What To Wear On Safari – The Ultimate Packing List For Africa

What To Wear On Safari – The Ultimate Packing List For Africa

Deciding what to wear on safari is easier said than done. The weather in Africa is nothing like one would expect: most people think that this part of the world is constantly warm, if not unbearably hot. Nothing could be more farther from reality. Africa, especially southern Africa, does get quite cold, indeed!

I visited Southern African between May and June, in what is winter in the southern hemisphere. I traveled for 5 weeks across the region, concentrating on South Africa, where I visited Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Johannesburg, Botswana and Namibia and with a quick stop in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I went on 3 different safari trips and I realized the importance of knowing what to wear for safari.

Indeed, there are some items that need to be on any packing list for Africa, as they are simply essential. This post highlights what to wear on safari and includes a packing list for Africa.

packing list for Africa

I admit that I didn’t always blend in with the background on my trip to Africa – I was not sure about what to wear on safari

What To Wear On Safari – The Ultimate Packing List For Africa

What To Wear On Safari

When deciding what to pack for a trip to Africa, and especially when thinking about what to wear on safari, there are a few things need to be kept in mind. My general tip, which I actually apply whenever I have to pack for any place I am traveling to, is to pick items that can be easily mixed and matched together in terms of colors, in order to create a good number of outfits with just a handful of things and which, with the right accessories, can be used either as day-wear or as evening-wear.

The main things to consider when deciding what to wear on safari are comfort, ease, temperatures, colors and style. Let me go through these important factors in more details.

Comfort

Both men and women can look stylish on a safari, and yet stay comfortable. The main recommendation I have on what to wear for safari is to pick clothes that are breathable, neutral and that can adapt to the changing temperatures throughout the day.

Another thing to consider is that safaris hardly involve any physical exercise – most of the day is spent sitting in the car, looking for animals. Yet, getting on and off the jeep for the occasional bush stop, or to stretch the legs, calls for comfortable attire. Keep this in mind when thinking about what to wear on an African safari.

Ease

One thing to remember when picking what to wear on safari is that driving around the bush all day in an open car, one is bound to get covered in dust. T-shirts, pants and whatever else one may be wearing are bound to get dirty. After all, Namibia is mostly a desert and the bush of Botswana is also mostly sandy.

Yet, especially if camping in Botswana, and even more so when in Namibia, there are no laundry facilities. Thus, when deciding what to wear on a safari in Africa, remember to bring items that can be easily hand-washed and that are quick dry. Cotton is by far the best material, as well as technical one that dries in no time.

packing list for Africa

When deciding what to wear on safari, keep in mind the temperature changes throughout the day

Temperatures

There is a common misconception that all of Africa is warm, if not even hot, throughout the day and night, and year round. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I realized this on my first day on a safari, where, after a full afternoon admiring wildlife in Botswana, the temperatures started dropping as soon as the sun started to set. This is an important factor when deciding what to wear on safari.

Remember that game drives are usually timed to follow the lifestyle of animals. This means that the typical safari will have two game drives per day: one starting soon after sunrise, before the animals find a hiding spot from the afternoon heat; and one in the late afternoon – with some private game reserves allowing drives to linger on after dark. Thus, when deciding what to wear on safari, it is important to wear layers.

A good packing list for Africa will include plenty of cotton shirts to wear during the day, and a few sweaters and a light jacket to wear in the early morning hours and in the evenings. I also recommend bringing a scarf, a hat and gloves.

Colors

I love bright colors, but when deciding what to wear for safari, I had to set my personal taste aside. When on a game drive, it is important to blend in with the bush as much as possible. It is recommended to wear neutral colors, such as khaki, beige, taupe or grey. Black and dark blue are thought to attract the African tse tse flies, whereas predators identify red with wounded animals. With the amount of dust in the bush, white is hardly recommended as it gets dirty very easily.

Style

Picking what to wear on safari doesn’t mean being a fashion victim or mocking Maryl Streep in Out of Africa. But being dressed for the occasion (by which I mean being comfortable, fresh during the day and warm at night) is important.

