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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Guyana

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Guyana. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING AND LEAVING GUYANA: Citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada do not need visas for visits up to 90 days. Every visitor must, however, have a passport valid for more than six months after the date scheduled to leave Guyana. Tourist cards will be issued by the airline on which you arrive. On leaving Guyana, a fee of approximately US $21.00 must be paid; it is usually included in your ticket price if you are flying with a U.S. airline, but please check with your carrier when making reservations.

MAPS AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view maps of Guyana in the University of Texas series here. You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information here, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Guyana here.

HEALTH: Malaria prophylaxis is suggested. There is a risk of malaria in some parts of the country, and resistance to Chloroquine has been reported. Please check with your physician to determine which anti-malarial drug is best for you. Please remember that many anti malarial drugs must be initiated one or more weeks before the period of exposure and continued for several weeks after it concludes. Information on traveling in Guyana from the Centers for Disease Control notes that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, help to reduce malaria risk.

The Guyanese government recommends that all travelers, regardless of their country of departure, be vaccinated for yellow fever before entering Guyana. The Centers for Disease Control currently recommend the following vaccines (see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for immunizations to take effect) if you are not up-to-date with routine shots: measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, typhoid, poliovirus vaccine, hepatitis A and B, and yellow fever vaccination.

Specialized and prescription medications may be difficult to obtain, and we advise bringing all you need.

Biting insects are not numerous, although mosquitoes and black flies occur locally and chiggers can be especially troublesome. Several species of biting insects act as vectors for parasitic agents in Guyana, and the prevention of bites is the best remedy possible. A can of spray repellent should provide adequate protection against the mosquitoes, sandflies and black flies, while chiggers and ticks can normally be avoided by staying out of the grass on the trails and road. If you are especially sensitive to insect bites, bring an antihistamine.

We recommend drinking bottled water, and will stop as needed for you to purchase bottled water to have with you in the field each day.

PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE: This tour is lightly to moderately strenuous, with occasionally long days and some walks of a few miles or more on trails that may be uneven, muddy or hilly. Participants in reasonably good health should have no difficulties. 

Because this tour is in the tropical lowlands, where temperatures are often high and bird activity much greater in the early morning, we’ll make early starts most days so as to be in the field from dawn. In most areas we’ll be birding all day, usually returning to our lodging about an hour before dinner and checklist. At some lodges, we will be close enough that a lunchtime return and siesta during the slower (and warmer) mid-day hours will be possible. In some areas we’ll have pre-dawn breakfasts in our hotel or lodge, in others we’ll take a picnic breakfast with us. Lunches will vary – sometimes picnics and sometimes sit-down meals at our lodgings. All dinners will be at our hotel/lodge or in a restaurant nearby. The tour visits only lowlands, and we remain below 2,000’ elevation for the duration of the tour.

CLIMATE AND ALTITUDE: Guyana’s dry season lasts from October to April. Temperatures in the lowlands can reach the 90s (°F) at mid-day and humidity can be high. Rain can occur at any time, and you should have an umbrella and waterproof footwear with you at all times. The tour visits only lowlands, and we remain below 2,000 feet for the duration of the tour.

ACCOMMODATION: Our hotel in Georgetown is modern and contains all of the usual amenities of a standard resort hotel. Rock View Lodge and the Iwokrama River Lodge are well appointed. The facilities at Surama and Atta are more rustic, with generator-based electricity and basic accommodations. Note that at the more remote lodges electricity may not be available after the generators are turned off for the night. Most lodges, even in remote areas, offer WiFi internet access using satellite connections.

FOOD: All meals will be prepared by the lodges. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the lodges, while lunches and snacks will be in the field. The food is excellent on the tour, with a varied menu featuring local cuisine (a blend of Caribbean, East Indian and local Amerindian dishes).

TRANSPORTATION: We will employ a variety of transportation methods during this tour, including modern passenger buses, high-speed and small watercraft, small aircraft, jeeps, pickup and even ex-British military trucks!

SMOKING: We request that you not smoke in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a more restrictive policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more complete General Information for Tours to Guyana will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Updated: June 2013