Pack Your Bags for a Wildlife Extravaganza

Paddler Magazine – Autumn 2016

I first went to the Rupununi region of Guyana in 2010 with a group that was offering a two-week tour of the eco-lodges in the area. Whilst at Caiman House, a community-owned lodge and research centre in the Amerindian village of Yupukari, I heard about a local wildlife, wilderness and river guide who runs camping expeditions into some of the most remote rivers and forests in Guyana by the name of Ashley Holland (ashleypholland.com).

Ashley and his crew of Amerindian guides have been running these specialized and custom-built tours for many years, catering for people keen to fish and explore pristine wilderness and to see and photograph wildlife. He has run trips for a number of film crews and researchers, but his main clients are eco-tourists, birders, sport fishermen, wildlife photographers or clients who have a very keen interest in the natural world, such as myself. At that time, Ashley who lives in Yupukari, was away on a month long expedition with some guests, so I did not get to meet him, however, what I heard about his trips intrigued me.

Staying at a lodge is a good way to see a country and gives one the opportunity to look for wildlife but what I really wanted was to experience something different… something wild and untamed, something unique, to try to get away from civilization and truly experience the wilderness in its raw form, to go somewhere few have been.