Become a Rancher
Learn the trade of a South American Vaquero: crack a bull whip, lasso a cow, round up the cattle, track jaguar, use a bow and arrow, try some leather craft, grate some cassava and maybe ride a wild bull!
All in 4 action packed days at Wichabai Ranch.
Scroll down for rates.
Your adventure begins when we pick you up in the border town of Lethem and drive you by 4X4 across the savannahs to Wichabai Ranch.
Get settled in your rooms, and before dinner, saddle up your horse and help the vaqueros herd the cattle back into the corral. You'll be shown how to throw a lasso and crack a bullwhip. Remember these skills; you will need them later!
Have dinner and drinks with your hosts Justin and Erin on the verandah of their ranch house, and hear the stories of years of Rupununi exploits over a glass (or bottle) of rum.
While the sun comes up, we will teach you all the skills you need to become an expert animal tracker, perhaps finding the prints of a giant anteater or even one of the jaguars that prowl around the ranch. Set a camera trap which you can collect and view before you go home. In the past we have got footage of jaguars and other wild cats, tapir, monkeys, caiman and anteaters.
Lunch is a relaxed affair, and afterwards, take a chance to rock in a shady hammock, or perhaps go for a swim in the beautiful freshwater lake just a minute's walk from your room.
In the cool of the evening take a horse ride to our farm, and pick produce for dinner. After dinner we'll venture out onto the river, shining for fish and nocturnal birds and animals
After a relaxed breakfast with your hosts, take a drive to a nearby village where you will visit a farm and try your hand at working with cassava, the staple crop of the area.
At lunch, try some of the traditional amerindian foods used by the vaqueros on their long rides: tasso (salted beef) and farine (dried cassava), and of course kari, the fermented cassava drink guaranteed to surprise your taste buds.
Our vaqueros make their own gear from leather and rawhide. In the afternoon you'll be taught how to craft a belt or knife socket that you can take home with you.
Later in the evening you can go for a swim or a canoe ride - maybe you'll catch some fish for dinner. In the night we will blaze up the fire and roast our dinner under the stars.
On your final morning with us take up your position in the corral where you will be able to practice your skills: crack a bull whip, lasso a wild animal and maybe (if you are feeling brave or crazy) ride bareback on a wild bull.
We'll collect your camera trap and you can review the footage from the last two days: have you captured the image of a jaguar to take home and frame?
After some final goodbyes, you will make your way back to Lethem to catch onward transport.
This is an example itinerary: activities will depend on your interests, budget, timescale and the weather and conditions.
In the Guest Houses
In the Ranch House
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Rates are in US$ and do not include transfers from/to Lethem
Rates for up to 8px on request