The safaris I did in Botswana and Namibia were completely different one from the other. The one in Botswana was a luxury safari. However, I went mostly camping in Namibia. Either way, there was no need for me to wear anything fancy at night for the evening meals: a pair of nice pants and a nice top usually did the trick. My packing list for Africa was made of informal, easy to wear items.

packing list for Africa

When thinking about what to wear on safari, remember it does get cold in Africa

The Ultimate Packing List For Africa

Now that I have clarified what to wear on safari and all the things that need to be considered, it is time to compile a good packing list for Africa, with all the essential items that should be taken.

Clothes and shoes

Having considered what to wear on safari, here’s a selection of the clothes I recommend taking:

Miscellaneous stuff

what to wear on safari

A good camera is a must in any packing list for Africa

Camera gear

First of all, remember that a safari is a photography extravaganza kind of trip. I don’t think I have ever taken as many photo on any given day as I did when I was in Africa. Any packing list for Africa has to include a good DSLR camera – sorry, but not even the best compact camera will do here!

Here’s what my packing list for Africa included in terms of photography gear:

  • Nikon D3300 – I find it fairly easy to use and I took some amazing photos with it.
  • 70 / 300 mm lens – it’s the minimum I recommend, it reaches quite far for fantastic wildlife photography.
  • 24 / 70 mm lens – for all around photos.
  • 10 / 22 mm lens – for wide angle photography. This is great to capture animals and landscape during great migrations.
  • A spare battery and extra SD and CF cards and a wallet to keep the memory cards organized  – the last thing I’d want after such an intense photographic experience is loosing my cards for not having kept them stored in a good place!
  • A cleaning kit – to keep my lenses clean.
  • iPhone – I used it to take short spontaneous videos.
  • Vrikoo camera vintage shoulder bag – I love all its pockets and compartments for the camera and the lenses.
  • A pair of binoculars – perfect to spot wildlife even when it is hiding in the bush.

The bag

Picking the right bag for a trip – any trip – is important. The good news is that a safari isn’t a challenging kind of trip in terms of the amount of walking and carrying around bags there is to do, whether on a luxury safari where butlers are going to handle the luggage, or on a budget one where the distance between the truck and the tent is very limited.

The one thing to keep in mind, however, in the case of a budget adventure safari like the one I did in Namibia, is the size of the tent. The last thing one wants is to have a bag that is so big to the point that it doesn’t fit in the tent, especially when this is shared with someone else.

Therefore, when thinking of a packing list for Africa, make sure to limit the number of things to carry, and keep the weight and volume to a minimum. Packing smartly is the way to go.

In terms of bags, I recommend one of these:

  • Osprey Ariel 65 – this is the backpack I normally use on all my trips, and it came with me to Africa. It’s big enough to carry what to wear on safari, and very comfortable to walk around. Light packers may go for something smaller, such as the Ariel 55. I don’t recommend anything over 65 liters.
  • A medium size soft duffel bag – it can be more easily stored in a truck and it takes less space in a tent; plus it’s big enough to take what to wear for safari.

I do not recommend a hard suitcase, as this occupies too much space and it is generally too heavy (something that has to be considered even on luxury safaris where there are occasional flights on small planes to move from one game reserve to the other).

What to wear for Safari

A good day pack is a must in any packing list for Africa

The daypack

A good day pack is fundamental on any trip. This is where I normally carry things such documents and whatever I may need during the day, such as snacks, water, tissues, hand sanitizer, sunblock and that much needed extra layer of clothes for when the temperatures drop at the end of the day.

Here’s my favorite day packs:

  • Osprey Daylite – it’s my favorite day pack. It’s small enough to be comfortable, yet it can carry a lot of stuff thanks to the internal and front pockets.
  • Cabin Zero 28L light khaki – a good size day pack that works perfectly as hand luggage and it’s just the perfect safari color. It matches what to wear on safari!

Keeping everything organized

Packing smartly means knowing where everything is in a bag, and storing items so that they can be found easily. Quite important when in Africa, especially if the space in a tent is limited and there is not much time to decide what to wear on safari.

