Sun Parakeet
Wood Stork

BIRDING with Rupununi Trails

With thirty years of experience in Guyana...

...designing and running tours for Exotic Birds, Rockjumpers, Wings International, Wilderness Explorers and many others.  We bring together award-winning guides and unique, customizable itineraries at the best rates.

A new birding itinerary from Rupununi Trails

Guyana's Birding Secrets

August  - December 2021, 15 days

From 
    US$4100 /person
             for groups of 8 
10% off!

Rupununi Trails, working with the South Rupununi Conservation Society, will take you deep into Guyana’s only Important Bird Area and Three Protected Areas.  This is the only birding or wildlife tour that will let you sleep in the heart of the Kanuku Protected Area, join in grassroots conservation, and see the best of Guyana’s birds in all her major habitats.

This two week itinerary transports you through all the major habitats of Guyana’s extraordinary bird and wildlife biodiversity: from the bustle of the coast to ancient savannahs of the South Rupununi, by river through the heart of the rainforested Kanuku Mountains, and into North Rupununi savannahs and wetlands.

As seen on James Currie's 'A Wild Connection' - check our facebook page for more images and videos of this recent trip!

Birds of this trip

Guyana's Birding Secrets

Full customizable Itinerary

DAY ONE

Arrive in the bustling coastal city of Georgetown and make yourself

comfortable at your hotel.  Drive out along the marshy flatlands to view

the coastal and sea birds.  Scarlet Ibis flock with Egrets and other sea birds.

 

Guyana’s coastland is populated by all of the ‘six nations’ that make

up Guyana’s modern ethnic mix.  Experience the diversity of foods,

architecture and music that give the city its vibrancy.

 

 

Highlight birds:

Scarlet Ibis, Hoatzin, Rufous Crab Hawk

Sleep:

Georgetown Hotel

 

DAY TWO

After early morning birding at Georgetown Botanical Gardens, a one-hour flight from a small airport will take you over hundreds of miles of rainforest and into the savannahs of Guyana’s interior.

 

Check into your accommodation along a creek just outside the border town of Lethem.  Then bird along Takatu River for the Rio Branco Ant bird and the Hoary-throated Spinetail.  In the evening, soak in your first of many unforgettable Rupununi Sunsets.

Highlight birds:

Blood-coloured Woodpecker, White-bellied Piculet, Rio Branco Antbird, Hoary-throated Spinetail, Orange-billed Troupial

 

Sleep:

Manari Ranch, Central Rupununi

 

DAY THREE

Travel through South Rupununi to Wichabai Ranch, passing through indigenous villages and stopping for birds like the Spine-tailed Creeper along the way. 

 

Wichabai is the home of Rupununi Trails and the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS), and our new cabins and SRCS Research Station have just opened up.  At mealtimes overlooking the lake, and on short walks from your guest houses, you will see Sharp-tailed Ibis, herons and Jabiru, and in the evenings, Double-striped Thick-knees, Nacunda Nighthawks, and Great Horned Owls.

 

You can combine your birdwatching with Giant Anteater conservation and Research:  Wichabai is the centre of SRCS’s Giant Anteater programme, and you can join our local researchers as they track anteaters and set camera traps in the afternoon.  Any new anteater you find can be named in your honour!

 

Highlight birds:

Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Spine tailed Creeper, Purple Gallinule, Sharp tailed Ibis,

White-naped Xenopsaris, Bearded Tachuri

Sleep:

Wichabai Ranch, South Rupununi

 

DAY FOUR

This day is dedicated to birding through the spectacular landscapes south of the Kanukus, Guyana’s first ‘Important Bird Area’ in search of the Red Siskin.  

 

The siskin was the first bird to be placed on the IUCN Red List, and it was known only from a vanishingly small population in Venezuela before an entirely new population was discovered in this part of the South Rupununi just 20 years ago.  Members of Rupununi Trails set up the South Rupununi Conservation Society to protect the species, and since then our organization has grown into the major grassroots conservation society in Guyana.

