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Guyana – A great destination for birdwatching in South America

Guyana, a small country in South America, is renowned for its stunning waterfalls, lush rainforest, spectacular trekking sites, and freshwater marshes teeming with mammals and birds. Formerly a British Guiana colony, it is the only country in South America where English is still the first language. Over the years, Guyana has gained a reputation of being a premier destination for birdwatching in South America.

Take flights to Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana, to discover a country offering a plethora of the avian richness to the quintessential eco-tourists. If you are planning for birdwatching tour in Guyana, the country with its fabulous avian species is simply going to delight you endlessly.

However, here are a few facts that you should take note of when planning your trip. A birding tour in Guyana can prove to be quite expensive because of the high cost of living here. So, if you are ready to embark on your birdwatching tour to Guyana, consider going with a large group to keep costs down and your expenses within manageable limits. The birdwatching tours are usually conducted round the year by tour operators. You must however avoid such tours during the rainy season during the months of May-July and December-January. It is also highly recommended that you should book your birdwatching tour with one of the reputed operators at least six months in advance.

Now that you are all set to begin your birdwatching tour in Guyana, here’s all that you can expect and how your itinerary shapes up. Most of the flights to Georgetown arrive in the evening, so you will be required to spend your night in Guyana’s capital city. If you want to enjoy your birdwatching tour thoroughly you will need to put aside at least 10 days for this.

After spending a day in Georgetown, you should now be ready to embark on a thrilling birdwatching tour. The Georgetown Botanical Gardens will be the first stop of your tour. It’s a fantastic place to see the Black-crested Antshrike, Red-shouldered Macaw, the Guianan endemic Blood-colored Woodpecker, and many other bird species. After spending a few hours at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, now get ready for a short flight south over the massive rainforests to the savanna of the Rupuruni. You will be required to spend two nights at Karanambu Ranch, an eco-lodge operated by Diane McTurk, widely famous for her work rehabilitating orphaned Giant Otters. Staying here is indeed enjoyable as you can expect treatment just like any other Diane’s family member.

Your birdwatching tour continues at Karanumbu Ranch, where you will find an interesting mix of savanna and rainforest. The morning will be spent finding the Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Black-chinned Antbird, the bizarre Capuchinbird and the rare Crestless Curassow. After spotting these bird species, it will be time for you to have your lunch and drive out to the grasslands to look out for other bird species such as the local Bearded Tachuri, Brown-throated Parakeet, White-tailed Goldenthroat and Bicolored Wren. There are high possibilities of spotting the Ehite-tailed Nightjar and nearly four nighthawk species hawking insects at dusk.
Now, get ready to head from Karanambu towards the village if Annai. You will be offered a boat ride downriver to Annai. The boat ride will be a great fun. During the course of your journey, you will get opportunity to see a variety of kingfishers darting upriver. Here’s a chance for you to watch raptors such as fish-eating Black-collared Hawk plunging into the water to get its catch. You will be required to spend your night at the lovely Rockview Lodge, which offers a glimpse of wide-eyed Double-striped Thick-knees and huge Jabirus dotting the surrounding seasonally wet savanna.

It’s time for you to leave Annai and head to Surama. While on your way, take opportunity to reach the forest-clad hilltop, which is undoubtedly the world’s best place to see the stunning Spotted Puffbird. You will also be thrilled on seeing other bird species such as cute Blue-backed Manakins, staring Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrants, and noisy White-belled Antbirds. After you have enjoyed bird-watching and delicious lunch, it’s time to reach the indigenous village of Surama, which is now run as Atta Lodge.

It’s a great joy to enter the fantastic tall rainforest after passing through a wide trail in some open habitat. This is among major highlight of your tour. Here’s your chance to watch some beautiful parrots such as Caica, Blue-cheeked, and Red-fan. Apart from these, you will also be able to see some most spectacular antbirds like Ferruginous-backed and White-plumed. Don’t forget to visit the huge Iwokrama Forest and get awesome experience during your bird-watching tour in Guyana.

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