Here’s what I recommend using:

  • Packing cubes – they help to keep clothes organized either by color, clothing type or even outfit. They are perfect to easily find what to wear for safari.
  • Dry bags – to be honest, I find that large ziploc bags do the trick whenever I am traveling with my Osprey backpack. They take even less room than packing cubes.
  • A good toiletry bag – I like those that have multiple pockets and zips and that can be easily hanged.
  • Another small purse – I always have an extra purse where I keep any medication (prescription or emergency) I may need during the trip.

Have you ever been to Africa? Do you have any further recommendations on what to wear on safari? Anything to add to this packing list for Africa?

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Learn what to wear on safari in Africa - via @clautavani

 

20 Things To Know Before Camping In Botswana

20 Things To Know Before Camping In Botswana

Going camping in Botswana with And Beyond is a once in a lifetime experience.

My first safari ever was in Botswana. Though I had read a lot about safaris, and a few of my friends had been on one before me, I didn’t know what to expect before going. All I knew was that there is a lot of wildlife in Botswana, and that in order to raise the (already very high) chances of seeing animals, it would be better to go camping in Botswana.

I surely didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see all the animals. Thus, for my Botswana holidays I decided to opt for a mobile safari, where I stayed in tents and as close to nature as it gets. It was a fantastic experience, during which I discovered the gorgeous, untouched landscape of this country; I had the opportunity of meeting new people that became friends for life; I got to admire the starry African sky every night; and I learned heaps about the mighty animals that populate Botswana.

Yes, I wholeheartedly recommend going camping in Botswana for a once in a lifetime experience.

This post sums up 20 things to know before camping in Botswana. The list is – quite evidently – not exhaustive.

Camping in Botswana

Camping in Botswana means seeing a lot of wildlife

20 Things To Know Before Camping In Botswana

There is a constant change of scenery

Camping in Botswana means moving around the National Parks and the game reserves. This means that there is a regular change in the scenery, with views that go from the lush landscape around Chobe, to sweet hills of Savute, to the floodplains of the Okavango Delta. The change in landscape means a change in the wildlife that can be admired. All for the best, in my opinion!

A good guide is everything

Driving through national parks it is common to come across other vehicles whose passengers are enjoying their Botswana holidays. Some of them are self-drives – people who rent fully equipped cars and go around in search of animals by themselves. I appreciate the adventure aspect of this, and I am sure it is a fun experience, but on a Botswana safari, having a good guide is everything, and I wholeheartedly recommend joining a guided safari rather than traveling independently.

Driving a 4×4 is only one of the skills a good guide on any Botswana safari should have. While this is an easy (well, sort of) enough skill to match for any traveler, there is no way that just anybody can be as trained as a guide into recognizing the signs of animals, knowing when and where to find them (and despite this, not finding them!), following their tracks, listening to their sounds, and explaining about their lives.

I was fortunate enough to have KD as my guide during my And Beyond safari when I went camping in Botswana, and he proved to be a great source of information, a fantastic leader and a great friend.

Camping in Botswana

KD proved to be the best guide while on a Botswana safari

And so is a good car

A 4×4 vehicle is a requirement when driving around the bush in Botswana. Roads are little more than tracks on the uneven sandy terrain, and a day on the road means being bumped around. More importantly so, it is fundamental during a Botswana safari that the vehicle is functioning perfectly, and starts promptly when needed (in case running from a charging elephant is needed!).

It is a fully sensorial experience

Camping in Botswana means staying as close to nature as it gets. Driving around the bush in search of animals, sitting at the camp in the hottest hours of the day, or during the night, alert all human senses.

While camping in Botswana, seeing animals in their natural environment is only one of the experiences. Animals make their presence very clear also with their smell – either that of a putrefying carcass that is being eaten by a big cat; or that of elephant droppings (just to give an example).

The smell of the bush during a Botswana safari is very peculiar. It is a mixture of moist air, wild basil and savage, so unique that it stays with whoever ventures in the savana.