 

Visit petroglyph sites at spectacular Barowadtau Mountain, and bird along the ponds on

the way back to Wichabai.

 

Highlight birds:

Red Siskin, Cayanne Jay, Azure Galinule, Sun Bittern, Pinated Bittern, Aplomado Falcon,

Crested Bobwhite

 

Sleep:

Wichabai Ranch, South Rupununi

 

DAY FIVE

This is the start of our River Birding adventure.  Travel downstream on the Rupununi River, birding as you go, through the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area.  Deep in the Kanuku Mountains, sleep in hammocks at Camp Kumaran, our thatched open-walled cabin perched high above the river. Look down on Scarlet Macaws and eagles flying over the rainforest canopy.

 

Camp Kumaran hosts the SRCS Yellow-spotted River Turtle Conservation team.  In season, you can join them as they do population counts and protect the nesting sites of this threatened species.

 

Spend the rest of the day birding around the trails in the surrounding foothills.  In the evening, drift along the river and nearby creeks looking for wildlife and sleeping birds in the overhanging gallery forest. 

 

 

Highlight birds:

Scarlet Macaw, Great Black Hawk, Purple-throated Euphonia,

Painted Parakeet, Epaulet Oriole, Southern Rough-winged Swallow,

Pied Plovers

Sleep:

Camp Kumaran, Kanuku Mountains, Rupununi River

 

DAY SIX

 

Today, explore the deep forest by foot and canoe.  A place rarely travelled by tourists, the Crabwood Creek winds its way through the forest to a waterfall.  Bird from canoes and along forest trails before returning to camp and another evening’s night drift before bed.

 

You are likely to see any of 6 species of monkeys, giant river otters, and perhaps some of the rarer species like tapir, capybara, peccary and occasionally even jaguar in this extremely isolated area.

Highlight birds:

White-throated Toucan, Black-necked Aracari, Amazon Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, White-winged Swallow, White-banded Swallow, Spectacled Owl, Tawny-bellied Screech Owl

Sleep:

Camp Kumaran, Kanuku Mountains, Rupununi River

DAY SEVEN

Break camp early and travel downstream Rupununi, and up Maparri Creek, to a beautiful camp below the Maparri Waterfalls.  On the way, you will see Kingfishers, of which there are five species here.  Macaws and many species of parrots screech overhead.  Vultures, of which the King is the most magnificent, can often be seen.

 

At Maparri, bathe at the base of the waterfalls in a natural Jacuzzi. 

Here there are tool marks made by early indigenous peoples who

used the area for living, hunting and fishing.

 

Highlight birds:

Pinniated Sunbittern, Agami Heron, King Vulture

Sleep:

Maparri Wildernes Camp, Rupununi River

 

DAY EIGHT

Spend a whole day around Maparri.  Early morning, and late in the afternoon, drift downstream, birding along the dense, overhanging forest.

 

From here, we will check out a Harpy Eagle nest.  The birds nest in the fork of massive

Silk Cotton trees and patrol the canopy for miles around.  We often see them at the

next when they come to feed their single chick.

 

 

Highlight birds:

Harpy Eagle, Dusky Parrot, Blue Parrot, Antbirds (many species)

Sleep:

Maparri Wilderness Camp, Rupununi River

 

DAY NINE

A long day on the river as we travel out of the mountains and into the gallery forest in North Rupununi savannahs.  Stop for birding and to see the giant caiman prowling the shallows.  Giant River Otters play in large family groups and make dens in the river banks.

 

This evening, enjoy great food and comfortable beds at your lodge.   Karanambu Ranch is world-renowned for its orphaned Giant River Otter rehabilitation.  If you are up for it, night time birding for Striped Owls and other nocturnal creatures is possible.

 

 

 

Highlight birds:

Spotted Puffbird, Razo-billed Curassow, Striped Owl

 

Sleep:

Karanambu, North Rupununi

 

DAY TEN

All day birding around your lodge.  In the morning, hike into the low woodlands on the Capuchin Trail.   This seasonally flooded gallery forest connects the Rupununi River with larger bush islands in the Savannah, and provides important habitat for bush wildlife.

