Grassland Yellow Finch, Yellowish Pipit, White-fringed Antwren, Crested Bobwhite, Green-rumped Parrotlet, the colorful Orange-backed Troupial, and Double-striped Thick-knee. On the drive we will make several stops to look for Crested Doradito and Bearded Tachuri, two key species on our target list. This is also the best chance of finding Giant Anteater – we have a high success rate of spotting these most-wanted and bizarre animals on our tours. We will then continue our journey to Rock View Lodge, where we hope to arrive early in the afternoon in time for check in and our dinner.

Overnight: Rock View Lodge

Guyana birding toursPinnated Bittern is reliable in the Rupununi marshes (photo Paul Newman).

 

Day 10. Rock View Lodge birding and Rupununi River excursion 

The morning will start with a cup of coffee before heading out by boat on the Rupununi River. We will be in small engine-powered boats as we head downstream. Depending on the water level we will visit some of the many oxbow lakes found in the area and focus on seeing the rare Crestless Curassow – our best chances of seeing this bird are along the river banks as the birds come to drink in the morning. We are also likely to find Green-and-rufous and Amazon Kingfishers, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Agami, Boat-billed and Capped Herons, Sungrebe, Sunbittern, Pied Plover, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, and Spot-breasted Woodpecker. In addition, we may be lucky enough to see Giant Otter, Capybara, Black Caiman, Spectacled Caiman, and many species of monkeys. Afterwards, we will return for lunch back at the lodge.

In the late afternoon, as the temperature cools down, we will visit a nearby gallery forest to look for White-tailed Nightjar, Spot-tailed Nightjar, and Rufous Nightjar. This is also a good opportunity to see hundreds of Least and Lesser Nighthawks as they feed at dusk.

Overnight: Rock View Lodge

 

Day 11. Rock View Lodge to Karasabai Village

Moving on, today we head for Karasabai village, a distant border village perched between the northern Rupununi Savannah and Pakaraima Mountains along the Brazilian border. Here we are delighted to have the rare opportunity to see the Endangered Sun Parakeet. In the early 1990s this species was on the brink of extinction due to extreme pressure from the pet trade, at which point local villagers took aggressive action to rehabilitate the population. Down to a mere seven individuals, conservation efforts have battled to regain their former numbers, but signs are hopeful, and the current population census suggests that at least 300 birds are thriving in the area today. Karasabai Village is well off the standard tourist track, offering a government guesthouse with adequate but sparse accommodations for our group. Nonetheless, local hospitality reigns, and when not on the trail looking for Sun Parakeet we’ll have a great opportunity to meet and interact with an Amerindian community that sees very few tourists and is eager to share their stories and learn about a world outside of their own. We will see plenty of other species during the day, but our focus will be on finding and observing this gorgeous parakeet. After seeing the Sun Parakeet we will enjoy a delightful lunch before departing Karasabai village in the afternoon and continue to Manari Ranch near the town of Lethem.

Overnight: Manari Ranch, Lethem

Guyana birding
The beautiful and rare Sun Parakeet (photo John Christian).

 

Day 12. Full day looking for Red Siskin

Today we leave the lodge very early at 3 a.m. in our 4×4 vehicles and drive roughly 55 miles (90 kilometers) southeast of Lethem. The drive will take us about six hours depending on what we see along the way. The ‘road’ is a traffic-less sandy track meandering through the hilly savannas, with many opportunities for spontaneous birdwatching stops. Along the way, we may scan numerous wetland areas for Maguari Stork, Brazilian Teal, White-tailed Hawk, Double-striped Thick-knee, and Bearded Tachuri. We will also pass the Amerindian communities of St. Ignatius and Shulinab, where the traditional homes and lifestyles of Amerindian Guyana are on display and remind us just how different their lives are. We will meet one of our local guides who has been studying the rare and localized Red Siskin, a bird only discovered in Guyana in 2000 and one of the holy grails of South American ornithology.

Guyana birding tours
Red Siskin will be our target southeast of Lethem (photo John Christian).

 

Apart from the magnificent Red Siskin we will look for Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin and Sharp-tailed Ibis – both are most-wanted species, so our efforts will be concentrated on seeing these special birds, although many other species will be seen while searching for these targets. In the surrounding areas we could also find Little Chachalaca, Black-collared Hawk, Amazonian Scrub Flycatcher, Plain-crested Elaenia, Pale-tipped Inezia, Brown-crested and Vermilion Flycatchers, White-naped Xenopsaris, Burnished Buff Tanager, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Glittering-throated Emerald, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Hooded Tanager, and Flavescent Warbler. We will enjoy a delightful lunch at Dadanawa Ranch before making our way back across the savanna to Manari Ranch.

Overnight: Manari Ranch, Lethem

 

Day 13. Takutu and Ireng Rivers excursion, flight to Georgetown

Another early morning start will see us leaving our delightful base to access the dry scrub and savanna alongside the Takutu and Ireng Rivers. Once again, our 4×4 vehicles will come into play as we must get to an area where two highly restricted and poorly known species occur, namely Hoary-throated Spinetail, and Rio Branco Antbird. We will explore wetlands as well as the dry desert for a variety of species such as Pinnated Bittern, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Masked Duck, Maguari Stork, Double-striped Thick-knee, South American Snipe, Pied-billed and Least Grebes, Crested Bobwhite, Pearl and White-tailed Kites, Savanna Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Brown-throated Parakeet, Red-bellied Macaw, Pale-legged Hornero, Fork-tailed Palm Swift, Sooty-capped Hermit, White-tailed Goldenthroat, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-bellied Piculet, Black-crested and Barred Antshrikes, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Yellow-olive and Ochre-lored Flatbills, Vermilion, Short-crested, and Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Yellowish Pipit, and Orange-backed Troupial. With two exceptionally rare birds hopefully under our belts, we will return to our lodge for lunch. After lunch we will head to the Lethem Airport to board our flight to Georgetown.

Overnight: Georgetown

 

Day 14. Georgetown, your international flight home.

Today you will be escorted to the international airport to connect with your flight home.

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes must use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

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Guyana: The Lost World Tour Tour Report, January 2024

21 JANUARY – 3 FEBRUARY 2024

By Eduardo Ormaeche

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Guyana birding tour

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Overview

 

I had the privilege of leading a Guyana birding tour from 21 January to 03 February 2024. The five wonderful participants were absolutely keen on birds and wildlife and very enthusiastic about our adventure exploring this little-visited South American country.

Our two-week birding adventure began by visiting the coast at Georgetown to look for some special birds such as Scarlet IbisRufous Crab HawkBlood-colored WoodpeckerWhite-bellied Piculet, and Festive Amazon.

Guyana birding tour

Scarlet Ibis flying along the coast (photo John Geeson).

 

We then flew to (and above) Kaieteur Falls, an amazing waterfall with a single drop of 741 feet (226 meters) – higher than either Niagara or Victoria Falls – but less well-known. This was an amazing place to start the trip. We could see the highlands of Guyana below, which are totally inaccessible, enjoy the dramatic scenery, and appreciate the pristine rainforest. Nevertheless, we were saddened by the threat of “progress”. Large deposits of gold, diamonds, bauxite and crude oil (from the ocean) increased Guyana’s GDP by 43% in 2020. Everything seems to indicate that Guyana’s economy is on a firm upward trend, hopefully the pristine rainforest will be cherished, valued and preserved.

In the rainforest we had fabulous encounters with species such as Pompadour CotingaCapuchinbirdGuianan Red CotingaGuianan Cock-of-the-rockRed-fan ParrotBlack CurassowGrey-winged TrumpeterWhite-winged PotooGuianan ToucanetGuianan PuffbirdGuianan TrogonRufous-throated AntbirdWaved WoodpeckerWhite-plumed Antbird and Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo.

Guyana birding tour

Grey-winged Trumpeter near Iwokrama River Lodge (photo Sue Bryan).

 

We then moved on to the savanna, a part of the country which has even fewer foreign visitors. Here, we saw some highly threatened species, considered among the rarest on the continent, such as Red SiskinSun ParakeetRio Branco AntbirdHoary-crested Spinetail. Other specials included Bearded TachuriCrested Doradito and Least Nighthawk.

This tour had it all; charter flights above unbroken forest, walks in the rainforest interior, canopy walkways through the treetops, boat rides and 4×4 drives. It was so much fun and a great adventure!

 

Detailed Report

 

Day 1, 21st January 2024. Arrival in Georgetown and transfer to Cara Lodge

The participants arrived in Georgetown, flying in from Miami and Barbados, and were met by the Birding Ecotours staff. It was a one-hour drive from Cheddi Jagan International Airport to Cara Lodge Hotel. Everyone was excited for our adventure starting the next day.

