If you have ever dreamt of being an explorer, visiting uncharted Amazonian forest, relying on the land and rivers for your larder, and the beauty of the landscape to sate your imagination and soul, this is the expedition for you.
The expedition will take you 200 river miles from the white water of Rupununi River, south up to the headwaters of the Rewa River deep in southern Guyana. The Rewa River runs black, and the lower part of the river is wide with high white sand beaches. About 60 miles upriver, near Bamboo creek, the river changes and gets narrower with rocky bars interspersed with sandy beaches.
The fishing in the river is as good as it gets. Peacock bass, Arawana, Swordfish, Payara, large Catfish, and Pacu thrive in these waters. Rewa also has healthy populations of Arapaima, the largest scaled fresh water fish in the world, which can be observed surfacing in many of the oxbow lakes and ponds. In the upper Rewa, giant Hiamra abound and can easily be caught on hand lines or with lures and flies. Dinner is often fresh fish caught by your own hand.
Travel another 55 miles up river from Bamboo Creek and you meet Corona Falls; this truly is a majestic crown of water that falls about 20 feet into rocky pools and shiny black rocks with petroglyphys scattered around. A couple of days can be spent here exploring the trails and petroglyphs, wildlife watching, and catching fish in the rapids.
Once past Corona Falls, this expedition has no fixed agenda as we travel as the river and the wildlife moves us. The river changes once this waterfall is portaged, and the next 80 miles of river becomes even more untamed. Due to the remoteness of this area and the many portages, people rarely come this far. The only signs of human use are ancient petroglyphs and the odd satellite over head at night. Past Corona, the river becomes more rugged with rapids and waterfalls; wildlife is abundant and the animals come out on the sand banks to bathe and drink and do not seem to be afraid of humans.
In this area, the wildlife viewing is excellent. Numerous species might be observed: Tapir, Capybara, Brocket Deer, Peccaries, Ocelot, Jaguar, all 8 species of Guyana’s monkeys make this area home. Giant Otters, Black, Spectacled and Dwarf Caimen, and giant river turtles patrol the waters and bask on the sandbanks.
As the Rewa river transects primary forest, it is also rich in birds. Scarlet Macaws, Redbilled Toucans, Cotingas, Parrots, and the Harpy Eagle live here. Along the river banks, Tiger Herons, Bat Falcons, Great Black Hawks and Kingfishers stalk their prey.
On all of the trips to the Rewa head waters, we have experienced incredible sightings and witnessed unbelievable animal behavior. There are few places in Guyana where wildlife can be experienced like this. During one trip, Ashley and the crew watched and filmed a pair of jaguars for an hour and a half. This is the film footage that peaked the interest of the BBC, and they have visited 2 years in a row for footage for their Planet Earth series.
If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting a tropical forest, then a visit to the head waters of the Rewa River will fulfill this dream. You must be physically fit and be part of the crew as this is an extremely rugged trip which involves several portages in extreme conditions, but it’s worth every second and every drop of sweat as this is truly a once in a life time wilderness experience.
TRAVEL BY AIR TO ANNAI
This afternoon, depart Eugene F. Correira International Airport located 6km east of Georgetown aboard an afternoon flight to Annai in central Guyana. Flight time is approximately 75 minutes. The Annai airstrip is located just a few steps from the comfortable hospitality of Rock View Lodge where we will spend the night.
Overnight at Rock View Lodge
TRAVEL ALONG RUPUNUNI RIVER
Depart Annai at sunrise and travel down the Rupununi River by boat. Giant black caiman, giant river otters, jabiru storks and many other species of birds that make this river home may be sighted. By afternoon, the Rupununi River meets the Rewa River and we proceed up the Rewa. In late afternoon, hammock camp is struck on river bank.
Overnight hammock camp
3+ SPLENDID WEEKS ON THE RIVER
Awaken to the sound of howler monkeys and macaws. After breakfast proceed up river to Bamboo Creek arriving in the afternoon and overnight in hammock camp.
During the following days and weeks, the following landmarks will be met and crossed on our own time depending on the river conditions and animals sightings.
Bamboo Creek for late afternoon walks on forest trails. Fly or spin fish during the day for peacock bass, Arawana, Tiger Fish and Piranha, and at night, go for a river drift and spot snakes, Paca, Caiman, and other nocturnal animals.
Corona Falls are a series of small cataracts ending with an impressive and wide fall of water. Help pull the boat up a rapid and fall asleep in hammock camp listening to the sound of water rushing. There are Amerindian rock carvings scattered around the falls, and this area is perfect for forest walks, go for morning and afternoon and night drifts looking for wildlife, fish for Pacu (a vegetarian piranha that puts up an impressive fight in the fast water), as well as Payara, the majestic “Dracula” fish.
Bamboo Falls and Cataback Falls are a set of broad waterfalls a few miles above Corona. The petroglyps and natural beauty in these areas are breathtaking. Above these falls, there are smaller rapids and smaller falls. Between the falls the river is narrow and tranquil, and has provided the best opportunities for jaguar and tapir spotting and viewing.
From here, we slowly work our way upriver. Early morning and late afternoons can spent drifting on the river searching for mammals and birds. Forest walks on trails are a good option a much time is spent in the boat traveling. Night spotting along the river and on trails are done at night for nocturnal animals and produce snakes, frogs, other reptiles and many small (and some times large!) nocturnal mammals.
We begin our return journey about 2.5 weeks into the trip after reaching the headwaters when the boat can no longer travel, and drift quietly down river, keeping watch for wildlife, running the rapids and soaking up the beauty and tranquility of this wondrous place. The river and the forest have become home, and days and nights are spent living in and with nature, exploring, fishing and hunting in traditional manner, birding, and watching wildlife. After all these miles of river, it’s hard to imagine returning to the life you’ve know before.
As we travel closer to areas that are within a few days paddling for the Makushi Amerindians, there is the opportunity to explore traditional Amerindian fishing grounds, interact with the occasional traditional fishing party, and collect Brazil nuts from wild trees that are traditionally harvested by the Amerindians.
Overnight hammock camp
Early breakfast and depart Fishpond, a traditional fishing hole (it’s called Fish Pond for a reason). Motor down the Rewa river back to Rupununi and stop at Rewa Village. Meet the Touchau (village chief) and visit the village. Overnight in this Amerindian village in their Ecolodge, a local community tourism initiative.
Overnight at Rewa Eco Lodge
RETURN TO ANNAI
Last day on the river. Depart Rewa after breakfast and travel back up river to Annai landing. This is where the river journey ends; you have traveled 3oo miles round trip, and visited one of the most remote and pristine forest areas in Guyana! Say farewell to the river and travel up to Rock View Lodge.
Overnight at Rock View Lodge
RETURN TO GEORGETOWN…
OR CONTINUE ONWARD FOR MORE ADVENURE
Today depart Rock View Lodge, returning to Georgetown by air or minibus transport. Or, continue your journey onwards to one of the other amazing destinations in the Rupununi… including Surama Eco-Lodge, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, Karanambu Lodge, Caiman House, or the Iwokrama River Lodge!