 

 

In the evening, see the Victoria Amazonica Water lilies at sunset, and drink a

famous rum punch from the boat.

 

Highlight birds:

Agami Heron, Capuchin Bird, Crestless Curacao, Black-crested Antshrike

 

Sleep:

Karanambu, North Rupununi

 

 

DAY ELEVEN

Leave early for the small village of Karasabai.  This isolated village, surrounded in the picturesque foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, is the only place in Guyana you can see the beautiful Sun Parakeet.  On the road out, find the Crested Doradito hiding in the thick grass of the wetlands.  Stop at the area where waters from the Essequibo river basin mingle with the mighty Amazon river basin.

 

From Karasabai, travel north to Atta in Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve and

overnight. This 371 000 hectares of intact primary rainforest is managed

sustainably to show that a forest is more than a sum of its parts.

 

Highlight birds:

Sun Parakeet, Painted Parakeet, Crested Doradito

 

Sleep:

Atta Lodge, Iwokrama Rainforest

 

DAY TWELVE

Very early, bird at a nearby bridge looking for Crimson Topaz and Curacao, Grey-winged Trumpeters and many parrots.  As soon as the mist clears, get up onto the Canopy Walkway for wonderful birding right in the treetops.  The canopy walkway is the only recreational canopy walkway in South America.

 

Back at the Lodge is a beautiful hummingbird garden, and black curassow and deer often come to feed under the trees.  This is where you will find the Crimson Fruitcrow.

 

In the evening, look for owls and potoos along the roads and trails.

Highlight birds:

Crimson Fruit Crow, Black-Throated Antshrike, Guianan Toucanet, Grey-winged Trumpeter

 

Sleep:

Atta Lodge,

Iwokrama Rainforest

 

DAY THIRTEEN

This morning’s missions are in two different habitats: the Rufous Potoo in a flooded palm tree forest and Black Manakins found in a low, white-sand based forest.  Guiana Red Cotingas are also sometimes found around this area.

 

Look for white-plumed Antbird, Black-chinned Antbird, Antpittas and many other rainforest birds in the trails around the lodge this afternoon.

 

And later, back on the road are Crested and Green Oropendolas, Aracaris, and parrots of every colour.

Highlight birds:

Rufous Potoo, Black Manakin, Guiana Red Cotinga, Golden Headed Manakin

 

Sleep:

Atta Lodge, Iwokrama Rainforest

 

 

Optional extra day

Take an extra day to explore at Iwokrama River Lodge, famous for Orange-breasted Falcons, Guinana Streaked Antwren and other deep forest birds.

 

Highlight birds:

Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo

White-plumed Antbird

Guianan Streaked Antwren

 

Sleep:

Iwokrama

River Lodge

 

DAY FOURTEEN

Early morning birding, then take a charter flight back to Georgetown. 

 

There is an option to fly to Kaiteur Falls, astonishing for its sheer drop (the longest single drop in the world) and for the absence of any crowds.  Your small plane of passengers will likely be the only group at the Falls, so you can take your time and take in the unobstructed view.

 

If not, engage in some more birding along the coast.

 

Highlight birds:

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

White-chinned Swift

White-collared Swift

 

Sleep:

Georgetown Hotel

 

DAY FIFTEEN

Join your onward connections

 

More Itineraries from Rupununi Trails

Our family Tour Operator, Rupununi Trails, has been creating journeys for adventurous travelers for almost 30 years.

We will plan your entire trip through Guyana, or just a part of it.  Whether your interests lie in wildlife, mountain climbing, indigenous culture, birding, wild adventure or exotic eating (or all of the above), we can build an itinerary for you.

You will be able to see first hand the benefits that locally-run eco-tourism can bring: providing employment and supporting conservation and education in isolated communities.

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Rupununi Trails - Experience Rupununi -

Wichabai Ranch
South Rupununi

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