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Border Disputes
Brazil: Upside Potential
Entering VZ
Inland from Lethem
NE Integration
Places to Stay: Lethem
Road Saga
Rupununi Rodeo
Rupununi Savannah
Tours & Travel Agencies
Trip Reports
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Boa Vista
Mt. Roraima
Kaiteur Falls


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Local Links
Upper Takutu - Upper Essequibo
GEO -Cheddi Jagan International Airport
Rupununi Savannah
Annai town located at the edge of the Rupununi savannah
Macushi people
Rupununi River
Dadanawa Ranch
Kanuku Mountains
Pakaraima Mountains
Harpy Eagle is found almost exclusively in the Rupununi Savannah
Brazil Upside Potentials  Under Consideration by Guyana
Hydropower: Guyana has a hydropower potential of 7000 megawatts (MW) and the largest single site in the Upper Mazaruni has a potential of 3000 MW, MR. Hinds said. However, with Guyana’s grid demand peaking at only 80 MW, and even though it has doubled over the last dozen years, hydropower development in the country would likely require export to Brazil.

Free Trade Zone in Lethem Allowing Guyana, CARICOM, Brazil and other countries in South America to invest in that area. Lethem is expected to become a major commercial centre through cross-border trade, good potential for agriculture and agro-based activities and road and air linkages to Georgetown.

Deep Water Harbor: The Guyana-Brazil road is linked to the proposed deep water harbour on the Berbice River, which the two countries are working on to give Brazil easier access to markets in Europe and the Caribbean.  

Agricultural Integration: Brazil is the number one global producer of five major export products, including coffee and orange juice. It is also the number two producer of soybeans and kidney beans, and a major producer of corn and cocoa. Market-friendly economic policies and advances in agronomy have brought formerly unusable tropical lands into production and increased productivity levels beyond those in the United States and Europe, challenging their traditional dominance of the global farm trade. This success would potentially transfer to Guyana's untapped lands as well.

Lethem (pop. 7,000), lies on the Takutu River, which forms the border with Brazil, opposite the Brazilian town of Bonfim.  Lethem is the main commercial centre  of the Guyanese Rupununi savannah, where there are many vaqueros, or cowboys, and ranches. The area's other economic activities are plant and mineral extraction, and tourism. The indigenous population is comprised mainly of Makushi and Wapishana tribes.
Lethem is the largest town and the administrative centre of the Rupununi Region, or Region 9, and includes a hospital, a police station, an army camp, a telecommunication station, schools, guesthouses, restaurants and stores.
The Rupununi Savannah is divided into north and south by the Kanuku Mountains. Visitors can stay at cattle ranches here, and locals provide guided walks across the savannah and up into the hills.
it is best to use tour operators when traveling into the interior. Overland camping treks to the falls, horse riding and hiking in the Rupununi, and whitewater rafting are just a few options.

Rupununi Savana For going on a "safari" in the Rupununi Savana on your own, you can rent a bike at Don&Shirley's Airport shop for approx. $5 US a day (but not during the wet season).

St Ignatius: built around a Jesuit mission, the nearby centre supports traditional Amerindian craft work.

Visit Kaieteur Falls: See Roriama Airlines at the airport

Mt Roraima: Guyana’s highest point, on the boundaries with Venezuela and Brazil. It is the most famous of the table top mountains of the Guyana highlands. With sheer cliffs rising 9,094 feet from the surrounding savannah, it is rarely climbed from the Brazilian or Guyana sides. Its ascent is a major attraction on the border of Venezuela. 

(LTM) Lethem Airport, GY
Airport: Lethem has an airport (IATA Code: LTM) that connects it to the capital, Georgetown.
 Note that Roraima Airways has a baggage allowance of 25 lbs. (ca.12kg) including cabin baggage. Each lb. excess baggage costs approx. 0,50 US$.
The two local Airplane operators are TransGuyana Airways [ ] and Roraima Airways [ ]who daily fly between Ogle and Lethem Airstrip. [OGL-LTM] The Journey between Ogle and Lethem is approximately two hours
bus service Georgetown-Lethem: it takes between fourteen to sixteen hours. Stops along the way include Mabura Hill, the Kurupukari pontoon crossing, the Iwokrama Rainforest with its Canopy Walkway and Annai.
Bus to Georgetown:
 daily bus to Georgetown. The bus has 48 seats and starts at around midnight in order to catch first ferry at the river near Kurupukari at 06:00 AM.
Find the ticket office at the airport in Lethem. The bus fills up fast with people, so its best to make a reservation the day before. After 15 hours you'll reach Georgetown at the corner of Carlotte & Cummings Street.