Yet, my favorite thing about camping in Botswana is actually hearing the animals. While on my Botswana safari, under the guidance of my excellent And Beyond guide, I learned to recognize the distinctive, deep sound that lions make – so loud that I was convinced the lion was close to the camp, though the guide explained that in fact, a lion calling can be heard for up to an 8 km radius.

Among other animals whose sound can be enjoyed while camping in Botswana are the baboons, who roam around the parks during the day; vervet monkeys, who live up in the trees and make themselves heard at sunrise and sunset; elephants, who can be heard sweeping the bush in search of their favorite leaves and grass; and hippos, who enjoy chit-chatting at night.

camping in Botswana

Seeing a lot of wildlife is part of the experience when camping in Botswana

Animals do roam freely

Camps are typically set up in areas of the park deemed suitable by the park authorities; and are not fixed. One thing that those who intend to go camping in Botswana should know is that the camps are not enclosed. This means that animals can actually go near or even through the camp if they wish; and sure enough they do so.

While camping in Botswana, it is not uncommon for vervet monkeys to jump around the tents, or even on the tents, while they play in the early hours of the day. Occasionally, hyenas get close to the camp at night – I thought I heard one, one night, and sure enough the day after we found her prints. And once, when my group and I went back to the camp for lunch, we found an elephant peacefully grazing at a mere 5 meters from the tents.

It was all part of the experience of a Botswana safari, and sure enough I found it very entertaining!

But at times they simply don’t show up

One thing that has to be clear before going on a Botswana safari is that seeing animals should not be taken for granted. They show up when and where they want, and sure enough not by appointment. Yes, the chances of spotting all cats are very high; but some animals can be very skittish, and despite the best efforts to follow their tracks by the guides, at times they are impossible to find. One example? I heard hyenas by the camp one night; the guide recognized the prints and followed the tracks, yet we were unable to find them. It’s the bush, baby!

There’s less bugs than one would expect

It may be because I visited in May, so during Botswana winter, but camping in Botswana doesn’t have to be a gross experience in terms of bugs. Perhaps, I was well trained after visiting Costa Rica, where cockroaches are literally everywhere; but the worst I saw in Botswana was a massive group of bees flying near the camp one afternoon, making a heck of a noise but nothing more.

With regards to mosquitoes, malaria can be an issue in Botswana. Yet, doing a Botswana safari in the winter means that the chances of being bitten are much lower. In any case, good practices to protect oneself from mosquitoes (other than taking malaria prevention medications) are: wearing long sleeves and pants after sunset thus leaving as little exposed skin as possible; applying a mosquito repellent (better if with DEET) in the exposed areas.

Botswana safari

Dining al fresco is a must when camping in Botswana

All meals are al fresco

Camping in Botswana means eating all meals al fresco. Whether it is a earthy breakfast eaten at the crack of down, a midmorning coffee (real coffee, by the way, and not the terrible instant stuff!) and snack lunch in the bush while moving from the Chobe to the Okavango Delta, or dinner at the campsite, meals are a great time to socialize with other members of the group and of staff.

Don’t think sandwiches, salads, and anything quick and basic! And Beyond chefs manage to put together the most incredible meals, even when they have to cater to dietary needs, like my lactose intolerance. My favorite? Fresh bread, which was never missing. I certainly wasn’t expecting this when I decided to go camping in Botswana.

And so are the drinks

Who said that while camping in Botswana one is unable to have a good drink? Sure enough, I enjoy a good glass of wine (I went all the way to Stellenbosch, in South Africa, to have some). Needless to say, I truly enjoyed each and every drink I had while on my Botswana safari: sipping a glass of wine while admiring a sunset in the Okavango Delta, or while observing a bull elephant eat from a tree, is a priceless experience!

Nights are for star gazing

As there is no electricity and hardly any light, whenever the sky is clear, star gazing becomes a must when camping in Botswana. I admit that most of the time I was so exhausted from the exciting day, that I would crash moments after dinner. But the times I stayed up a little longer, I sure enjoyed the show!

camping in Botswana

Getting “close” to elephants while on my Botswana safari

There is no such thing as sleeping in

Even though they are meant to be holidays, forget about sleeping in during Botswana safaris. The best chances to see animals, especially cats, are early in the morning before they hide from the heat of the day. The typical day when camping in Botswana actually starts well before the sun rises.