 

Day 2, 22nd January 2024.  Exploring Mahaica River, Ogle Mud Flats and Guyana Botanical Gardens

After breakfast we went to a small dock to board a boat and explore the Mahaica River, a small river that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The boat trip was great fun and a good introduction to the birds of Guyana. We managed to see interesting aquatic species such as Yellow-hooded BlackbirdYellow OrioleCarib GrackleBlack-capped Donacobius, and AmazonGreen and American Pygmy Kingfishers. Raptors included Black-collared HawkSnail KiteGreat Black Hawk and Long-winged Harrier.

Other species proved more difficult, but we managed Silvered AntbirdCoraya WrenYellow-chinned Spinetail and bad light did not stop us from enjoying our first Green-tailed Jacamar, although we did get better views later in the trip. We had great views of Guyana’s national bird, Hoatzin, and were rewarded with views of Giant (River) Otter fishing in the peaceful waters of the Mahaica River. Other species included Lesser Yellow-headed VultureGreen IbisStriated HeronSnowy EgretTricolored and Little Blue HeronsGreat EgretLimpkinSouthern LapwingYellow-crowned and Orange-winged AmazonsBlue-and-yellow MacawBrown-throated ParakeetBat FalconLaughing FalconLineated Woodpecker, a glimpse of Little Cuckoo (the only sighting of the trip), Cayenne JayWhite-winged Swallow and Grey-breasted Martin.

Back on the mainland, we had a great time checking the Ogle Mud Flats, where we had amazing views of the most-wanted Scarlet Ibis, as well as other interesting species like Semipalmated PloverSpotted and Solitary SandpipersGreater and Lesser YellowlegsWillet and Hudsonian Whimbrel. In addition to these birds, we found Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night HeronsTricolored HeronBlack SkimmerRoyal Tern and Brown Pelican. We also suddenly had a glimpse of a Small Indian Mongoose (introduced to Guyana and the Caribbean in the 19th century) amongst the mangroves.

Guyana birding tour

Rufous Crab Hawk (photo Sue Bryan).

 

We enjoyed the views of the Atlantic shores, with the mudflats and the mangroves giving way to the city – where modern buildings stand next to typical colonial architecture – in the background. We left this area to try for Mangrove Rail, which was unfortunately not around today, and hot weather soon started, without mercy. We then had a brilliant encounter with the localized Rufous Crab Hawk, an important bird in this part of the country. We also had nice views of Pearl Kite, as always, lovely to see through the scope. We then returned to our hotel for a rest during the heat of the day.

In the afternoon we had an incredible time in Guyana Botanical Gardens in Georgetown, starting with common species such as Ruddy Ground DoveSmooth-billed AniPlumbeous KiteYellow-headed CaracaraGreat and Lesser KiskadeesBlack-capped DonacobiusPalm and Blue-grey Tanagers, and the only Turquoise Tanager of the trip. Other species included Blue-black GrassquitWing-barred SeedeaterRed-legged HoneycreeperPale-breasted ThrushCommon Tody-FlycatcherRusty-margined FlycatcherCinereous BecardStraight-billed WoodcreeperPeregrine FalconBrown-throated ParakeetBlack-necked AracariToco Toucan (the largest toucan in the world) and many Orange-winged AmazonsRed-shouldered Macaw produced great excitement, especially when enjoyed through the scope, and even though it took some time, we managed to find Festive Amazon, which we had sadly missed on our 2023 trip.

The gardens were very productive in the afternoon, revealing Straight-billed WoodcreeperGrey KingbirdSnail Kite and, of course, two of the main targets of the day, White-bellied Piculet and the most-wanted Blood-colored Woodpecker, which is restricted to the coast of Guyana and Surinam. With all these great sightings we returned to our hotel, after a very long day in the field. Here, we had some sightings of Guianan Brown Capuchin.

Guyana birding tour

Blood-colored Woodpecker seen at the botanical garden (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Day 3, 23rd January 2024. Flight to Kaieteur Falls and Surama Eco-Lodge

We started the day with Plain-bellied Emerald in the lodge grounds before transferring to the domestic airport to catch our charter flight to Kaieteur Falls. After an easy flight, we landed at Kaieteur National Park and were fascinated by the incredible geography of this unique place, surrounded by table-like mountains – tepuis. We excitedly anticipated all the key localized species found only in the inaccessible Guyana highlands.

We started hiking to the first viewpoint, birding along the way and found Rufous-crowned ElaeniaSwallow and Silver-beaked Tanagers, Blue Dacnis, Green HoneycreeperTropical KingbirdCayenne JayForest Elaenia and Black-tailed Tityra. Only a few of us got to glimpse the male Red-shouldered Tanager, which soon disappeared into the bushes, never to be seen again.

We arrived at the impressive waterfall viewpoint and, after taking photos and enjoying the incredible natural beauty, we managed to find an Orange-breasted Falcon hunting along the lowest parts of the waterfall. It was a stunning sighting of this rare and patchily distributed species. We also enjoyed views of White-tipped Swift and Cliff Flycatcher.

The final two sightings here included nice views of the handsome Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, which showed well, and Golden Frog, an Endangered Guyana endemic, with its distribution centered around Kaieteur Falls. This tiny frog is found only on the giant bromeliads of the genus Brocchinia,which are common in the area.

We then took the 30-minute flight to Surama Eco-Lodge, landed on the local airstrip and were picked up by our main driver for the rest of the trip, who transferred us to the lodge. After check-in we managed to do some birding in pleasant surroundings which provided species like Pale-vented PigeonRuddy Ground DoveGreen IbisSavanna HawkPlumbeous KiteGreat Black HawkNeotropical Palm SwiftBlue-headed Parrot and Red-and-green Macaw, which always look spectacular flying above the vast tropical forest. Other birds included Great Potoo (at its day roost), Forest and Plain-crested ElaeniasCrested OropendolaSwallow-winged PuffbirdBlue-grey and Palm Tanagers (nesting under the cabin rooms) and, before dusk, we had Lesser Nighthawk flying above the Surama Lodge clearing. After supper we went to bed in preparation for tomorrow’s forest interior birding.

 

Day 4, 24th January 2024. Full day at Surama Eco-Lodge

We started the day watching some open country species such as Scaled Pigeon and White-tipped Dove, before entering the forest and enjoying our first encounter with Great Tinamou, crossing the trail in front of us. We had a great morning, despite the dry conditions of the forest. We managed to find White-crowned ManakinGreen-backed TrogonGuianan TrogonGuianan PuffbirdGreat JacamarParadise JacamarBlack NunbirdGrey-headed KiteGreen AracariWhite-throated ToucanLineated and Cream-colored WoodpeckerChannel-billed ToucanGolden-winged Parakeet and Red-throated Caracara.

We arrived in an area where army ant swarms are often found, and where we had an incredible encounter with two Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoos in 2023. We found the army ant swarm and found Rufous-throated Antbird, the iconic White-plumed AntbirdPlain-brown WoodcreeperBlack-chinned Antbird and, in the middle of a mixed feeding flock frenzy, John had a glimpse of the most-wanted Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo, which sadly immediately disappeared behind a log. The ants retreated and the bird activity was over, nevertheless, we continued doing our best to find more species, always hoping to find the ground cuckoo once more. This may sound unrealistic, but it is possible in Guyana, the best place to see this species.

In the evening, we found more species, including Amazonian Barred WoodcreeperBlack-tailed TityraRuddy-tailed FlycatcherYellow-bellied and Forest ElaeniasPiratic Flycatcher (near the oropendola nests), Green OropendolaRed-rumped CaciqueScarlet MacawWhite-throated ToucanOrange-winged AmazonBrown-throated Parakeet, a female Tufted Coquette, and Buff-throated Woodcreeper. The grassland around the lodge provided nice views of Wedge-tailed Grass Finch.

In the evening, we tried for Spectacled Owl and Tawny-bellied Screech Owl, both of which showed well. Additionally, we heard Crested Owl and Amazonian Pygmy Owl.

Spectacled Owl at Surama Eco-Lodge (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Day 5, 25th January 2024. Birding around Surama and transfer to Iwokrama Lodge

We started the day by visiting a forested swampy area where the shy and secretive Zigzag Heron had been seen recently. We arrived at the site as quietly as possible and, after some effort and patience, we managed to get splendid views of this nocturnal and poorly known species, for everybody’s enjoyment.

