By Brian Ramsey
Guyana is an amazing country, part of the South American continent yet still considered
part of the Caribbean. Home to Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the
world at 741 feet. Within Guyana there are rivers that contain islands which are larger
than Barbados. Guyana is among the countries with the highest biodiversity in the world,
having 1,168 vertebrate species and 1600 bird species.
Located in South America on the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered to the east by Suriname,
to the south and southwest by Brazil and to the west by Venezuela. Guyana is the only
English-speaking country in South America. Long considered by many in the Caribbean to be
a poor relation, the real richness of Guyana is only now being realised as eco-tourism is
being developed. More than 80% of Guyana is still covered by forests, ranging from dry
evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests. These
forests are home to more than a thousand species of trees. Guyana's tropical climate,
unique geology, and relatively pristine ecosystems support extensive areas of species-rich
rain forests and natural habitats with high levels of endemism. Approximately eight
thousand species of plants occur in Guyana, half of which are found nowhere else.
With at least 80% of the country under forest, with many parts still virgin forest,
Guyana is set apart from many other ecotourism destinations. Several lodges and
eco-resorts have been built on the sandy banks that line many interior rivers and
islands and the cola coloured creeks and rivers. These get their curious colour from
fallen leaves and vegetation upstream. Within these waters can be seen; the Aripaima, the
world's largest fresh water fish, Giant Otter, Amazon River
Dolphin, Yellow-spotted River Turtle, West Indian Manatee, Antillean Manatee,
Within the forests, the animal life of Guyana include; Jaguars, Giant Armadillo,
Brazilian Giant Tortoise, Giant Anteater, Little Spotted Cat, South American
Tapir, Agouti, Deer, Bush Dog, Howler Monkey.
Bird lovers will find Guyana a special treat with its 796 species that include the Harpy
Eagle, the worlds largest eagle, Cock of the Rock, Scarlet Macaw, the Canjie
pheasant, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Crested Eagle, Orinoco Goose, Maguari Storks,
Nesting on Guyanas shores are various sea turtle species consisting of Green
Turtle, Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtle. Shell Beach is one
of the prime nesting spots. The Shell Beach Conservation Project is a successful project
that involves the local indigenous population in turtle conservation.
If you are in Guyana on business and do not have the time to explore, the zoo at
Georgetown is a good place to get a peek at Guyanas amazing South American Fauna.
To learn more about Guyana see our other Guyana Pages