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GUYANA

with Suriname extension

Guyana Birding Tours: our Guyana bird watching holiday explores one of the newest South American birdwatching destinations, and one that is set to become much better known. Our Guyana birding tour achieves comprehensive coverage of this rarely-visited country and records numerous great birds. These include Rufous Crab-Hawk, Sun Parakeet, Blood-coloured Woodpecker, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Arrowhead Piculet, Guianan Red-Cotinga, Crimson Fruitcrow and the rare Red Siskin. We also have an extension to neighbouring Suriname that concentrates on Band-tailed Antshrike, Boat-billed Tody Tyrant, White-throated Pewee, Guianan Gnatcatcher and some other great specialities, not to mention the extraordinarily approachable Grey-winged Trumpeters of Brownsberg!

Friday 21st February 2020 — Thursday 7th March 2019
(-350 days)


Suriname Extension: Saturday 7th March — Thursday 12th March (6 days)

Leaders: Eustace Barnes and Sean Dilrosun

Group Size Limit: 8

Tour Category: Easy walking for the most part and mostly comfortable accommodations

GUYANA (& SURINAME) BIRDING TOUR: OVERVIEW

This somewhat poorly known country sitting on the Caribbean coast offers birders some of the finest birding in South America, with a spectacular selection of rare and poorly known species. This tour has been organized to see the best of what Guyana has to offer, from the rainforests to the coastal mangroves and the vast southern savannas. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to see much of the region’s endemic avifauna in the full splendour of pristine habitats that are often so degraded in neighbouring countries.

Our tour provides the most comprehensive coverage of Guyana available and produces more of the region’s many specialities than any other, with a good supporting cast of South America’s more widespread species. As such the tour is of interest not only to experienced Neotropical enthusiasts but also to those new to the region.

The regional specialities we target include Rufous Crab-Hawk, Sun Parakeet, Blue-cheeked Amazon, White-winged Potoo, Blood-colored Woodpecker, Arrowhead and White-bellied Piculets, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Hoary-throated Spinetail, Black-throated Antshrike, Rio Branco Antbird, Guianan Red-Cotinga, Crimson Fruitcrow, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Dusky Purpletuft, Black Manakin, Finsch’s Euphonia, Red-and-black Grosbeak and Red Siskin. This is indeed an impressive list of specialities, many of which are infrequently seen elsewhere, making this tour a must for the Neotropical enthusiast.

In addition we shall see a stunning variety of more widespread species, including both species found across the much of the continent and many species restricted to the Guianan shield that extends from Manaus to Venezuela. Amongst the many splendid species we should see are Scarlet Ibis, Black-faced Hawk, the huge Harpy Eagle, Black Curassow, Crestless Curassow, Marail Guan, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Painted Parakeet, Caica Parrot, Dusky Parrot and Red-fan Parrot. We also hope to find the rare Rufous-winged Ground-Cuckoo, which seems more numerous here than in adjacent Venezuela.

Of the more widespread species, Crimson Topaz, Guianan Puffbird, Black Nunbird, Black-spotted Barbet, Guianan Toucanet, Green Aracari, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper and Yellow-green Grosbeak should be found during our exploration of the numerous rainforests sites visited. Of the antbirds, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Spot-tailed Antwren, Todd’s Antwren, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Rufous-throated Antbird and White-plumed Antbird are all fairly common and readily seen.

We shall explore riparian habitats along the Ireng river in search of the very localised Rio Branco Antbird and Hoary-throated Spinetail. A visit to the Mori scrub, a white sand forest, should produce Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, Black Manakin and possibly Guianan Red-Cotinga. The cotingas are well represented in Guyana and we also have a very good chance of seeing the magnificent Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock at its lek, Pompadour Cotinga and the bizarre Capuchinbird, also at a lek. These birds at their display sites are wonders of the natural world that are quite beyond compare.

The savannas of the south gives us the opportunity to search for the critically endangered Red Siskin, to which we devote the best part of a day in pristine habitat where we will also see a good variety of other species including Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Toco Toucan, White-throated Kingbird and others.

Our Guyana adventure offers a great opportunity to see some spectacular species not easily found in Brazil or Venezuela.

During the optional extension we will pay a visit to the pleasant country of Suriname (sometimes spelled Surinam), which is the smallest sovereign state in terms of area and population in South America. It had a turbulent history of colonization and immigration and is ethnically, linguistically, culturally and religiously extremely diverse. Hindus (shipped in from India as workers), Creoles, Javanese, Maroons (descendants of escaped West African slaves) and Chinese form the bulk of the population, but there are still many Amerindians and there is a distinctive Dutch heritage, which results in a very characteristic and unique flavour.