After this incredible sighting, we returned to the lodge for breakfast. We then explored some forest trails around Surama, before leaving for Iwokrama Lodge. We had a great morning finding species such as Painted ParakeetBlue-and-yellow and Red-and-green MacawsEpaulet OrioleHelmeted Pygmy Tyrant, and Caica and Blue-headed Parrots giving fly-by views. After some forest walking, we managed to find another army ant swarm and decided to try for Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo. It didn’t take long before we heard the bird approaching, with the characteristic bill-clapping sound, giving everyone goosebumps. Sadly, the individual was very cautious and proved secretive, keeping its distance between foliage and forest floor trunks. Nevertheless, most of us managed to get full views, or at least the full head, before it became aware of us and disappeared, not to be seen again on this tour. Other interesting species included Black-chinned AntbirdWedge-billed WoodcreeperNorthern Slaty and Cinereous AntshrikesRufous-bellied Antwren, and Grey and Ferruginous-backed Antbirds.

The secretive Zigzag Heron was a nice surprise on our Guyana birding trip (photo Sue Bryan).

 

We left the general area and drove towards our next destination, Iwokrama River Lodge. As I looked at the progress of the construction of the road that will join Lethan, on the Brazilian border, with Georgetown, I wondered how this will affect the birds and wildlife that inhabit this undisturbed forest. Sadly, the amount of traffic has already increased significantly compared to last year’s tour. The good thing is that the road is closed at 5pm every afternoon, and that might help alleviate nocturnal species being disturbed and becoming roadkill.

Along the drive we saw Greater Yellow-headed VultureSwallow-tailed KiteCrested Oropendola and Rufescent Tiger Heron. We arrived at Iwokrama for lunch and enjoyed the beautiful setting next to the Essequibo River, a nice change from all the other lodges, which are surrounded by forest or haciendas. We spent the afternoon birding around the lodge, finding Chestnut-bellied SeedeaterRufous-throated SapphireFasciated AntshrikeGuianan Streaked Antwren, and Green Honeycreeper, and we scored with the most-wanted Grey-rumped Trumpeter. Trumpeters are part of a family containing only three species in the entire world.

 

Day 6, 26th January 2024. Turtle Mountain and Boat River

Today we planned to explore the lower and mid portions of Turtle Mountain, for which we split the group into two boats for a 20-minute boat ride and, after reaching the base of the trail, we started the hike together. Activity was very low, starting with views of Spix’s GuanGuianan TrogonRed-necked WoodpeckerBlack CaracaraGrey-rumped SwiftBat FalconPlumbeous KiteBlack NunbirdReddish HermitBlue-headed ParrotBlue-and-yellow Macaw, and other usual suspects. We found a large army ant swarm, but with no birds attending, eventually we encountered a large group of White-lipped Peccaries which gave us the full performance. This was one of our quietest mornings in Guyana. Hot and dry, we returned to the lodge to rest and take another boat trip in the afternoon.

The boat trip was very nice, with a welcome breeze and aquatic species such as Black-collared SwallowMuscovy DuckPied PloverSpotted SandpiperSouthern LapwingAnhinga, Large-billed and Yellow-billed TernsNeotropic CormorantCocoi HeronGreen IbisWhite-winged SwallowAmazon and Green Kingfishers and, before dusk, Ladder-tailed Nightjar (male and female) and Boat-billed Heron.

Guyana birding tour

We had a great encounter with the uncommon White-faced Saki at Iwokrama River Lodge (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Day 7, 27th January 2024. Birding en route to Atta Lodge

This was our last day around Iwokrama, and as we walked around the lodge clearing, we found the usual suspects, along with a Ringed Woodpecker playing hide and seek with us. On our way out we found the amazing White-faced Saki (also called Guianan Saki), which is restricted to northeast South America.

Birding the road to Atta Lodge provided great birds, including Spangled CotingaBronzy JacamarCrimson-crested WoodpeckerSunbitternCapped HeronKing VultureGrey-lined HawkRinged Kingfisher and Swallow-tailed Kite, with the other amazing sighting being the stunning Pompadour Cotinga (male and female) feeding in the same tree as Spangled Cotinga and Green Aracari.

Guyana birding tour

Spangled Cotinga along the Atta Road (photo Sue Bryan).

 

The rest of the afternoon was quiet. We, however, found Grey-breasted SabrewingLong-tailed HermitFork-tailed WoodnymphBlack-necked AracariGreen OropendolaChannel-billed ToucanRed-necked WoodpeckerRed-throated CaracaraGolden-winged ParakeetBlue-cheeked ParrotSouthern Mealy AmazonPurple-throated Fruitcrow, the localized Black-faced Hawk and the diminutive Golden-headed Manakin, which was found on one of the white sand forest trails, where we also saw Bronzy Jacamar.

When we reached Atta lodge, we were given the bad news that the once-reliable Crimson Fruitcrow had not been seen for several days. Despite considerable effort we could not find any during our stay or along the drive out of the rainforest which turned out to be the only Guyana special that we were unable to find on the trip. In the evening we tried for White-winged Potoo, which came into view, as did Short-tailed Nighthawk, but we only heard the scarcer Common Potoo.

 

Day 8, 28th January 2024. Birding Atta Canopy Walkway

We had a predawn start under the spectacular stars, with the Pleidaes visible next to Orion, and the peaceful Atta rainforest embracing us, as we craved a cup of coffee. There weren’t any owls calling around the clearing this morning, except for the very distant call of Amazonian Pygmy Owl, which proved difficult to see this year. The sounds of the rainforest changed, from the pygmy owl to howler monkeys, then parrots and macaws, merging into a vast chorus of several species of birds, becoming a single sound that marked the beginning of a new morning. We were looking forward to visiting the famous Canopy Walkway at Atta.

Hoping for the best, we hiked up the trail to the canopy, finding no activity in the understory. We crossed the suspension bridges and reached the platforms, where we had our first encounter with the widespread Guianan Weeper Capuchin. One of the main targets, Guianan Toucanet (a localized Selenidera from northern South America) was quickly spotted. In addition, we had Black-eared Fairy, which is regularly seen feeding in the tree canopy. We also saw Green-backed and Guianan TrogonsGuianan PuffbirdBlack NunbirdBlue-cheeked ParrotRed-and-green MacawBlack-spotted Barbet and a female Pompadour Cotinga, but still no Crimson Fruitcrow! Other common species encountered included Southern Mealy Amazon, and Spot-tailed Antwren, which is a canopy special.

On one of the trails, we were delighted to have a long-awaited encounter with the distinctive Capuchinbird, not only seeing the bird but hearing its unique display call. Later in the trip we had another encounter with this species, but it was high in the trees and difficult to photograph.

We decided to go back to the lodge for breakfast and to explore the lodge grounds and the road to Atta. On the way back to the lodge we saw Wedge-billed WoodcreeperScreaming Piha and the most-wanted Red-and-black Grosbeak, a fantastic encounter! After breakfast, which was served by the lodge’s friendly staff, we went to explore the entrance road. Again, no sign of the fruitcrow!

Excitingly, we saw a Green Anaconda, well hidden in a flooded area, not far away from the road. This was the second year that I had encountered Green Anaconda in this area! We then had massive flocks of Band-rumped and Grey-rumped Swifts, as well as Plumbeous PigeonKing VultureParadise and Green-tailed JacamarsLineated and Ringed WoodpeckersYellow-bellied ElaeniaYellow-throated FlycatcherCapped Heron and Green Ibis.

In the afternoon we tried for Crimson Topaz along the road, in areas near streams, and searched in every possible place from the moment we arrived at Atta. Our strategy was to play the call and wait for a bit, if it did not show, we would leave and continue birding. We couldn’t even catch a glimpse of it, until the final evening at Atta. The bird responded and landed in a tall tree but took off again so fast that we barely saw the bird in silhouette. Amazingly, Sue managed a photo, in which we could see that it was a male.

Later we explored some of the white sand forest trails that go off from the main road and, after some hard work, we eventually saw one of the main targets in this habitat, the shy Black Manakin. We continued birding along the road and suddenly detected a family of Little Chachalacas (sometimes called Variable Chachalaca by other authorities) crossing the road.

We waited until dusk to try for Black-banded Owl, which came in to the recording and showed nicely, but kept high in the subcanopy where we managed to get great scope views. We also found a Kinkajou watching us from the tops of the Cecropia trees. After a long day, we retreated to the lodge for supper and a good night’s sleep.

