Our Group Tour Operations Manager Dan has just got back from our Three Guianas: Guyana, Suriname & French Guiana recce tour and he cannot stop talking about what an incredible time he had. Here he fills us in on some of the many highlights from the tour.
The best view must have been from Turtle Mountain in Guyana. Leaving Iwokrama Lodge early in the morning, it takes approximately one hour by boat to reach the starting point for the hike to the top. This is not an easy jungle hike. It is hot and humid and you are guaranteed to bump into creepy-crawlies on the way up. However once you reach the summit the view is absolutely spectacular. This is a must for any bird-watchers at heart.
Two in particular; papaya gratin in French Guiana, which is actually prepared when the fruit is still green, and chicken in Surinamese spicy peanut sauce. Suriname is strongly influenced by Indonesian cuisine, so the peanut sauce can only be described as a thick and crunchy satay sauce. Both are absolutely delicious.
Best night’s accommodation?
Danpaati River Lodge; the lodge is run by the village of Danpaati and also employs people from the surrounding communities. You get a very close experience with the culture of the Maroon people and their unique African tradition, and they are quite possibly some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. The lodge is spectacular, bedded on an island in the middle of the unspoiled Amazon Rainforest.
Swimming in the Suriname River. There are various corners which are considered safe and it’s a lot of fun to ride the rapids. Quite a refreshing experience.
I would have loved to spend more time in French Guiana exploring the Iles du Salut (the Salvation Islands). These beautiful islands hide so many stories and myths of the famous French prison where facts and fiction from Papillion are intertwined. The islands are historical relics, haunting and thought-provoking.
Any tips for travellers?
Be prepared to get very wet. Sometimes it rains seven times a day, proper downpours that only last 10 minutes but if not prepared you will be soaked in under two minutes.
Flying over Kaieteur Falls, it is incredible to see this impressive waterfall from the air. When you walk towards the view-point, make sure to look into the Bromeliads on the way. You might be lucky and find a colourful tree frog in the sheltering hollow.