Planning a wildlife & nature trip to South America? Guyana promises to be even more astounding for children than for their wide-eyed parents. The country’s scents, sights and sounds will make for an unforgettable adventure and one that most kids will take in their stride. Foraging through greenery to spot wildlife and fascinating birds, encountering different languages, art and culture make this a particularly rich destination for all age groups to enjoy. Be it a splendid view of the Kaieteur Falls from a Cessna plane to camping by a river and seeing rodeo action in the Rupununi, Guyana will open an entirely different world to young travellers
Museums & Cool Structures
Before heading into the inland regions of Guyana, it’s best to spend some time in Georgetown to orient children for a glimpse of what’s to come. The museums of the city are the best way to do this. Visit the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum to see a slice of rainforests and its occupants, Roy Geddes Steel Pan Museum for a wonderful collection of pan music instruments and others like Gary Serrao’s Guyanese Heritage Museum and Museum of African Heritage for local art and historical relics. Given that the museum trail could be a bit long, make time for the lush Botanical Gardens to unwind and the bustling Stabroek Market to check out heaps of veggies and the blissful commotion of markets. The lighthouse near the Seawall is also a favourite with children as it transports them to a time when sailors could spot Guyana from a distance to anchor their ships.
This is the biggest draw for parents who want to introduce kids to an array of wild occupants in the rich, dense jungles of Guyana. The lure of seeing a jaguar, staying hushed to go near a caiman, seeing a giant river otter up close and spotting a scampering capybara keeps their attention grasped to the surroundings. Every rustle in the woods notches up the excitement to spot a new species. Exotic colourful birds and their melodious birdsong catches the attention of some. The best wildlife encounters are experienced when staying in a jungle lodge. Atta Lodge, Surama, Iwokrama and Karanambu Lodge are some of the best places for wildlife and birding.
There is no dearth of open fields, sinuous rivers to dip feet in and thrilling waterfalls in Guyana – essentially, an always available playground for children. Guided trips with experts allow them to try their hand at fishing, hiking on easy trails and even rafting in the low-key sections of the rivers. Kaieteur Falls is one of the most magnificent regions in the country with a thundering waterfall that can be seen from a small plane and a walking trail in front of it. Plenty of photo opportunities, statistical wonders and nature’s best scenes are around this waterfall.
Rupununi, the southern part of the country, offers a whole new landscape for the kids to experience. Sprawling grasslands, stunning sunsets and the thrill of horse riding is what should bring you to the region. Young travellers love the idea of staying in an active ranch where they can follow in the footsteps of their cowboy heroes and get their hands dirty cleaning and feeding the farm animals. You’ll be surprised how easily kids take to living the hard life of a ranch. Dadanawa, Saddle Mountain, Wichabai and Waikin are some of the best places to live the rodeo life.
Kick your feet up and enjoy the resort life on the Demerara and Essequibo rivers. Stay put for a couple of days in a riverside resort to enjoy the local food, pool and the comfort of getting pampered. Most resorts have ample to do in and around the property. Cycling trails, canoe rides, birdwatching trips and village walks are offered to mix and match comfort with some outdoor fun.
Top Five Unforgettable Experiences for Kids
- Flying in a Cessna plane over rainforests, deep valleys & waterfalls
- Seeing one of the world’s largest and most powerful single drop waterfalls, Kaieteur Falls – four times higher than the Niagara Falls
- Experiencing conservation activities like setting camera traps for large mammals, completing amphibian surveys and caiman tagging
- Seeing unique animals and birds like tapirs, giant anteaters, capybaras, harpy eagles and the Guianan Cock-of the-rock
- Sea kayaking and swimming in blackwater creeks throughout Guyana’s coastal region