Harpy Eagle Explorer

Georgetown - Lethem - Dadanawa Ranch - Kanuku Mountains - Rupununi River - Karanambu - Georgetown (11 days / 10 nts)  From $N/A

Harpy Eagle

Day 1: Arrive in Guyana
Arrive in Guyana and transfer to Georgetown.  Overnight at Cara Lodge.

(Included meals : N / A)

Day 2: Lethem
0915hrs transfer to Ogle Airstrip for a flight to Lethem.  Meet your guide, an experienced adventurer and naturalist Duane DeFreitas. Travel by 4x4 southward breaking the journey to look at some marshy ponds near Makusi Village before continuing toward Dadanawa Ranch.  This is the largest ranch in Guyana, covering 1700 square miles, and our first stop will be at a private residence there, Mountain Point, the home of Shirley Humphrey’s, about ten miles from the main ranch buildings.  Surrounded by gently rolling savannah with tawny grasses and the twisted, fire-blackened trunks of Curatella or “sandpaper” trees, and dominated to the north by the low peaks of the Kanuku Mountains and to the south by the steep spires of outlying Dukban and Shiriri, Mountain Point is set in the midst of a vast emptiness. 

The weathered building seems altogether improbable here yet gives the impression of having endured forever with its thatched roof and tiny orchard, and the birds frequenting this little oasis have grown almost fearless, even the normally timid ground-doves.  We’ll take a walk to a shallow reedy pond and narrow strip of light forest nearby.  Then we’ll make the short trip to Dadanawa Ranch, a cluster of raised wooden buildings surmounted by a towering Brazil nut tree and more or less surrounded by low gallery forest along the Rupununi River.  After establishing ourselves here we’ll travel eastward and pass several shallow ponds before reaching Towa Towan, a high, rounded outcrop of blackened granite with a Jabiru nest near the summit and a small pond at the base with dense mucca mucca, a giant arum.  We’ll look for certain flycatchers in surrounding Curatella glades and in late afternoon we’ll hope to see nighthawks on the wing and witness the roosting of Yellow-crowned Parrots.  Overnight at Dadanawa Ranch. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Lethem
Leaving by Land Rover in early morning, we’ll make an all-day trip to some of the ranch’s outstations and several extraordinarily beautiful sites, with lightly forested mountainsides and high, black domes. We should see a variety of raptors and other open-country birds, but our particular object will be the Red Siskin, recently found to occur here.  Our route may also permit us to visit a “bush island,” or isolated patch of heavier forest, home to an interesting aggregation of bird species.  Tonight will be spent in a hammock camp in the savannah. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Rupununi River
This morning we will bird in the savannah before travelling back to the ranch by 4x4. This afternoon birding in the low gallery forest along the Rupununi River.  Overnight at Dadanawa Ranch. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Sand Creek
We will leave early this morning for the Amerindian village of Sand Creek and then take a 10 mile hike through the jungle to Crabwood Creek, birdwatching as we go.  Bullocks and staff will travel ahead of us with our gear and have a hammock camp prepared in the rainforest. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Sand Creek
This morning we hike through the jungle to the site of a Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lek.  We should see one or more males in the low branches and if lucky may even see them performing their mating dance. Overnight in hammock camp. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7: Kanuku Mountains
Today we travel down the Rupununi River through the centre of the Kanuku Mountains*, in small boats which offer excellent platforms for birding along the river banks.  Apart from birds there is the opportunity to see Black Caiman, Giant River Otters and other wildlife.   Eventually we turn into the Maparri River, a tributary of the Rupununi, which flows out of the Kanuku Mountains.  Maparri Wilderness Camp is set at the foot of a small waterfall**.  The area is rich in birdlife and includes Macaws, Toucans and Cock-of-the-rock to name a few.   Overnight at Maparri Wilderness Camp. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8: Kanuku Mountains
A morning drift along the river, listening to the birds awakening can be very rewarding.  From our camp we will trek through the forest to the site of an active Harpy Eagle nest.  As of mid May 2004 the nest was in use with eggs already laid, which means the nest should be active with young through until around November 2004.  An active nest almost ensures a view of the chick and adult bird.  Over the years we have had 100% success rate in seeing Harpy Eagle when we have an active nest.  Overnight at Maparri Wilderness Camp. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: Rupununi
This morning we break camp early and travel back down the Maparri River and into the Rupununi River and continue downstream.  The river abruptly leaves the rainforest of the Kanuku Mountains and enters the open savannah of the North Rupununi.  Black Caiman are quite common here and there is also good bird watching down this stretch of river until we reach Karanambu Ranch.

This is the home of Diane McTurk, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters to the wild.  Diane and her otters have appeared on National Geographic, Jeff Corwin Experience, Really Wild Show (BBC) and the Calgary’s “Zoo World”.  Karanambu has a long history of visiting naturalists and Diane’s father, Tiny McTurk, has welcomed David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell (Three Singles to Adventure).  Dinner with Diane, will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannahs.  Overnight at Karanambu Ranch.

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Georgetown city
This morning explore the Rupununi River in search of Spotted Puffbird, Striped Woodcreeper and Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin and you may also see wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Arapaima. Birding around the ranch house may reveal Least Grebe, Green Ibis, Crested Caracara and Yellow-headed Caracara, Orange-breasted, Peregrine and Bat Falcons, Solitary and Spotted Sandpiper. After lunch take a flight back to Georgetown.

Enjoy an afternoon Georgetown city tour to see its extraordinary wooden architecture and to shop in its exciting markets and craft shops.  We’ll conclude at the extensive and beautiful Botanic Garden, where, if we are lucky, the trip’s ornithological finale will be Blood-coloured Woodpecker, an astonishingly colourful Veniliornis found only in the Guiana’s and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain.  Overnight at Cara Lodge. 

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11: Fly out from Georgetown
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight. 

(Included meals : Breakfast)

- airport transfer
- double or twin accommodation (one single for odd sized groups)
- camping equipment
- meals as indicated
- internal flights
- all road and river transport
- local guides
- activities as described

Not Included
- items of personal nature
- alcoholic drinks
- departure tax

Double = minimum of two persons
Triple = minimum of three persons
Quad = minimum of four persons