Incredible Wildlife Encounters: Giant River Otter


Giant river otter

Giant river otter     Photo: John Canning

English-speaking, with only one road in the entire country, and an unspoiled rainforest that is home to 225 mammal species and 810 bird species, Guyana is a good place for wildlife-loving Gringos to get lost for a while. Plus, it has unsung attractions, like the world’s largest single-drop waterfall—Kaieteur—which plunges 741 feet, five times the height of Niagara. While it’s not an easy place to travel—the jungle is hot and steamy and the most interesting places are remote—it is worth the effort.

At Karanambu Lodge, owner Diane McTurk rehabilitates orphaned giant river otters, brought to her by individuals from local communities, at her oasis along the Rupununi River.

Bird lovers will want to book a few days at Atta Rainforest Camp, part of Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Center. With a 505-foot-long suspension bridge that rises nearly 98 feet above the jungle floor, it’s almost easy to spot green aracari, scarlet macaw, guiana toucanette and channel-bill toucan. The walkway ends at Atta Rainforest Camp, surrounded by a forest with one of the healthiest jaguar populations left on the planet. Guides also offer nighttime caiman tours. Gray & Co can customize an itinerary with these and other lodges starting from $1,500 per person, per day.

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