It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable

Who said that camping in Botswana isn’t comfortable? And Beyond camps and tents are actually much better than most hotel rooms. Tents are so large that they fit a king size bed (or twin beds); there’s shelfs and a bed side tables (where the light is powered by solar charged batteries). There’s an outside bathroom area, with a bucket shower that is filled with water dragged from the river and warmed up; there’s a basin and, separate from this area, a flush toilet.

The nicest touch? A hot water bottle placed under the covers, to keep it warm against the cold night. One certainly wouldn’t expect this level of comforts and attention when camping in Botswana.

It is eco-friendly

One of the good things about camping in Botswana is that there’s hardly any footprint left. And Beyond camps are run in a fully environmentally friendly way: there is no electricity other than the dim light produced by solar charged batteries; all beauty products used are eco-friendly and biodegradable; water consumption is kept very low as there is no running water.

There is no phone reception, and no wi-fi

As an internet junkie, I must admit that the complete lack of phone reception and wi-fi when camping in Botswana is a welcome, and in fact blissful change. This is the time to put aside any work-related worry; to take that much needed nap in the middle of the afternoon; to go to bed early and actually talk to your neighbor at the dining table, instead of staring at the screen of a smartphone.

Botswana safari

Friendship – one of the perks of camping in Botswana

It’s a chance of making new friends

Speaking of talking at the dinner table, in fact simply taking any opportunity to talk to other members of the group, is one of the best things when on a Botswana safari. I was very fortunate to meet other like minded travelers, and we filled every moment with chats and anecdotes. On long days when we over-landed from one camp to the other, it distracted us from the bumpy road.

The average airport staff is an impala

Most of the transfers on a Botswana safari are on wheels. Flights are occasionally needed to move the the most remote parts of the country. However, do not think of airport, security checks and baggage allowance. Small (up to 12 seater) planes take off from airstrips in the middle of the bush. The only security check needed is done to make sure that there are no animals on the strip (impalas, warthogs, kudus and occasionally lions love hanging out there), so that the plane can land and then take off safely.

Tipping is recommended

Most Botswana safaris are all inclusive, so the only cash one needs is for tipping the staff. There are no ATMs in the bush (ahem!!), so make sure to carry enough change for the duration of the trip. Operators typically give recommendations on how much their crew should be tipped.

camping in Botswana

Packing warm clothes is a must when planning to go camping in Botswana

What to pack when camping in Botswana

I went camping in Botswana at the end of May, so my packing list is applicable to anybody traveling there in the winter. In general, I recommend keeping luggage to a minimum. There are no laundry services in the camps, but some basic washing (which will be necessary as it is very dusty!) can be done on a daily basis on the basins and using the ecological laundry soap provided.

Here’s what I recommend packing for a Botswana safari:

When To Go Camping In Botswana

I went on my Botswana safari in May, at the very beginning of winter in the Southern hemisphere, which goes from May to September. This is the dry season, when temperatures are mild during the day and it gets quite chilly at night. The good thing is that there are less mosquitoes; there’s much less chances of rain; and it is easier to spot wildlife around waterholes and rivers.

Getting To Botswana

Botswana has 3 main airports: Gaborone, the capital; Kasane, which is near the border with Zimbabwe; and Maun, which is in the Okavango region. All of them are international airports, but not intercontinental ones. Most people who go on Botswana holidays fly into Johannesburg and then take another flight to Kasane, which usually is the starting point for safaris.

There are various border posts between Botswana and Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which typically open between 6:00 and 8:00 am and close between 4:00 and 6:00 pm, with some of them closing a bit later.

People holding passports from Australia, the United States, Canada and one of the countries of the European Union can get a visa on arrival.

Have you ever been camping in Botswana? What did you like the most about it?