Like Guyana, Suriname does not form part of South America’s Latin cultural and language heritage and exudes a more Caribbean essence. The official language is Dutch, but the inimitable Sranantongo is the lingua franca. Most of the inhabitants live along the Atlantic coast and in the easy-going capital Paramaribo, where old Dutch-style wooden buildings beg for paint.

Suriname also lies on the Guyanese shield, just north of the equator, between the Amazon and the Orinoco rivers and is wedged in between the small countries of Guyana and French Guiana. More than three quarters of the country is occupied by forests, which are still mainly untouched by humans, so the evocative calls of howlers and spider monkeys still reverberate through the jungle. The country has several splendid nature reserves and national parks including the Brownsberg Nature Park.

This small country incorporates a variety of habitats including grassy savannas, freshwater marshes, coastal mangrove swamps, tropical lowland jungle and scrub-covered granite outcrops, resulting in a rich flora and fauna. The birdlist tallies just over 700 species, but the main attraction for the international birder is the occurrence of a number of birds that are rarely recorded elsewhere, including Band-tailed Antshrike, White-fronted Manakin, Boat-billed Tody Tyrant, the rare White-throated Pewee, Guianan Gnatcatcher, the ultra smart Blue-backed Tanager and Red-and-black Grosbeak. Tiny Suriname is also a great place for magic encounters with the highly prized Grey-winged Trumpeter.

On our way to the Brownsberg, we will make an extended stop in the savanna and the nearby low stature woodland, where we should encounter Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin and Black Manakin. A stretch of riparian forest should give us Finsch’s Euphonia and with luck Glossy-backed Becard.

The large Brownsberg Nature Park, where we will spend much of our time, is a forested laterite plateau situated about 115 kilometres (70 miles) south of the capital. Gold mining activities in the beginning of the 20th century have created some high waterfalls, which form a great attraction for visitors. The diverse forest types hold a different selection of species, and include marvels like Black Curassow, the restricted range White-fronted Manakin and Band-tailed Antshrike, the tremendous Blue-backed Tanager and the hard to see White-throated Pewee and Red-and-black Grosbeak. Monkeys are well represented here and we may well encounter Brown Bearded Saki and the delightful Guianan Saki.

Not far away is another area where we will be looking for two other specialities, the restricted-range Boat-billed Tody Tyrant and Guianan Gnatcatcher.
, flocks of which can still regularly be encountered in its pristine forests. The trumpeters at Brownsberg have become quite tame and offer an out of this world birding experience.

Sean Dilrosun will accompany our group in Suriname.


Birdquest has operated tours to Guyana and Suriname since 2012.

Kaieteur Falls Option: We can arrange a short (one extra night) extension for anyone who wants to visit the Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, before or after the tour. This spectacular site is one of the most impressive in South America. There are even slim chances for Orange-breasted Falcon, and White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts, but the main reason for visiting is the scenic spectacle. Visits are by shared charter flight and will not be accompanied by the Birdquest leader. Please contact us at the time of booking if you are interested in this extension.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels and lodges are mostly of good or medium standard, although hot water is not available in some establishments (water supplies here are at ‘tropical temperature’). Atta Rainforest Lodge is rather simple and there are shared bathroom facilities (shared facilities are also the case at Dadanawa and Karasabai). In Suriname the lodge at Zanderij is of medium standard, while at Brownsberg the lodge accommodation is simple but pleasant, with shared bathroom facilities (and it is possible there may have to be more than two people per room). Road transport is by small coach and roads are variable in quality. In some instances we will use 4x4 vehicles and military-style trucks to access sites.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, but there are a few longer walks of moderate grade.

Climate: Warm or hot, with periods of sunny weather alternating with overcast spells. There will be some rain and it will be rather humid.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.

GUYANA (& SURINAME) BIRDING TOUR: PRICE INFORMATION

Birdquest Inclusions: our tour prices include all flight costs and all tipping, including tips for local guides and drivers. Some bird tour operators do not do this, yet for participants these costs are an unavoidable part of the tour. The value of these inclusions on this Birdquest tour amounts to approximately: £680, €780, $950.

2020 provisional prices

£5190, €5910, $7210 Georgetown/Georgetown. Deposit: 10%.

Suriname Extension: £1290, €1470, $1790. Deposit: 10%.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Also includes this flight: Georgetown-Lethem, Georgetown-Paramaribo.

Single Room Supplement: £455, €518, $632. Extension: £40, €46, $56.

There are only a limited number of rooms at the Dadanawa Ranch (1 night) and at Karasabai (1 night). There is no single supplement at these locations, but singles are provided free of additional charge if available at the time.

In Suriname single rooms are available at Zanderij. There may be some single occupancy rooms available on arrival at Brownsberg and there is no additional charge for these.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in Pounds Sterling and Euros are based on £1 = $1.390 and €1 = $1.220.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Many of the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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