There are two wet seasons in the north, from May to June and from December to January. The south and the Rupununi savannah region has a wet season during the month of May to July. Rainfall averages 91 inches (2,300mm) a year in Georgetown. In general, Guyana is a great place to visit year round. Guyana is about 63% rainforest. There the air is moist and rain frequent. The rainiest season is summer, though some rain falls throughout the year. Showers or thunderstorms usually come in afternoon. Most days are said to have at least four hours of sunshine, and overcast is rare. Guyana is south of the hurricane belt. In general, the average shade temperature is 27°C (81°F). Average maximum is 31°C (88°F) and the mean minimum is 24°C (75°F).
Pack light! The planes here are small. The vehicles are smaller, and the canoes smaller yet. Bring your wits, sense of adventure, a good sense of humor, and a curiosity about the natural world and you’ll have everything you truly need. Most people prefer long sleeve shirts and full-length pants to protect themselves against sun and insects. Quick-drying materials allow you to carry fewer items that can be washed frequently. Sandals are sometimes better than hiking boots – sometimes the opposite is true. It all depends on what you’re doing. Bring both. A hat is essential. And, of course, if you’re after birds and wildlife you’re going to want to carry binoculars and camera gear. Just be sure to bring a dry bag because you never know when its going to rain and you may get wet on the river.
Your best bet is to check the Centers for Disease Control website – they keep up to date on travelers’ health issues for Guyana and the region as a whole. The most common problem guests experience are insect bites… you may want to buy a bottle of locally-produced crabwood oil from our gift counter to help reduce itching from mosquitos, chiggers and other biting insects. Although the village operates a basic health clinic, the closest fully-equipped hospital is in Georgetown which may require many hours or days to reach. Be sure to carry ample supplies of any medications or other health products you require because there are no pharmacies or provision shops near us.
Most visitors arrive on 4X4 transport from Iwokrama, the Canopy Walkway, or Annai/Rock View Lodge. Be sure to look at the maps here on our website to get your bearings. The Rupununi suffers from chronic shortages of vehicles, so all guests should make transportation arrangements well in advance of their visit. Visitors arriving in the area by minivan on the main north/south road (Georgetown to Lethem) should alert us well in advance so that we can plan to meet you at the junction and bring you back up in to the village with a vehicle – its too far to walk. Our village airstrip can accommodate charter aircraft or other specially arranged flights. It’s a short 10 minute drive from the airstrip to the lodge.
The lodge is connected to the rest of the world primarily through VHF radio, but our office shares its satellite internet link with lodge guests using standard WiFi for several hours per day. Cellular phone service in the Rupununi doesn’t always reach Surama, so if being reliably connected to the outside world is essential, you must carry your own satellite phone. Otherwise, enjoy cutting the cord for a few days! You may experience withdrawal symptoms (we see it all the time – it’s real!) but after a day or two you will surely find your senses tuning in more acutely to the splendid natural world that surrounds us here. Electricity is supplied by solar panels and is very limited. Our points are 2-prong North-American style outlets.
Staying in the eco-lodge has been described as similar to a home-stay experience. You will be sleeping in a private room in a cabin, or one of our guest benabs. All our rooms have a private bath with flush toilet and shower. The water is unheated but our water tank is warmed by the sun and in our climate, hot water is usually not what you’re after anyway! Be sure to read about the lodge facilities here on the website and read reviews from previous guests on TripAdvisor. The lodge is staffed with a rotating crew of village residents who take time away from their normal farming and family care duties to support the local eco-tourism effort. Everyone here speaks english – in addition to Makushi – so you’re sure to make some new friends while you’re here.