Red-fan Parrots showed very well on our last morning at Atta (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Day 9, 29th January 2024. Last morning at Atta and transfer to Rock View

We had planned to maximize the first hours of the morning around Atta, before leaving the lodge and the rainforest. We scanned the lodge clearing, looking for Crimson Fruitcrow, which sadly did not show. We heard Guianan Warbling Antbird calling around the clearing, but only a few participants glimpsed it. We hurried from the spot when we heard Red-fan Parrot vocalizing. We found the tree where they were nesting and later had the pleasure of seeing this fantastic species, feeding low on one of the fruiting palm trees around the lodge clearing! This was one of the most-wanted birds for both our Johns and we happily feasted our eyes on these attractive parrots, before they flew away from the lodge.

We continued exploring one of the lodge trails and found the Guianan Red Cotinga, which is one of the most-wanted species in Guyana. They quickly moved under the canopy and were difficult to photograph, so we had to be content just watching this gorgeous bird.

We left the lodge and returned to the Crimson Topaz spot, but there was nobody home today. We continued birding along the road, heading back to Surama Lodge. On the way, we saw Dusky Purpletuft and the only Marail Guan of the trip.

We arrived at the junction with Surama Lodge, where we had an amazing time. We spotted a Black Hawk-Eagle flying high and calling, which flew in closer above the track a couple of times, allowing us to see it in detail. Then we were told that we were close to an area where Ornate Hawk-Eagle had been seen recently and soon we heard the bird calling which we managed to see shortly after. It flew about and perched briefly on one side of the trail, allowing us all to see it well, unfortunately, some branches in front ruined the possibility of good photos.

Ironically, after this hawk-eagle madness, we found a Brown-throated Sloth very close to the trail. There were no new birds after this, except for some more classic sightings, including Greater Yellow-headed VultureSwallow-tailed KiteYellow-rumped and Red-rumped CaciquesYellow-headed CaracaraScaled Pigeon, and Great Kiskadee.

We ate a delicious lunch at the Surama community and then headed to Rock View Lodge, arriving in the heat of the early afternoon. We agreed to rest and then met again at 3 pm to explore the vicinity.

We arrived at a mix of grasslands and wetlands and had a productive couple of hours birding, finding Fork-tailed FlycatcherCrested BobwhiteBurnished-buff TanagerGreyRuddy-breasted and Wing-barred SeedeatersRed-breasted BlackbirdYellow OrioleOrange-backed TroupialFinsch’s EuphoniaBlack-capped Donacobius, Barn SwallowBoat-billed FlycatcherLesser KiskadeeShort-crested FlycatcherWhite-headed Marsh TyrantPied Water-TyrantYellow-chinned SpinetailNorthern Mouse-colored TyrannuletAmerican KestrelBlack-collared HawkCocoi HeronJabiruSpotted and Solitary SandpipersCommon Ground DoveGreen-tailed Goldenthroat and Long-billed Starthroat.

We put a great effort into finding White-naped Xenopsaris, which showed very well for the whole group. Other birds seen at this location included Little Blue HeronGreat and Snowy EgretsLaughing FalconRingedAmazon and Green KingfishersWattled JacanaGreen Ibis and Striated Heron.

Just before dusk, we were ecstatic when we saw a couple of Least Nighthawks flying above the fields, still with enough light to see their markings and patterns.

 

Day 10, 30th January 2024. Essequibo River and birding around Rock View

Unfortunately, several of us had battled to sleep the previous night, due to the intense heat and the fans not being strong enough. However, after an early start, a cup of coffee did wonders to raise our spirits for a day full of adventure. We had a scheduled boat ride on the Rupununi River to look for water species, including the Crestless Curassow.

It didn’t start well as soon after we arrived at the river it started raining, which is not fun on a boat trip. We had two boats and went on the river, hoping the weather would change. It rained, then stopped, then drizzled, then stopped again. With this weather there were not many birds, or at least nothing we had not seen on previous boat trips. The birds we saw this morning included Pale-vented PigeonMuscovy DuckSmooth-billed AniGrey-rumped SwiftLimpkinLarge-billed and Yellow-billed TernsBlack SkimmerJabiruWood StorkAnhingaCapped HeronBlack-collared Hawk and Osprey. As we rounded a bend in the river, we suddenly spotted a pair of Crestless Curassow. They were not walking along the sandbars but sitting on a dead tree on the riverbank. We barely saw them before they disappeared, most likely scared by the boats, and sadly not all participants saw them.

We landed on the mainland and tried for some gallery forest birds, such as Black-crested Antshrike, which showed nicely, Coraya WrenCinnamon AtillaRed-capped Cardinal and others. We returned to Rock View in the heat of the day, had lunch and enjoyed some relaxed birding around the property. The afternoon’s easy birding yielded Pale-breasted ThrushBurnished-buff Tanager and other common species, including Blue-grey and Palm Tanagers. We also took the opportunity to enjoy coffee and cookies, and some cold drinks as well.

 

Day 11, 31st January 2024. Sun Parakeet and transfer to Manari

Today we took a special trip to explore the deciduous habitats near the Guyana-Brazil border, to look for the endangered Sun Parakeet, one of the targets of this second part of the tour. Sun Parakeets have been caught at a rate of 800,000 per year for the pet trade and are today poorly known in the wild. They have probably been eradicated from French Guyana and are only found in this small portion of Guyana and adjacent Brazil. We arrived and got excited every time we saw a flock of Brown-throated Parakeets. It took a while, but we eventually saw two pairs of Sun Parakeets flying by and landing below the tree tops, before they left to likely join a larger flock – it is usual for flocks to contain around 100 individuals. On the previous year’s tour, we saw more individuals lower down in the trees. We, however, had great scope views, but photography was challenging.

Sun Parakeet was the star in the Manari area (photo Sue Bryan).

 

In addition, we managed to find Double-striped Thick-kneeBlue-tailed EmeraldGlittering-throated EmeraldBuff-necked IbisCommon Ground DoveCrested BobwhiteLesser Yellow-headed VultureFerruginous Pygmy OwlWhite-barred PiculetSouthern White-fringed AntwrenStreak-headed WoodcreeperPale-legged HorneroPale-eyed Pygmy TyrantSouthern Beardless TyrannuletBrown-crested FlycatcherYellow-bellied Elaenia and Ashy-headed Greenlet.

We then continued our drive towards Manari, our base for the next two nights. Along the way we spotted Wedge-tailed Grass FinchGrassland SparrowYellowish PipitEastern Meadowlark and Grey Seedeater. We made a stop to look for another grassland target in the Rupununi area, the Crested Doradito. We persevered, in the intense heat of the day, searching for this little skulker. Thankfully, we were fortunate to find an individual, as the habitat was untouched in this particular area, whilst other suitable and known habitat had been burned by fires during this unusually dry season.

In the afternoon we hung around the hotel grounds, finding not only some common species, but also our first records of Bicolored WrenAmerican Yellow WarblerBurnished-buff TanagerOlive-grey SaltatorYellow-bellied and Lesser Elaenias and Common Tody-Flycatcher.

Manari Ranch was very hot, although the food was good, and there was lime and watermelon juice continually available. We also took advantage of the “few quiet moments of the trip” to relax and enjoy other refreshments – at sundown some participants discovered that the Guyanese rum was particularly good.

We retired early to our rooms, immediately after dinner, since a 4 am start was awaiting us the next day. The reason for such an early start was the 4×4 drive to access some Red Siskin habitat, one of the few remaining patches in the world, with arguably the largest known population.

Guyana birding tour

We had a great encounter with a Giant Anteater in the Rupununi savannas (photo Sue Bryan).

 

Day 12, 1st February 2024. Red Siskin 4×4 vehicle drive and back to Manari

We had a super-early, super-excited start today. After some good, strong coffee, we climbed into the 4×4 vehicles required to reach the habitat of the ultra-rare Red Siskin. We split the group into two vehicles for comfort’s sake and headed out at dawn’s first light. On the main road we had an incredible encounter with a Giant Anteater and saw two more individuals nearby. After a long drive past rivers, streams and amazing scenery, we reached the habitat and, not long after we arrived, we spotted a small flock of Red Siskins, with the most-wanted male sitting out in the open for us. It was brilliant.

Our local guide was Leeroy who is the representative from the local community, and oversees the project for the conservation of Red Siskin and the development of ecotourism in the area. They have done excellent work here and deserve all possible support from those who can assist in improving facilities for tourists to help protect the habitat of the Red Siskin.

No longer under pressure to find the siskin, we wondered what we should do next. We decided to eat our packed breakfast under a roof, on a nice table recently built for visitors. As we were enjoying breakfast, we suddenly saw the same family party flying by again.

Guyana birding tour

We had amazing views of the Endangered Red Siskin on our Guyana trip (photo Sue Bryan).

