Iwokrama River Lodge
Iwokrama River Lodge is located right on the edge of the Essequibo River and is surrounded by huge swathes of pristine rainforest. The lodge was set up to provide a base for sensitive ecotourism to the Iwokarama Reserve.
Accommodation is in 8 detached, thatched roof, wooden cabins each with river-facing verandahs, hammocks and a private bathroom (cold water showers). Electricity in the cabins is provided by solar panels and diesel generators and free Wi-Fi is available in the main communal building with limited connection in some rooms.
The meals are served in the large central building, which also offers good wildlife viewing over the surrounding forest. The food is usually locally sourced and served in a buffet style. There is a bar, small gift and snack shop and conference room in the building. A wide selection of natural history books to browse and some computers are available for guest use.
There is an excellent trail network from the lodge with many interpretative labels next to the key tree and vine species. A capuchinbird lek is found on one of the trails just 20 minutes from the lodge. Other excursions include boat trips along the Essequibo River and to see Amerindian petroglyphs, rapids and Michelle Island. A highly recommended but strenuous excursion is the hike to the top of Turtle Mountain: handrails and steps have been created to make the walk easier and the views of pristine rainforest as far as the eye can see are well worth it. The summit is also a good vantage point for viewing feeding monkeys and macaws, and birds of prey including the elusive orange-breasted falcon can be reliably seen.
The lodge can be reached by a 2-hour road transfer from the Annai airstrip.
The Iwokrama forest was established to protect and manage a huge, one million acre rainforest reserve. The lodge is surrounded by pristine rainforest, home to a staggering diversity of plants and animals. The area holds world records for the number of bat (90) and freshwater fish (420) species recorded and is home to the arapaima – the world’s largest species of freshwater fish. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded including 5 species of macaw, 24 species of hummingbird and 29 species of raptor (including harpy eagle, crested eagle and osprey). Mammal highlights include 8 species of primate (including white-faced saki and golden-handed tamarin), 2 species of sloth, giant anteater, giant otter, Brazilian tapir, giant armadillo, brocket deer, peccary, various cats and bush dogs.
Private bathrooms with cold water showers and flushing toilets, electricity supply in rooms, free Wi-Fi in the main communal room.
Black spider, red howler, brown and weeping capuchin and white-faced saki monkeys are frequently seen in the forest close to the lodge (particularly when a tree is in fruit) and on trails and boat trips. There is an exceptional diversity of birds seen around the lodge and on trails including capuchinbird, Guianan toucanet, green aracari, Amazonian antshrike, macaws, red-fan parrot and macaws. Black caiman, tree boas, anacondas, tiny tree and leaf frogs, huge Bufo marinus toads and dazzling blue morpho butterflies can also be seen.
There is bountiful wildlife to be seen and many trails to explore around the reserve. The most popular excursions are a walk to the top of Turtle Mountain for a 360-dgree view of rainforest as far as the eye can see, and boat trips along the Essequibo River with visits to Kurupukari Falls to see Amerindian Petroglyphs and Michelle Island.
If interested, a resident researcher can give an evening presentation on the work of Iwokarama.
If you have any questions regarding our Guyana tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
We really enjoyed this tour – every location was thoroughly enjoyable for different reasons. [WILDLIFE HIGHLIGHTS] River otters at Karanambu (wild and tame); macaws from the top of Turtle Mountain at Iwokrama (nice to look down on them for a change!); St Giles Island, Tobago – literally thousands of birds, frigate, boobies, tropic etc; cock-of-the-rock and golden frog at Kaieteur Falls. We have now taken 5 trips with Reef & Rainforest – all great!