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The Most Amazing Wildlife In Guyana

The Most Amazing Wildlife In Guyana

There is an abundance of wildlife in Guyana, which explains why Guyana tourism has been flourishing in recent years. This is a country where the jungle is so thick that it is impossible to get any phone connectivity, let alone internet, in good parts of it. But much like in Botswana, here thick vegetation and no phone signal are only the other side of the coin of something significantly more interesting, from my point of view: the increased chance of wildlife encounters.

Wildlife in Guyana benefits from the river system and the dense jungle, which create its perfect habitat. Among Guyana animals, there are the elusive Jaguar, Capibaras, Black Caimans, the Giant Anteater, and one-of-a-kind birds such as the Harpy Eagle and Cock-of-the-Rock. There are more than 900 species of birds in Guyana; 225 species of mammals; 880 species of reptiles and more than 6500 different species of trees and plants.

The incredible abundance and diversity of wildlife in Guyana contributed to giving the country the reputation of being one of the best destinations for wildlife sightings in South America. Much like travelers have been frolicking to Argentina in search of penguins, sea lions, orcas and wales; or they have been going to the Galapagos of Ecuador to admire the marine life; they now head to Guyana to encounter animals, and to do so in a completely responsible way.

The most unique wildlife in Guyana has been given the moniker of “giants,” which is why Guyana is called Land of the Giantsand it’s every adventurers’ dream to explore it in search of these amazing creatures.

This post highlights the most incredible wildlife in Guyana and gives some final tips on how to make the most of this country.

wildlife in Guyana

Jaguars are by far among the most amazing wildlife in Guyaba

The Most Amazing Wildlife In Guyana

Jaguar – AKA the King of the Jungle                               

Among the most incredible wildlife in Guyana, there’s the jaguar. This elusive animal may well be the most famous animal in South America, one many travelers would love to see in its natural environment. This is one of the largest cats in the world, and the top predator moving on land to stalk the continent. The Audubon Magazine suggested that Guyana’s very own Iwokrama Forest could be the best place in the world to spot a wild jaguar.

Jaguars can be seen all around Guyana, especially along the rainforest belt that is at the heart of the country. Among the best things to do in Guyana to see jaguars, there’s staying at one of the local eco-lodges and joining a safari with a trained local guide, heading into the jungle at night to test one’s luck to get a glimpse of this mighty animal.

Arapaima – AKA the World’s Largest Scaled Freshwater Fish

Wildlife in Guyana is not limited to mammals. The country is home to the giant arapaimas, a fish that lives in the network of Essequibo, Rupununi and the Amazon River Basin. Arapaimas are typically found in the southwestern part of the country, where the tropical weather creates the perfect living conditions for them.

One of the most fun things to do in Guyana is trying to catch (and obviously release immediately afterwards) one of these epic fish. The best places to give it a try are the isolated pools and rivers, where fishing enthusiasts can engage in a battle to catch this water monster. Travelers hoping to catch an arapaima should carry the right equipment and follow the advice of local guides during fishing expeditions.

Rewa is a prime location for such fishing, not to mention one of the nicest places to visit in Guyana. Even I went fishing in Rewa, though not for arapaimas. Read more about my fishing experience on this post

wildlife in Guyana

Harpy eagles are some of the most beautiful animals in Guyana

Harpy Eagle – AKA the Most Majestic Bird in Guyana

Among the most beautiful wildlife in Guyana there’s the harpy eagle. This is by far the most powerful bird of prey in the world, and one of the largest birds of pray in South America. Harpy eagles can be spotted in the Kanuku and Iwokrama mountains, where the untouched tropical rainforest proves to be their perfect living environment, as there’s a lot of preys they can feed on.

The North Rupununi Region is one of the top places to visit in Guyana. Here, the Iwokrama River Lodge, the Surama Eco-Lodge and the Rewa Eco-Lodge are perfect starting point to go in search of the harpy eagle. On the Essequibo Coast, these birds can be spotted at Warapoka and Sloth Island!