 

We birded the surroundings, finding pretty much the same common species, so we left and spent more time on the habitats and ponds on the way back. We did well, finding Hooded TanagerSpotted PuffbirdHepatic TanagerOrange-backed TroupialGrassland SparrowCayenne JayBlack-crested AntshrikeLesser Yellow-headed VultureBuff-necked IbisCommon Ground Dove and Crested Bobwhite. An interesting observation through the scope was a juvenile King Vulture. We then encountered Maguari Stork, which was new for the trip, and a superb find in the form of Pinnated Bittern, well camouflaged in the pond’s reeds. Feeling successful, we headed to the community where we had a tasty lunch and, despite the heat of the day, continued towards Manari Ranch.

On the way, we stopped to look for another localized species. We were worried because we saw so many patches of grassland and bushes that had been burned, nevertheless, we did find a couple Bearded Tachuris, which were the cherry on top for the day. We arrived at Manari Ranch and spent the afternoon resting, in preparation for our final day of birding in the area tomorrow. Sadly, our trip was soon coming to an end.

 

Day 13, 2nd February 2024. Rio Branco and Silver-throated Spinetail, and flight to Georgetown

We had another early start (although not as early as the previous day) and went to explore a mix of habitats between gallery forest and savanna. The main targets were two Critically Endangered species, Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetail. On the way, we spotted Burrowing OwlSavanna HawkLong-winged HarrierCommon and Ruddy Ground Doves and Buff-necked Ibis.

We started birding in the gallery forest and soon had great views of Rio Branco Antbird. The spinetail was tricky though. We found a pair that were showing fleetingly and were very shy, but we eventually managed fine views of Hoary-throated Spinetail. We also found Spot-breasted and Little WoodpeckersBrown-crested FlycatcherBoat-billed FlycatcherAshy-headed GreenletNorthern Mouse-colored TyrannuletGlittering-throated Emerald, and Yellow-bellied Elaenia while Rufous-tailed Jacamar was heard only. We tried for Flavescent Warbler, but we could not even hear it today. We started the walk back to the vehicles along which John and Sue saw a Capybara near the river.

We returned to Manari Ranch for lunch, to pack our luggage and transfer to Letham for the commercial flight to Georgetown. We said goodbye to our incredible land crew, especially Gary, and flew to Georgetown. We transferred to Cara Lodge, ate our last meal together and prepared for tomorrow’s early start to be at the international airport three hours before our flight.

I felt a warm and pleasant satisfaction from having led a great group of people, all of whom had vast outdoor experience and who were so enthusiastic about birds and wildlife. The weather had been dry, but we nevertheless got most of our targets and special birds, except the fruitcrow! Everyone was happy, and we had a good reason to come back to Guyana – to tick the fruitcrow!

Thank you very much to the whole group, you were amazing!

 

Day 14, 3rd February 2024. Transfer to the airport and flight home

The group transferred at different times to the respective airports to connect with their flights home.

 

Bird List – Following IOC (13.2)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen.

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: VU = Vulnerable.

