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WINGS Birding Tours – Information


Kaieteur, Rainforest, Savannah, and Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin Specialties

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

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 your scheduled departure from Guyana and with at least one blank page for entrance and exit stamps.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at

PACE OF TOUR: This is a moderately strenuous tour, with lots of walking in hot and humid conditions.Our tour will have several long days and regular walks of two or three miles or more on trails that may be uneven and muddy. Participants should be reasonably fit and expect to be on their feet for fairly long periods of time – a folding stool might come in handy.

We’ll make early starts most days so as to be in the field in the coolest part of the day. Please note that we have several VERY early departures on this tour: day 2 (4:30am), day 12 (4:00am), and day 13 (3:30am). These early departures are required to reach the birding areas at the best time of morning. For the rest of the tour, our standard breakfast time is 5:30 or 6:00am.

We try to balance the early starts and consistent walking with a mid-day break of a couple hours during the slower and warmer hours of the day. This can be a good time for a nap, some reading, or catching up on birding notes. We’ll then make an afternoon outing, by foot, boat, or vehicle, before returning to our lodge before dinner and checklist. The tour visits only lowlands, and we remain below 2,000’ elevation for the duration of the tour.

RESTROOM BREAKS: We’ll be birding mostly in remote and undeveloped areas. Thus, “real” bathroom facilities are typically lacking during the hours that we’re away from our lodges. All tour participants should be comfortable taking restroom breaks in nature.  Typically we are away from the lodges for the morning and back by lunch.  On a few days, we may be out most of the day or have a bit longer between stops.

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure.

Yellow Fever:  The Centers for Disease Control recommends yellow fever vaccination for all travelers to Guyana. The Guyanese government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination from all travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present. 

Malaria:  There is a risk of malaria in some parts of the country, and resistance to Chloroquine has been reported. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at

Leishmaniasis: This is a rare but present disease in the areas we visit. The only way to prevent leischmaniasis is to avoid insect bites (in this case sand flies) using long-sleeved shirts, pants, and insect repellent. The probability of getting leischmaniasis during a short trip to Guyana is quite low. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, 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 stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous: Biting insects are typically not very numerous, but this depends on recent weather conditions and there can be areas with mosquitos, small sand flies, and biting black flies. Chiggers can be especially troublesome. Note that chiggers especially are difficult to avoid, and are almost inevitable at some point on a tour in Guyana. They seem to be most likely on our first day of birding along the coast, but are possible elsewhere. We recommend tucking pants into socks, or wearing rubber boots, and spraying insect repellent around your ankles and legs. Many people have found that treating clothing with permethrin is particularly useful.

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.

Tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available. 

CLIMATE: Guyana’s dry season lasts from October to April. Temperatures in the Guyanese lowlands can reach the 90’s (°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. 

ACCOMMODATION: Our hotel in Georgetown is modern and contains all of the usual amenities of a standard resort hotel. The Iwokrama River Lodge is well appointed (electricity 24H, Wi-Fi, cell phone signal). The facilities at Atta and Surama are more rustic, with basic but comfortable accommodations. Note that at the more remote lodges electricity might not be available 24h after the generators are turned off or when the solar batteries are emptied because of lack of sun or too much use by the guests. Wi-Fi internet access using satellite connections is available at most of the lodges and is usually charged around 5 USD for one hour. Hot showers are only available at our hotel in Georgetown. All the other accommodations used during the trip only have cold water (but it is warm enough not to need hot water!). All of the lodges provide mosquito netting over the beds.

FOOD: Guyanese food is a wonderful mix of Caribbean, Indian and indigenous tastes, with excellently flavored sauces, vegetables and rice and meats. The constant supply of fresh tropical fruits and amply apportioned dinners are a great bonus as well.

Food Allergies: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

Drinks: Bottled water or a soft drink or a beer is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room, etc., are the responsibility of the individual. We also keep bottled water on the coach for “emergency” use during the day. As it can get hot during the day, we recommend that you bring a large, good-quality water bottle and keep it topped off. 

TRANSPORTATION: We will employ a variety of transportation methods during this tour, including modern passenger buses, high-speed and small watercraft, small aircraft, 4WD vehicles or pickup trucks. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

LUGGAGE: Baggage weight and cargo limits on internal flights in Guyana are strictly enforced – it’s imperative to keep this in mind when packing. You will be notified of the weight limits with the Tour Confirmation and Final Tour Information details about 2-3 months prior to departure. The combined carryon and checked baggage weight limit on internal flights in Guyana is technically 9.1kg (20lbs), a weight limit that is difficult to meet even for the lightest of travelers. The airline will allow overweight luggage on the aircraft (within the limits of safety), but they will charge an overweight baggage fee of about US$0.98/pound, one way. WINGS will cover overages up to 9.1kg, for a total baggage weight of 18.2kg (40lbs).

PHOTOGRAPHY: Scenery and memory shots will be plentiful and easy to obtain, but birds are very difficult to photograph in tropical rainforests. During our days in the forested areas of Iwokrama, photographing birds will be relatively difficult. However, during our visit to the open habitats in the savannas, along the rivers of the interior and on the canopy tower, there will be better opportunities for photography. Please be aware that birdwatching tours do not provide the best conditions for bird photography, as we frequently cannot remain long enough in one location and the group will move with the leader so may not be able to stay in locations for better lighting or a better view of the bird once everyone has had a chance to see the bird. If you wish to ‘digiscope’ please ensure that you bring your own telescope; the leader’s scope will not be available for this purpose. Be certain to bring as many memory cards as you think you will use, as it may be difficult to find precisely what you need on short notice. Camera equipment should be packed in moisture- and dust-proof bags as a precaution. 

Updated: 17 January 2024