Intraserv Bus Company 159 Charlotte Street Georgetown Tel: 226-0605 Fax: 225-1171
For the bus leaving for Lethem

Annual Events: The International

Rupununi Rodeo

There is a happening rodeo every Easter weekend where you take part in the action by dressing up as a cowboy or cowgirl. Competitions include bareback riding, and it attracts lots of Brazilians as both spectators and participants.

The fun kicks off on the Saturday and continues to Easter Monday, with day time activities like wild bull riding, horse racing, wild cow milking, wild horse riding, a female barrel race, steer roping, etc.
The evening programme presents festivities in the form of a cultural fair with food, games, music and the lively so-called “Faha” dance, which is a pair dance and is said to have its origin in the popular Northeast Brazilian ”Forró” dance.


Places to Stay: Lethem
Cacique Guest House Rooms: 7
Tel: 592-772-2083
Savannah Inn Rooms: 13
Lethem, Region # 9
Tel: 592-772-2035

Kaimbe Lodge Lethem, Rooms:  4
Contact: Mrs and Mr Foo, Tel: 592-772-2031

Takatu Guest House Rooms: 22 Download
Lethem, Region # 9
Tel: 592-772-2034
or 226-9754
E-mail: morsha_j at
Inland from Lethem [5 traditional clay brick and thatched cabins w/ private bath]
Karanambo Ranch
Diane McTurk is well known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned Giant River Otters to the wild. Since 1927 this has been the home of the McTurk family and a working cattle ranch  dedicated to conservation of the Rupununi savannah ecosystem and preservation of the traditional way of life of the indigenous Amerindians who make the area their home. Rich in the vibrant bird and animal life inhabiting the area, Karanambu is a nature lovers paradise
Getting Here
Carahaa Landing Camp Surama -
a hammock camp on the river edge of Burro Burro River. Guests can also stay in the village guest house, which provides simple, comfortable accommodation with shared facilities and excellent meals. Common border with the Iwokrama International Centre. Observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, Spider Monkeys and many more species.
ROCK VIEW LODGE ( is close to the Annai airstrip. The resort offers a taste of both Guyana and Brazil, with a bilingual staff and cuisine from both countries. The North Rupununi Savannahs at the foothills of the Pakaraima mountains and the Amerindian villages of Annai, Woweta, Surama and Kwatamang are all located nearby, where you can learn about mankind's ability to live in harmony with his natural surroundings.
"Colin Edwards of Rock View Lodge, has steadily worked to create an orderly little demesne in the gorgeously sparse savannah, adding to the original ranch house two lodges for guests, a large kitchen and dining-house, a shady orchard, what is probably the only swimming-pool in the Rupununi, and even a small zoo of animals people have brought to Rock View over the years
Project Guyana
The Quarrie Bird Zone Group, led by Macushi tour guide Paul Farias, has completed construction on a small lodge and camp area located on Eagle Mountain, so named for the presence of Harpy Eagles. Help local Amerincian take control of the ecological destiny of their country rather than bow down to the exploitation of animal traders, miners and loggers currently at liberty to devastate Guyana's natural heritage.
Dadanawa Ranch [3 houses with 6 rooms with shared bathrooms]
World's largest ranch, covering in excess of 2000 square miles of tropical savannah, containing about 28,000 head of cattle. It is located on the Rupununi River in the South Rupununi Savannahs.  Nature-loving tourists often use Dadanawa as a base for journeys into the nearby Kanuku Mountains, looking at Amerindian paintings and petroglyphs near the Rupununi River, or observing the Harpy Eagle in the rainforest. Meals by the staff are also a highlight, with dishes with Amerindian and regional flavour including baked cassava, tasso and farine.
"But nobody comes here for luxury and you must be prepared to live sparsely. I'd only recommend Dadanawa if you can manage a smile when Duane DeFreitas picks you up from Lethem airport in a 50s Land Rover with no roof and asks "have you ever been in so decrepit a vehicle?"
Lots more as Ben Anderson falls for the charms of Guyana
Getting There: By aircraft or vehicle only or combination aircraft and vehicle and vehicle and boat. It takes about 3.5 hours to drive from Lethem, to Dadanawa in the dry season but is not possible at other times.

Caiman House Field Station

A visit to Caiman House Field Station begins at Karanambu, where you will lunch and have the opportunity to swim with the McTurk giant river otters.

Remote and unspoiled, Rewa River is excellent for wildlife viewing, including tapir, capybara, brocket deer, peccary, ocelot, jaguar, and seven of the eight species of monkeys found in-country. Giant river otter, black and spectacled caiman, and giant river turtles patrol the waters and bask on the sandbanks. The fishing in the Rewa is as good as it gets.
Rupununi Savannah

The Rupununi savannahs encompass 5000 square miles of virtually untouched grasslands, swamp lands and rain-forested mountains, and are inhabited by some 15,000 Wapisiana, Macushi and Wai-Wai Amerindians. The Amazon, Essequibo, and certain of their tributaries overflow and mix, and many aquatic species meet, in the floodplain of the Rupununi River

There's many freshwater creeks that are perfect for swimming. Wild animals abound, but they're retiring and rarely seen.