Common Name Scientific Name
Tinamous (Tinamidae)
Great Tinamou Tinamus major
Cinereous Tinamou (H) Crypturellus cinereus
Red-legged Tinamou (H) Crypturellus erythropus
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata
Chachalacas, Curassows, Guans (Cracidae)
Little Chachalaca Ortalis motmot
Marail Guan Penelope marail
Spix’s Guan Penelope jacquacu
Crestless Curassow Mitu tomentosum
Black Curassow – VU Crax alector
New World Quail (Odontophoridae)
Crested Bobwhite Colinus cristatus
Marbled Wood Quail (H) Odontophorus gujanensis
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
Nacunda Nighthawk Chordeiles nacunda
Least Nighthawk Chordeiles pusillus
Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis
Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
White-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis cayennensis
Ladder-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis climacocerca
Potoos (Nyctibiidae)
Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis
Common Potoo (H) Nyctibius griseus
White-winged Potoo Nyctibius leucopterus
Swifts (Apodidae)
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris
Grey-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris
Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicaudus
White-tipped Swift Aeronautes montivagus
Neotropical Palm Swift Tachornis squamata
Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
Crimson Topaz Topaza pella
Reddish Hermit Phaethornis ruber
Long-tailed Hermit Phaethornis superciliosus
Black-eared Fairy Heliothryx auritus
Green-tailed Goldenthroat Polytmus theresiae
Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis
Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus
Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris
Blue-tailed Emerald Chlorostilbon mellisugus
Grey-breasted Sabrewing Campylopterus largipennis
Fork-tailed Woodnymph Thalurania furcata
Plain-bellied Emerald Chrysuronia leucogaster
Glittering-throated Emerald Chionomesa fimbriata
Rufous-throated Sapphire Hylocharis sapphirina
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
Striped Cuckoo (H) Tapera naevia
Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo Neomorphus rufipennis
Little Cuckoo Coccycua minuta
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock Dove (Introduced) Columba livia
Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa
Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis
Plumbeous Pigeon Patagioenas plúmbea
Ruddy Pigeon – VU Patagioenas subvinacea
Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina
Plain-breasted Ground Dove Columbina minuta
Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti
Blue Ground Dove Claravis pretiosa
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Ash-throated Crake (H) Mustelirallus albicollis
Trumpeters (Psophiidae)
Grey-winged Trumpeter Psophia crepitans
Limpkin (Aramidae)  
Limpkin Aramus guarauna
Stone-curlews, Thick-knees (Burhinidae)
Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
Pied Plover Hoploxypterus cayanus
Jacanas (Jacanidae)
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
Willet Tringa semipalmata
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus
Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex
Sunbittern (Eurypygidae)
Sunbittern Eurypyga helias
Storks (Ciconiidae)
Wood Stork Mycteria americana
Maguari Stork Ciconia maguari
Jabiru Jabiru mycteria
Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Neotropic Comorant Nannopterum brasilianum
Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)
Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus
Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis
Scarlet Ibis Eudocimus ruber
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Rufescent Tiger Heron Tigrisoma lineatum
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius
Zigzag Heron Zebrilus undulatus
Pinnated Bittern Botaurus pinnatus
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violácea
Striated Heron Butorides striata
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi
Great Egret Ardea alba
Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
Snowy Egret Egretta thula
Pelicans (Pelecanidae)
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
Hoatzin (Opisthocomidae) 
Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin
New World Vultures (Cathartidae)
King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus
Ospreys (Pandionidae)
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii
Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus
Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus melanoleucus
Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus
Long-winged Harrier Circus buffoni
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plúmbea
Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis
Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis
Rufous Crab Hawk Buteogallus aequinoctialis
Savanna Hawk Buteogallus meridionalis
Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga
Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris
White-tailed Hawk Geranoaetus albicaudatus
Black-faced Hawk Leucopternis melanops
Grey-lined Hawk Buteo nitidus
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus
Owls (Strigidae)
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia
Amazonian Pygmy Owl (H) Glaucidium hardyi
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Glaucidium brasilianum
Tawny-bellied Screech Owl Megascops watsonii
Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata
Crested Owl (H) Lophostrix cristata
Black-banded Owl Strix huhula
Trogons (Trogonidae)
Green-backed Trogon Trogon viridis
Guianan Trogon Trogon violaceus
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher Chloroceryle inda
Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata
Jacamars (Galbulidae)
Yellow-billed Jacamar Galbula albirostris
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda
Green-tailed Jacamar Galbula gálbula
Bronzy Jacamar Galbula leucogastra
Paradise Jacamar Galbula dea
Great Jacamar Jacamerops aureus
New World Barbets (Capitonidae)
Black-spotted Barbet Capito niger
Puffbirds (Bucconidae)
Guianan Puffbird Notharchus macrorhynchos
Spotted Puffbird Bucco tamatia
Black Nunbird Monasa atra
Swallow-winged Puffbird Chelidoptera tenebrosa
Toucans (Ramphastidae)
Green Aracari Pteroglossus viridis
Black-necked Aracari Pteroglossus aracarí
Guianan Toucanet Selenidera piperivora
Channel-billed Toucan – VU Ramphastos vitellinus
Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco
White-throated Toucan Ramphastos tucanus
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
White-bellied Piculet – VU Picumnus spilogaster
White-barred Piculet Picumnus cirratus
Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus
Blood-colored Woodpecker Veniliornis sanguineus
Red-rumped Woodpecker Veniliornis kirkii
Spot-breasted Woodpecker Colaptes punctigula
Waved Woodpecker Celeus undatus
Chestnut Woodpecker Celeus elegans
Ringed Woodpecker Celeus torquatus
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
Red-necked Woodpecker Campephilus rubricollis
Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Black Caracara Daptrius ater
Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus
Crested Caracara Caracara plancus
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
Collared Forest Falcon (H) Micrastur semitorquatus
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis
Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
African & New World Parrots (Psittacidae)
Golden-winged Parakeet Brotogeris chrysoptera
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus
Festive Amazon Amazona festiva
Blue-cheeked Amazon Amazona dufresniana
Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala
Southern Mealy Amazon Amazona farinosa
Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazónica
Red-fan Parrot Deroptyus accipitrinus
Painted Parakeet Pyrrhura picta
Brown-throated Parakeet Eupsittula pertinax
Sun Parakeet – EN Aratinga solstitialis
Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna
Scarlet Macaw Ara macao
Red-and-green Macaw Ara chloropterus
Red-shouldered Macaw Diopsittaca nobilis
Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)
Plain-brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus
Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes certhia
Red-billed Woodcreeper Hylexetastes perrotii
Buff-throated Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus guttatus
Straight-billed Woodcreeper Dendroplex picus
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
Pale-legged Hornero Furnarius leucopus
Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomeus
Hoary-throated Spinetail – CR Synallaxis kollari
Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)
Brown-bellied Stipplethroat Epinecrophylla gutturalis
Pygmy Antwren (H) Myrmotherula brachyura
Guianan Streaked Antwren – VU Myrmotherula surinamensis
White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris
Southern White-fringed Antwren Formicivora grisea
Rufous-bellied Antwren Isleria guttata
Dusky-throated Antshrike (H) Thamnomanes ardesiacus
Cinereous Antshrike Thamnomanes caesius
Spot-tailed Antwren Herpsilochmus sticturus
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
Mouse-colored Antshrike (H) Thamnophilus murinus
Northern Slaty Antshrike Thamnophilus punctatus
Amazonian Antshrike Thamnophilus amazonicus
Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis
Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus
Great Antshrike Taraba major
Black-throated Antshrike Frederickena viridis
White-plumed Antbird Pithys albifrons
Rufous-throated Antbird Gymnopithys rufigula
Guianan Warbling Antbird Hypocnemis cantator
Grey Antbird Cercomacra cinerascens
Rio Branco Antbird – CR Cercomacra carbonaria
Ferruginous-backed Antbird Myrmoderus ferrugineus
Black-chinned Antbird Hypocnemoides melanopogon
Silvered Antbird Sclateria naevia
Antthrushes (Formicariidae)
Rufous-capped Antthrush Formicarius colma
Antpittas (Grallariidae)
Spotted Antpitta Hylopezus macularius
Tyrant Flycatchers, Calyptura (Tyrannidae)
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet Tyrannulus elatus
Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
Plain-crested Elaenia Elaenia cristata
Lesser Elaenia Elaenia chiriquensis
Rufous-crowned Elaenia Elaenia ruficeps
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum
Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina
Bearded Tachuri Polystictus pectoralis
Helmeted Pygmy Tyrant Lophotriccus galeatus
Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant Atalotriccus pilaris
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum
Yellow-olive Flatbill Tolmomyias sulphurescens
Cliff Flycatcher Hirundinea ferrugínea
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus obscurus
White-headed Marsh Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
Lesser Kiskadee Philohydor lictor
Yellow-throated Flycatcher Conopias parvus
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis
Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox
Cinnamon Attila Attila cinnamomeus
Bright-rumped Attila (H) Attila spadiceus
Cotingas (Cotingidae)
Guianan Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola rupícola
Guianan Red Cotinga Phoenicircus carnifex
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata
Capuchinbird Perissocephalus tricolor
Screaming Piha Lipaugus vociferans
Spangled Cotinga Cotinga cayana
Purple-breasted Cotinga Cotinga cotinga
Pompadour Cotinga Xipholena punicea
Manakins (Pipridae)
Black Manakin Xenopipo atronitens
White-crowned Manakin Pseudopipra pipra
Golden-headed Manakin Ceratopipra erythrocephala
Tityras, Becards, Sharpbill (Tityridae)
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus
Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana
Guianan Schiffornis (H) Schiffornis olivácea
Dusky Purpletuft Iodopleura fusca
White-naped Xenopsaris Xenopsaris albinucha
Cinereous Becard Pachyramphus Rufus
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus
Vireos, Greenlets, Shrike-babblers (Vireonidae)
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
Lemon-chested Greenlet (H) Hylophilus thoracicus
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)   
Cayenne Jay Cyanocorax cayanus
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer
White-banded Swallow Atticora fasciata
Black-collared Swallow Pygochelidon melanoleuca
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobiidae)
Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla
Wrens (Troglodytidae)
Bicolored Wren Campylorhynchus griseus
Coraya Wren Pheugopedius coraya
Buff-breasted Wren (H) Cantorchilus leucotis
House Wren Troglodytes aedon
Gnatcatchers (Polioptilidae)
Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plúmbea
Mockingbirds, Thrashers (Mimidae)
Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas
Cocoa Thrush Turdus fumigatus
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Yellowish Pipit Anthus chii
Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae)
Red Siskin – EN Spinus cucullatus
Finsch’s Euphonia Euphonia finschi
New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)
Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis
Oropendolas, New World Orioles, Blackbirds (Icteridae)
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Red-breasted Blackbird Leistes militaris
Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus
Green Oropendola Psarocolius viridis
Yellow-rumped Cacique Cacicus cela
Red-rumped Cacique Cacicus haemorrhous
Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis
Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus
Epaulet Oriole Icterus cayanensis
Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis
Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris
Yellow-hooded Blackbird Chrysomus icterocephalus
New World Warblers (Parulidae)
American Yellow Warbler Setophaga aestiva
Mitrospingid Tanagers (Mitrospingidae)
Olive-backed Tanager Mitrospingus oleagineus
Cardinals & Allies (Cardinalidae)
Red Tanager Piranga flava
Red-and-black Grosbeak Periporphyrus erythromelas
Tanagers & Allies (Thraupidae)
Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata
Wedge-tailed Grass Finch Emberizoides herbicola
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza
Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis
Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus
Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana
Olivaceous Saltator Saltator olivascens
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
Fulvous-crested Tanager Tachyphonus surinamus
Red-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus phoenicius
Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo
Wing-barred Seedeater Sporophila americana
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis
Plumbeous Seedeater Sporophila plúmbea
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater Sporophila castaneiventris
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater Sporophila minuta
Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola
Grassland Yellow Finch Sicalis luteola
Red-capped Cardinal Paroaria gularis
Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
Burnished-buff Tanager Stilpnia cayana
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola
Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana
Species Seen 326
Species heard only 17
Total species recorded 343

 

Mammal List

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: VU = Vulnerable, EN = Endangered, DD = Data Deficient

Common Name Scientific Name
Three-toed Sloths (Bradypodidae)
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth Bradypus variegatus
Anteaters (Myrmecophagidae)
Giant Anteater – VU Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Spider, Howler, and Woolly Monkeys (Atelidae)
Guianan Red Howler Alouatta macconnelli
Cebid Monkeys (Cebidae)
Weeper Capuchin Cebus olivaceus
Brown Capuchin Sapajus apella
Sakis, Titis, and Uakaris (Pitheciidae)
White-faced Saki Pithecia Pithecia
Cavies (Caviidae)
Greater Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Agoutis and Acouchis (Dasyproctidae)
Common Red-rumped Agouti Dasyprocta leporine
Sheath-tailed Bats (Emballonuridae)
Proboscis Bat Rhynchonycteris naso
Mustelids (Mustelidae)
Giant Otter – EN Pteronura brasiliensis
Mongooses (Herpestidae)
Small Indian Mongoose  Urva auropunctata
 
Canids (Canidae)
Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous
Deer (Cervidae)
Common Red Brocket – DD Mazama americana
Amazonian Brown Brocket Passalites nemorivagus
Peccaries (Tayassuidae)
White-lipped Peccary – VU Tayassu pecari
Total species recorded 15

Reptile List

Common Name Scientific Name
Vipers (Viperidae)
Common Lancehead Bothrops atrox
Boas (Boidae)
Green Anaconda Eunectes murinus
Iguanas and Chuckwallas (Iguanidae)
Green Iguana Iguana iguana
Whiptails and Tegus (Teiidae)
Giant Ameiva Ameiva ameiva
Total species recorded 4

 

Amphibian List

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: VU = Vulnerable

Common Name Scientific Name
Cryptic Forest Frogs (Aromobatidae)
Golden Rocket Frog – EN Anomaloglossus beebei
Total species recorded 1

DOWNLOAD TRIP REPORT

 

This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

GUYANA GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Guyana possesses an impressive country list of 788 bird species with a significant number of these species being endemics, or near-endemics shared with neighboring northwest Brazil, Suriname, and French Guyana. Our set departure tour is focused on finding many of these endemics and specials, while also uncovering the exciting wildlife and untouched landscapes of this remote country. We are also able to put together custom and private Guyana birding tours. Some of the exceptional birds we hope to find on our bird tours of Guyana include Capuchinbird, Black and Crestless Curassows, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Red Siskin, Sun Parakeet, Black Nunbird, Crimson Fruitcrow, Spotted Antpitta, Harpy Eagle, Red-fan Parrot, Guianan Trogon, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Red Cotinga, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Pompadour Cotinga, Red-and-black Grosbeak, and many more!