With so much wildlife in Guyana that includes birds of prey, it’s easy to see why this country has quickly become a top destination for bird-watchers!

wildlife in Guyana

Spotting giant anteaters is one of the coolest things to do in Guyana

Giant Anteater – AKA the World’s Largest Anteater

One of the most unique wildlife in Guayana is the giant anteater. This animal is characterized by tiny eyes and ears, which are a great contrast to its long snout, body and tail. Needless to say, it is a really interesting animal to admire from up close.

These Guyana animals can be found in the Iwokrama Forest and the Rupununi Savannahs. They are not easy to spot, so one of the best things to do in Guyana if hoping to spot giant anteaters is to hire a local trained guide, as these will know where to spot them and how to localize them. Ranches like Saddle Mountain or Karanambu are great starting point to go in search of anteaters. From there, it is possible to head out several times during the day into the forest, in search for the perfect opportunity to take a photo of this gentle giant. Don’t forget to get a good travel camera for that!

Guyana wildlife

Giant otters are among the most unique wildlife in Guyana

Giant River Otter – AKA the World’s Largest and Rarest Otter

One of the most unique Guayana animals is the giant river otter. Of all the otter species in the world, this is by far the largest, and possibly the hardest to spot. These animals where first documented in detail at the Karanambu Ranch, in the region of North Rupununi, in 1988 by the conservationist Diane McTurk.

She was the one who started the rehabilitation work of the otters at the Karanambu Lodge. Since then, otters have thrived in the area, making this one of the best places to see wildlife in Guyana. It’s a place many tourists travel in order to observe these rare and incredible creatures in their natural environment.

things to do in Guyana

Mighty caimans are among the most scary wildlife in Guyana

Black Caiman – AKA the World’s Largest Alligators 

One of the nicest things to do in Guyana is cruising along its waterways, and the reason for that is that this provides an excellent opportunity for wildlife spotting. Caimans are a common sight here, and a mighty one. Black caimans are the biggest members of the alligator family. These reptiles, that live along slow-moving rivers, lakes and other freshwater habitats around the country, are carnivorous.

Caimans are the largest predators in the Amazon, and they prey on a variety of fish, other reptiles, birds and mammals. They can be spotted on any river in the heart of the country. The best place to stay to see wildlife in Guyana, if wanting to spot caimans, is the community-owned Caiman House. From there, it is possible to go caiman tagging – which is done for conservation purposes.

Capybara – AKA the World Largest Rodent

When it comes to wildlife in Guyana, as far as statistical superlatives go, the country holds the first place even when it comes to rodents. Indeed, it is home to the world’s largest rodent, the capybara. This is found in the savana, dense forests and near rivers and lakes. Capybaras live in family groups, and that’s how they are usually spotted. They look like a huge rat or groundhog.

wildlife in Guyana

Admiring the gorgeous flora: one of the things to do in Guyana

There’s More Than Wildlife in Guyana 

Those that think that animals are the main reason to visit Guyana should think twice. There are many more things to do in Guyana other than admiring its incredible wildlife.  There’s more than just wildlife in Guyana: the country is indeed home to Victoria Amazonica — also known as the World’s Largest Lily. This is Guyana national flower, and it can be found in oxbow lakes and in the shallow waters of the Amazon Basin.

The leaves of Victoria Amazonica sprawl up to 3 meters in diameter – they are so big that they can actually hold a baby. The night Victoria Amazonica bloom, their flowers are white. Yet, it is interesting to observe that they turn pink on the second night. Witnessing this process is just one more of the amazing things to do in Guyana.

Other Reasons To Visit Guyana

Responsible tourism should be the only way to travel, and Guyana is proving to be one of the top ecotourism destinations in the world, with the local authorities making an effort to protect the vibrant wildlife in Guyana, as well as its culture and heritage.

In line with this effort, the government has put together a series of Visitors Guidelines for Sustainable Travel, where it invites all travelers, adventures seekers, culture curious and all tourists to follow a few simple rules to leave as little impact as possible on the country and the world. It’s just one more reason to support Guyana tourism.

Discover more things to do in Guyana and a series of tips on how to plan a trip to Guyana.

Have you ever been to Guayana? What wildlife in Guyana did you see?

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Discover all the nicest wildlife in Guyana - via @clautavani