A fabulous male Guianan Cock-of-the-rock at Surama in Guyana by Dubi Shapiro.
Sun Parakeets at Karasabai by Dubi Shapiro.
Red Howler, Black Spider, (South American) Squirrel, Brown-bearded Saki, Guianan (White-faced) Saki, Brown Capuchin and Weeping Capuchin Monkeys, Red-rumped Agouti, Collared Peccary, and Greater Bulldog (Fishing) and Lesser Fishing Bats. Also a good chance of Giant Anteater and Giant Otter, a chance of (Pale-throated) Three-toed Sloth, Golden-handed Tamarin, Capybara, Kinkajou and Tayra, and an outside chance of Jaguar and Brazilian Tapir.
Guiana Shield Endemics (Out of about 80 in the Guianas, southern Venezuela and Brazil north of the Amazon River)
Marail Guan, Black and Crestless Curassows, Sun Parakeet, Black-headed Parrot, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Guianan (White-necked) Puffbird, Green Aracari, Guianan Toucanet, Blood-coloured Woodpecker, Black-throated Antshrike, Rio Branco and Rufous-throated Antbirds, Olive-green Tyrannulet, Painted Tody Flycatcher, Capuchinbird, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Dusky Purpletuft, White-throated Manakin, and Finsch’s and Golden-sided Euphonias. Also a chance of White Bellbird and Blue-backed Tanager.
Guianan Red Cotinga and Crimson Fruitcrow, as well as Rufous Crab Hawk, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Red-fan Parrot, Green-throated Mango, White-winged Potoo, White-bellied Piculet, Hoary-throated Spinetail, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Spotted and Thrush-like Antpittas, Black Manakin, Red-and-black Grosbeak and Red Siskin. Also a chance of Harpy Eagle, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Toco Toucan, Zigzag Heron, Orange-breasted Falcon and Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo.
Blue-and-yellow, Red-and-green and Scarlet Macaws, Scarlet Ibis, Sunbittern, Channel-billed and White-throated Toucans, Hoatzin, Crimson Topaz, Black-eared Fairy, White-plumed Antbird, Bronzy, Great, Green-tailed, Paradise and Rufous-tailed Jacamars, Magnificent Frigatebird, (American) Swallow-tailed Kite, and Pompadour, Purple-breasted and Spangled Cotingas, and other near-endemics such as Bearded Tachuri, Cayenne Jay and Guianan Gnatcatcher, as well as Muscovy Duck, Little Chachalaca, Spix’s Guan, Brown Pelican, Anhinga, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Boat-billed and Capped Herons, Pinnated Bittern, Buff-necked and Green Ibises, Jabiru, Maguari Stork, King Vulture, Pearl and Snail Kites, hawks including Black-collared, Savannah and White, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Red-throated Caracara, Aplomado and Laughing Falcons, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Double-striped Thick-knee, Pied Plover, Wattled Jacana, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Black Skimmer, pigeons, doves, Red-bellied and Red-shouldered Macaws, parakeets such as Painted, parrots, Squirrel Cuckoo, nighthawks, nightjars, White-chinned, White-collared and White-tipped Swifts, Rufous-throated Sapphire, White-tailed Goldenthroat, trogons, all five South American kingfishers, puffbirds including Spotted, Swallow-wing, Black-spotted Barbet, Black-necked Aracari, woodpeckers including Waved, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, woodcreepers, antshrikes, antwrens, antbirds including Ferruginous-backed and White-browed, Rufous-capped Antthrush, tyrannulets, Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant (the smallest passerine in the world along with Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant), tody-tyrants, tody-flycatchers including Spotted, flycatchers such as Fork-tailed and Vermilion, Screaming Piha, Bare-necked and Purple-throated Fruitcrows, Golden-headed Manakin, tityras, wrens, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-capped Donacobius, Black-faced and Blue Dacnises, Spotted and Turquoise Tanagers, honeycreepers, Red-capped Cardinal, Crested and Green Oropendolas, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Orange-backed Troupial, Yellow-hooded Blackbird and euphonias.
Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
Black and Spectacled Caimans, Golden (Poison-dart) Frog and Arapaima (one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, reaching a length in excess of 2 m (6.5 ft)).
The rich plant life includes the Giant Water Lily and the largest Tank Bromeliads in the world (which support Golden Frogs, at Kaieteur Falls).
One of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls is about five times as high as Niagara Falls and twice as high as Victoria Falls. It has one of the most voluminous single drops in the world, a 100 m (330 ft) wide and about 226 m (742 ft) high deluge of water best seen during the wet seasons which usually last from May to July and November to January. The total height of the falls is 251 m (824 ft).
Capuchinbird at Karanambu by Dubi Shapiro.
The best times to look for the wildlife are the driest times of the year which usually last from February to April and August to October but Kaieteur Falls is usually most impressive during the wet seasons which usually last from May to July and November to January.
Guyana by K Smock. Bradt Travel Guides, 2011 (Second Edition).
Birds of Venezuela by D Ascanio, G Rodriguez and R Restall. Helm, due 2017.
Field Guide to the Birds of Venezuela by S Hilty. Helm, 2002.
Birds of South America: Non-Passerines by J R Roderiguez Mata et al. Harper Collins, 2006.
The Birds of South America: Passerines by R S Ridgely and G Tudor. University of Texas Press, 1989 and 1994 (Two volumes).
Birds of Northern South America by R Restall, C Rodner and M Lentino. Helm, 2006 (Two volumes).
Mammals of South America by R D Lord. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
All Birds Guianas by Bloomsbury/Sunbird Images.
Where to watch birds in South America by N Wheatley. Helm, 1994.
Don’t know which country/countries to visit in South America? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Guyana, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Guyana. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Guyana' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who are running organized tours to Guyana in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.