 

ARRIVAL INFORMATION

Our tour will start in the city of Georgetown, at Georgetown Guyana Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) which can be reached by flights from most major airports from the US (New York and Miami) and UK (with a connection in Barbados). You may wish to consult your travel agent to book the most convenient flight, but please contact us if you need any guidance. Your tour leader will be waiting for you at Georgetown Airport with the Birding Ecotours logo displayed, and will then transfer you to your hotel. Please remember to keep your luggage tags, as they are required to exit the terminal at the Georgetown Airport. Please be aware that most international flights arrive in Georgetown around midnight. For this reason, many participants prefer to arrive a day earlier than the official tour starting date.

When filling out the customs declaration form, or when asked for the address you are staying at, please use the hotel address below:

Cara Lodge, 294 Quamina St, Georgetown, Guyana. Telephone: +592 225 5301

 

PASSPORT AND VISAS

To enter Guyana, you will need a valid passport that will not expire within 90 days of your arrival in Guyana. However, some international flights require a passport that is valid for at least six months from your departure to Guyana. It would be best to follow the latter to be on the safe side. Visas are not required for citizens of the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. Citizens of any other country should check with their local Guyana consulate about any requirements needed to enter Guyana.

It is always a good idea to make a copy of your passport and keep it somewhere separate from your actual passport. Having a spare copy will make securing a new passport easier in case you should lose your passport while on tour.

 

MEDICAL AND TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE

As referenced in our standard Terms and Conditions, we strongly recommend that you purchase a comprehensive trip cancellation insurance to protect against unexpected events that might cause delays and interruptions to travel. This insurance should also cover illness, medical issues, accidents, repatriation, loss of luggage or any valuable items, etc.

 

MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Please make sure you are suitably covered with comprehensive medical insurance in the instance of any emergency while on any of our Guyana birding tours. Without insurance, the cost of medical care is likely to be very high. As detailed in Birding Ecotours’ general Terms and Conditions, when signing up for this tour, we require you to notify us of any medical conditions that we should be aware of. The sort of things we should know about include, but are not to be limited to, any walking/mobility issues, diabetes, epilepsy, food and medicinal allergies, heart conditions, and long-term illnesses etc.

Some of the places we travel to are very remote and will not have many nearby medical facilities. In the case of medical treatment being required, this might necessitate flying back to the capital – the costs for these arrangements can be expensive (requiring extra flights etc.).

 

HEALTH

Please consult your local travel clinic or doctor regarding vaccine requirements before your tour to Guyana. We recommend doing this about two months prior to the tour start date so that any vaccine courses can be completed in time. There are no vaccination requirements to enter Guyana, although some are recommended. Yellow fever vaccination proof may be required if you come from a country with a proven risk of yellow fever.  Please refer to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website here for further information on vaccines and how to stay healthy in Guyana.

Everyone visiting Guyana should be up to date with standard vaccinations and boosters, like Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio and yellow fever. Most people should be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, and Typhoid. Some people should be vaccinated for Cholera, Hepatitis B, and Rabies.

Malaria is low-risk throughout most of Guyana. Other insects can cause Dengue (especially during the rainy months), Zika, Chikungunya, and Leishmaniasis, which are recorded in the country, and although not very common, are all worth being aware of. Insect repellent with a high DEET content is highly recommended for most of the areas we visit in Guyana (DEET works against both ticks and mosquitoes).

Most people visiting Guyana do not experience any problems at all. But we of course strongly recommend you take note of the advice given by the CDC, a travel clinic, or your family doctor.

Again, please let us know about any medical conditions you may have, such as diabetes, asthma, allergies, heart conditions, or knee problems, also including phobias or anything you think we should know about in order to take care of you so that you can have an enjoyable and stress-free trip.

 

INSECTS

Mosquitoes and other insects are present throughout the trip. We recommend that you wear loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts and keep insect repellent handy. Spraying your feet, socks, shoes, and the lower portion of your pants with insect repellent will help reduce chigger bites. Chiggers are burrowing mites that are frequently encountered in southern USA, although residents of the UK and other countries may not be familiar with them. They are relatively harmless but can be a real nuisance and are abundant in the cattle pastures of Guyana. Spraying your trousers, socks, shoes, and waistline with a repellent containing Deet (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is a good deterrent. Applying anti-itch cream is about all you can do for them once the redness and itching begins, although a swim in saltwater may also calm these effects. 

 

SAFETY IN THE BUSH

While in the field remember that, although rarely encountered, there may be venomous snakes around, not to mention numerous ants, wasps, and bees etc.

Do not walk in sandals into the forest or secondary growth, especially at night, and take a flashlight along at night if you cannot easily see where you are stepping. We strongly recommend you do not walk away from the group or walk off forest trails.

It is strongly recommended to not walk by yourself at Atta and Iwokrama, especially at night, or at dawn or dusk, as Jaguars and Pumas (which are not easy to spot) are more active at those times.

 

FOOD AND WATER

We normally have all our meals at the lodges and hotels where we stay. If you have any dietary requirements or food allergies, please let us know when you book the tour, so we can advise whether it will be suitable for you and make sure we can notify the people who will be preparing meals ahead of time.

Guyana is not a gourmet destination and most of the meals are “homemade dishes” which include meat (beef, chicken or pork), rice, manioc or cassava and vegetables. In the city people can choose international food, but in the more rural and remote locations of Guyana where we spend most of the time, the food is simple but still tasty and unpretentious. There is a strong Indian influence in Guyana cuisine.

Tap water is not safe to drink in Guyana. Please only drink bottled water and filtered water provided by the lodges or by your tour guide. We provide all bottled water in the vehicle, however the more expensive bottled water in restaurants and in your rooms, is for your own account, but all lodges provide water containers that are safe to drink from. Please bring a reusable water bottle to help us reduce the amount of plastic waste generated during the tour.

Drinks, including soft drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, and beer are not included in the tour price. Please note that some lodges and restaurants might charge you a fee if you open your own bottle of wine, if it is not purchased in the restaurant.

Coffee and tea are commonly found across the country but are usually not of the taste/standard familiar in the West, so if you have preferences for hot drinks, it would be worth bringing your own supply with you. Note that getting fresh milk is not possible on most of the tour, but powdered milk or UHT should be possible in most places.

 

CURRENCY AND MONEY

Guyana uses the Guyanese dollar (G$) with notes representing G$20, G$50, G$100, G$500, G$1,000, and G$5,000. The exchange rate of the Guyanese dollar to the American dollar is roughly 1 USD = 200 GYD (September 2023).

We recommend carrying US dollars, although please do not bring US dollar bills that are damaged in any way (broken tips and edges, ink marks, pieces of tape, etc.). Most institutions and people do not accept US dollars that show this kind of damage. We recommend you bring US dollars or draw cash at the airport ATMs, as we cannot spend precious birding time looking for financial institutions to make these transactions.

Your holiday is an almost-all-inclusive tour, so you only need money to cover personal expenses such as drinks, laundry service, internet access, bar expenses, souvenirs and gifts you want to take home, or any non-mandatory gratuities you would like to give to any person who you think has provided exceptional service.

 

ATM MACHINES

ATMs are only available at the international airport when you arrive in the country. Please take note that several international flights land in Georgetown late in the evening when exchange houses are closed and it might be difficult to exchange money later in the tour. Most of the lodges accept US$, and credit cards are only accepted in the city hotels, but the lodges in the remote countryside accept cash only.

 

ELECTRICITY

Guyana uses 240V and the plugs are ITA Type A/B. Adaptors are needed for overseas appliances unless you come from the Unites States. A surge protector is strongly recommended, as is a universal adaptor, to help charge your electrical devices.

Due to high humidity in the Guianan rainforests, we advise you to keep your electronics in original cases with tiny bags of silica.

 

CRIME AND SAFETY

Rural Guyana is safe for most of the tour, but Georgetown has a reputation for street crime. We ask you to take special care of your belongings.