It is named for the Rupununi River which courses through the plains just southeast of the Iwokrama Forest. It includes the Rupununi, Rewa, and Essequibo Rivers, and many other smaller rivers, creeks and ponds. These wetlands contain high habitat diversity and support a vast array of wildlife. The savannahs are bracketed by the forested Pakaraima Mountains in the north and the rainforests of the Essequibo River far to the south and east. To the west, the savannahs roll onwards into Brazil. The savannahs are interlaced with many smaller rivers and streams, made visible by the stands of ité (Mauritia flexuosa) palm trees which grow near watercourses. The Rupununi Savannahs are split in two by the Kanuku Mountain range, which stretches across the middle of the region, dividing it into the North Savannahs and the South Savannahs.

Most of the Macushi population live in the North Savannahs, while the Wapishana inhabit the South Savannahs. Additionally, the Rupununi Savannahs are home to a population of Creole settlers, who live in the small capital town of Lethem, as well as on the many cattle ranches scattered throughout the plains. The Dadanawa cattle ranch in the south savannah is reported to be the largest cattle ranch in the world and welcomes visitors. Owing to the savanna's remoteness from the rest of the country, most trade is conducted with Brazil and most people speak Portuguese.

GETTING THERE: Visitors need a permit from the Home Affair's Ministry to visit the region. Tour operators can do the paperwork for you, or you can apply several months in advance to Guyana's Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ongoing saga of the Georgetown, Guyana/ Boa Vista, Brazil road
The road link from Bon Fin in the Brazilian state of Roraima to Lethem, the border town in Guyana, is the only way to the Guyana Coast. This Guyanese-Venezuela road link, under the aegis of the Integration of Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA) process, has been the focus of efforts made by Guyana and a litmus test for reciprocity for continued investment in the relationship by Brazil. 
The road between the capital of the Brazilian state of Boa Vista and Bon Fin has been a top class highway since the late nineties.
Border Crossing in 2006

The Brasil-Guyana road initiative was adopted at a summit of South American Presidents in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, in August 2000. The IIRSA Executive Steering Committee has approved several projects, including the Guyana/Brazil road link and a study of a Guyana road link with Venezuela.

The Linden to Lethem roadway is being kept up despite the frequent need for repairs to bridges and hill slides.  The journey will take at least 12 hours in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Improvements have been made to many roads in recent years, and travel during the rainy season is now possible - although care should still be taken to avoid potholes. Buses also travel from Boa Vista in Brazil to Lethem, and then onwards to Georgetown.

This road was constructed as a section of a highway connecting Georgetown with Lethem. In 1968 a bridge was built across the Demerara River at Linden, and, in 1974, it was decided that the route to Lethem would cross the Demerara River at Linden and go south, along the watershed of the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers, through Mabura, to Kurupukari. From Kurupukari it would run parallel to the old cattle trail to Annai, and from Annai it would follow an already existing road to Lethem. Download

Border Crossing: The Takutu River Bridge over the Takutu River is said to now be under construction and will  create a historic link between the two countries. A 14-metre wide bridge across the Takutu River will be built of reinforced concrete, supported on four piers. It will have pedestrian walkways on both sides. Planners expect that Bom Fin will become a major port of entry into Brazil for Guyanese products and vice versa Lethem for Brazil products. Bridge construction iinanced by Brazil has taken longer than expected because of unknown delays, but should be done by 2007.

The Rupununi savannah region usually floods in the wet season (May - August).
Orinduik Falls - The Ireng River on which this fall is located thunders over steps and terraces of solid Jasper. However, unlike the mighty Kaieteur, this fall is ideal for swimming and picnicking.