A few simple security measures that are important to remember: do not leave the hotel on your own, do not arrive at the airport displaying your optics and other valuables such as expensive watches, do not use mobile phones in crowded areas, and keep a copy of your passport. If you arrive late in Guyana at the beginning of the tour, phone us and we will do our best to send someone to pick you up at the airport and/or organize a taxi for you. Please do not take any taxis outside the airport.

 

ACCOMMODATION

We always try to include the best accommodation available on our tours to give our clients the best experience possible. The accommodation we use are considered comfortable, but not luxurious. Guyana is remote and underdeveloped and there are limited options for ecotourism accommodation. The lodges we use provide the best birding and wildlife experiences, and in most cases the lodges provide basic amenities which include private rooms with private bathrooms. Electricity is generally uninterrupted unless there are unscheduled blackouts. There will be air conditioning in the capital, and elsewhere rooms will have fans. Hot showers are not available in the lodges which is usually not a problem after spending the day in temperatures that reach 91°F (33°C).

Most (but not all) remote lodges have Wi-fi available, but this may be charged as an extra cost.

The price of our tour is per person sharing a twin bedroom. Most of our clients, even some couples, prefer to have their own bed to sleep better after long days out birding. The standard matrimonial or double bed in Latin America is the normal double bed size, which might be too small for some people. Bedrooms with queen/king-size beds are not available on this tour.

Do not keep food in your room, unless it is necessary, such as if you are diabetic, and then please ensure you store any snacks in appropriate plastic containers. The smell of food might attract vermin near your room. It is better to leave your snacks with the kitchen staff or in our vehicle. All rooms have mosquito nets.

 

LAUNDRY

Most of the lodges offer laundry facilities which are not included in the tour price, for those wanting to travel light.

 

CLOTHING

Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are best to deter any insects and to provide protection against minor scratches from vegetation. Modern, lightweight outdoor clothes are very comfortable and dry quickly. A lightweight fleece will keep you warm on early morning boat trips which can be chilly. Shorts and T-shirts are also useful.

Light-weight hiking boots will be invaluable, preferably waterproof Gore-Tex boots. Rubber boots are always an option, and some lodges may provide these if available. Sandals are useful around lodges and beaches but should not be worn on the forest trails.

As for wet weather gear, an umbrella or poncho, whichever you feel is more practical, will both work well. Rain suits can be quite uncomfortable in the lowlands, where it is hot and humid, and even though we run our trips in the “dry” season, please note that Guyana can experience rain at any time of year.

 

WHAT TO BRING: OTHER ITEMS

Do not forget: Binoculars, camera, field guide, flashlight (torch – e.g. headtorch), spare batteries, power bank, converter plugs, plug adaptors, chargers, prescription drugs (please bring the generic names for these drugs with you), toiletries, prescription glasses (and a spare pair), insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, alarm clock, money pouch, hiking poles/walking sticks, suggested medical kit (see here), and daypacks.

Our tour leader will have a communal telescope for use during the tour, The communal scope will allow everyone opportunities to look at birds briefly on a rotation basis. If you like to “digi-scope/phone-scope”, or you would like to take prolonged scope views of the birds, please bring your own scope to do so, as the communal scope will be for everyone to look at the birds and not for photography.

Some additional items to remember to bring include important travel documents, passport, cash (or ATM/credit cards to draw money), proof of vaccinations, and your travel or health insurance cards – photocopies of all can be carried by the tour leader in case of emergency.

Bringing a couple of differently colored pens along with a 12-inch (30 centimeter) ruler can make the checklist session easier to follow.

Please refer to the tour-specific documents for further information of items to bring on the individual tours. Additional details on what to bring on a birding tour can be seen on our informative blog post here.

 

PACE, DIFFICULTY AND STYLE

Guyana is ‘old-school’ birding with no bird feeders, lighting bug traps or water pools where we might normally (in other neotropical countries) spend time waiting for birds to come eat/drink. We must rather look for birds in their natural habitat. It involves walking along forest trails and along some dirt roads looking for as many birds as we can find. Several forest birds can be difficult to see, but with the help of knowledgeable guides we will do our best to show you them, even the most secretive species, however photography of some of the more skulking species is not guaranteed and is not the priority of this tour.

We will walk an estimated three and a half miles (five kilometers) per day and in most cases, trails are rough with uneven terrain. Participants should be fit and able to do this without difficulty, including being able to climb 120 steps (up and down) to reach the canopy walkways and suspension bridges to reach canopy platforms located 80 feet (25 meters) above the forest floor. Please take note of this in case you suffer from vertigo.

We will have daily predawn starts, and will be out birding and driving in the morning with a short break after lunch and then continue birding in the afternoon. Midday breaks will not be possible when changing accommodations. We will take a few boat trips to explore rivers during the trip, and we will deal with bad roads and some long drives in the remote countryside. Participants should be fit and have enough stamina to deal with these conditions.

We ask you to please be patient and understand that Guyana is a developing country that is relatively new to the ecotourism industry with a very small number of businesses and a couple of local communities running the entire industry. Some issues that can be experienced include unscheduled blackouts at the accommodation, mechanical problems with some vehicles, flight delays, or some birding hotspots that may have disappeared due to a natural fire or deforestation. Birding Ecotours will do its best to fix any potential issues and provide the fastest solution to any unforeseen challenges that may occur.

There are no high elevation locations on this trip, therefore altitude sickness should not be a problem, as we will be birding in a lowland country.

 

WEATHER

The weather will be hot and humid reaching 91-95°F (33-35°C) throughout the trip. Although we run our Guyana birding tours during the dry season, there is still a chance of rain on this tour.

 

PLANES AND LOCAL FLIGHTS

Depending on the size of our fixed groups, or for private tours, we will take small single- engine passenger planes or twin-engine propeller planes. Please note that sometimes weather can cause flights in rural Guyana to be postponed, and delays on arrival and departure may occur.

We will fly from Georgetown to the Kaieteur Falls and to Surama Eco-Lodge on a charter flight (as described above). The ground fixers will ask for your individual body weight before we board the plane. To return to Georgetown from Letham we will take a commercial flight where there are luggage restrictions – any extra fees from this are not included in the tour price.

 

TOUR VEHICLES & SEAT ROTATION

For our Guyana birding tour we will mostly use a large van, to ensure each participant has their own window, unless the group is very small in which case, we will use a smaller van. Either way, at Birding Ecotours we follow a seat rotation policy on all set departure tours. This will ensure everybody has equal opportunities throughout the tour. Unfortunately, motion sickness will not excuse you from our seat rotation policy and thus if you are prone to motion sickness, you should ensure you bring the necessary medication. We also require that you are fit and flexible enough to maneuver yourself to the back of the vehicle. Tour participants should also be mindful of the extra equipment they bring into the general seating area of the vehicle (rather than the luggage section) and should ensure they do not clog up the general thoroughfare or extra seats with camera equipment, tripods, etc. from a comfort and health and safety point of view.

 

BOOKS

Sadly, to date, Guyana lacks a proper bird field guide. We recommend the following books to help you during your birding trip to Guyana:

 

Birds of Venezuela – David Ascanio (2021), Helm Edition.

Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide, Vol: 2 – Robin Restall (2007), Helm Edition.

Guyana: Bradt Travel Guide – Kirk Smock (2018). Bradt Travel Guides.

Guyana Travel Guide: An ultimate travel guide to Guyana – Annie Priest (2023), Independently published.

Birding Ecotours

Download Guyana General Information

Eduardo is still one of my favourite guides. He is knowledgeable, always kind and considerate and goes the extra mile to look after us. Our Guyana birding tour was an excellent tour with two different habitats, rain forest and savannah, giving a good selection of tropical birds. We enjoyed it immensely!

Susan - On Eduardo and Guyana

A superb tour in a lovely friendly and relaxed country, with lovely accommodation, two brilliant guides and birding in excellent habitats; the time allocation was good and made best use of our time in the country

John - On Guyana

Eduardo is an excellent birding guide but more importantly an outstanding, patient, and thoroughly knowledgeable person who really went the extra mile to make sure everyone had a great experience. His knowledge of the neotropics and birds and nature is vast, and his enthusiasm for the trip was inexhaustible. Long days, early mornings, and vast distances never once detracted from his positive demeanor and his willingness to entertain questions and share explanations and knowledge 

Eduardo’s knowledge of birds and nature is only surpassed by his friendly nature, his incredible work ethic and his true desire for everyone on his trip to both see the birds and have a really positive experience. I cannot wait to sign up for another of his tours. 

Sherry - On Eduardo and Guyana

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