Potaro River - Begins at the Ayangana Mountain range in the North Rupununi Savannahs. It extends 140 miles up the Essequibo River. Located on this river are mainly water falls. The most notable are the Kaieteur and Tumatumari. A suspension bridge called Garraway Stream Bridge, as well as two islands, are also located on the Potaro River.
Ranch cowboys are called "Vacqueros", a mostly local and almost always a barefoot mix of local Amerindians, who skillfully handle the cattle. Most of these cattle are nearly wild animals, who rarely encounter people in the remote and distant spaces they roam. Cowboy boots are rare and most saddles are hand made. All lassos are plaited by hand from locally tanned hides in the cool hours of the mornings
 Trip Reports
"Punto Tres. This is where Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil meet, a place about eight kilometres away from camp but less the halfway across the summit plateau. It would be virtually impossible to find this place on your own due to the topography so were glad to have Epifanio along. Along the way we entered the beautiful little canyon of the Arabopo River. It felt like a place straight out of a fairy tale. Not far away was El Foso or 'the pit', a deep, dark cavern with a running stream. [more inc. fotos at Mount Roraima:An Island Forgotten by Time by Lindsay Elms]
"The best thing is to go first to Roraima Airways 101 Cummings St. Bourda, Georgetown to check when they are normally flying from Georgetowns Ogle Airport to Lethem at the border to Brasil. Normally they fly on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. You have to tell them that you want to take that flight and that you want to stop at Kaieteur Falls. Staying at the Kaieteur Falls is absolutely no problem. There is a guest house which costs 6 US$ per night. Bring a hammock (with mosquito net) or a tent and sleeping bag with you. You can cook at the guest house. Bring all your food with you, as there is no official shop there. Water is available, but it is the rainwater, which is collected, so bring a filter or tablets. There is no electricity so bring a candle and a torch. The Entry-Ticket (12 US$ per stay) for Kaieteur National Park and the fee for using the Guest House (6 US$ per night) at Kaieteur Falls must be bought in advance in Georgetown at the National Park Office at the northern end of Albert St. which is open Mon. to Fri. from 8 am. till 4

Next to the Takatu Guest house you can surf the Internet at the Amerindian Weaving Society

Border Disputes
Venezuela claims the land west of the Essequibo River as part of Guayana Esequiba.
"It is indeed regrettable that Suriname as a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of American States, the Association of Caribbean States, the Caribbean Community, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and China, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, the Treaty of Amazonian Cooperation and the Organisation of Islamic States would adopt such an obstructionist stand against Guyana a sister neighbouring state, who like Suriname, is making every effort to reduce poverty, create more jobs and raise the standard of living of their people.

Moreover, for Suriname to justify the use of force to settle a dispute with its neighbour and further, to view the forced eviction of the CGX rig as an act of revenge in light of and in response to the action taken in 1969 by Guyana in removing a number of civilian and military personnel occupying that part of the territory of Guyana known as the New River Triangle is to add insult to injury."

[more from June 2000 diplomatic address ]


Brazil-Guyana-Venezuela Integration is the discovery and promotion of deep planetary rhythms. There is something special about the Northeast corner of South America and its symbol, Mount Roiraima.

IIRSA: Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America
IIRSA encompasses all 12 South American countries, and in order to achieve the proposed multi-sectoral objectives, it envisages coordinating mechanisms and exchange of information among governments,three of the region’s multilateral financial institutions - the Inter-American Development Bank, the Andean Financial Corporation and the Financial Fund for the Development of the River Plate - and the private sector and civil society.

"It never fails to challenge me that very often to travel to countries of South America one must go to Miami or New York, the major transportation hubs in the hemisphere," he said, saying that the development of air routes, including links that would allow people in the region to travel directly between countries would be one of the measures of success for IIRSA
Prime Minister Sam Hinds told the Stabroek News, Saturday, November 5th 2005

<"We have to develop our kinship among our peoples who, though geographically close, have been kept apart by the forces of our history, language and culture." ;
Guyana Prime Minister Sam Hinds [Nov 5 2005]

Brazil President Lula construction of the international bridge over the Takutu River.” - - Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told Guyana  parliamentarians  on February 16 2005

“There can be no political, cultural or economic integration without physical integration. It is in Brazil’s interest; it is in the interest of Guyana. Brazil needs this; Guyana needs this. That’s why we have to inaugurate the bridge, and that is a commitment,” Lula said to applause from the government ministers from both sides and other officials who were at the function.

In Guyana, independence day on February 23 is better known as  Mashramani or Guyana Carnival, with many traditions and forms adopted from the Caribbean Carnival motherland of nearby Trinidadad

Integration: here are about 50,000 Brazilians living in Guyana who chose to stay after their stint in the mines had ended, the government says. In Dutch-speaking Suriname, the number of Brazilians is estimated at over 10 percent of the population.

Entering Venezuela from Guyana via Brazil
Bon Fim is the Brazilian border town, just across the Takatu river from Lethem. Get an exit stamp for Guyana from the immigration office, opposite the end of the airstrip. Canadians and Americans need a Brazilian visa to enter. Brazilian officials here do not speak English .
Bon Fim - Boa Vista
By bus:  The journey takes 2 hours by comfy bus

Boa Vista - Santa Elena, Venezuela Another comfortable bus journey takes 4-5 hours to reach Santa Elena, with two snack breaks on the way.

The bus will automatically stop at the Brazilian border, where you have to visit immigration for an exit stamp, then drive to the Venezuelan immigration where you get an entry stamp and receipt - keep the receipt. ----Entering Venezuela from Guyana at
Amazon Guyana Bridgetours . Takutu Hotel . Lethem . Guyana . South America
Tel: +592 772 2034. Mobile: +592 616 2518 

Last Update: NOV2006 || Main Page: