Re: Bus from Georgetown to Kaieteur
Kaieteur is a true wilderness area. There are no roads, no luxurious hotels, no protecting guard rails and very few people. If you arrive during the week, you might be the only tourist for the whole day. For those who wish to experience this authentic wilderness, here are several options to access the site and necessary tips.
HOW TO GET THERE - RAIN FOREST TREK or FLY-IN
OVERLAND TREKS TO KAIETEUR FALLS - YEAR ROUND
Guyana overland guided tour packages trace back the journey the first Europeans made to discover the magnificent Kaieteur Falls. Throughout the journey, one can easily imagine the emotions they may have had over a century ago, as little has changed in the interim. The five day four night round-trip journey begins with an eight hour bus trip to the small town of Mahdia. The next three days are dedicated to trekking overland until you reach the bottom of Kaieteur Falls where a challenging climb awaits you. When you eventually reach the top, the feeling of achievement is indescribable. A one night stay at the Kaieteur guest house offers you a fascinating opportunity to experience the pristine beauty of the Falls and the immediate park surroundings.
Each overland guided tour can usually handle from one guest up to twenty guests (maximum number for safety and available accommodations). The ages of guests to date have ranged ten to seventy years age. This is a trek through a magnificent rainforest and can be arduous for some; however as long as you are prepared for an adventure and willing to follow a few precautionary rules, the journey will be quite safe and remain a lifelong experience.
The overland tour is available all year round. There is a separate seven-day overland tour available through tour operators where a visitor can call on several Patamona Amerindian villages; this package is only available during September of each year.
WHAT TO BRING?
Personal items such as a watch, reading glasses, undershorts
Personal toiletries (toothbrush, paste, soap, deodorant, small towel, etc.)
Broad rim or peaked sun hat,
Lightweight, quick dry, light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants to minimize mosquito bites at night, sunburn during the day and also to minimize vegetation scratches;
Towel or handkerchief to protect the back of neck from the sun,
Shorts, bathing suit, T-shirts ideally light color cotton
Waterproof sandals (for easy on and off around camp, or when boots drying out)
Warm clothes for the night
Appropriate boots for hiking
Sunscreen and chap stick
Insect repellent (bring in quantity)
Calamine lotion or sunburn cream
Sunglasses, ideally with carrying straps
Medications for specific personal conditions (for allergic reactions heart conditions, digestive disturbances, malaria prevention etc..)
Small personal first aid kit (aspirins, small bandages, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic cream, diarrohea medication, gauze pads and rolls, tape as a minimum)
Plastic water bottle
Water filtration kit and/or water treatment tablets
Labelled plastic bags and tiedowns to protect everything against dirt, rain, submersion
Small flashlight with extra batteries: indispensable if you have to vacate the hammock in the night
Camera lenses, films, batteries
Hammock and net
Energy food, liquid refreshments
A walking stick for some and gloves for others may be of value
The above checklist may not be complete, nor universally suited to all visitors.
Check with the tour operator to see if they, or their subcontractors, are equipped with such items as certified personal flotation devices (lifejackets), food (meals suitable to special diets), water, emergency radios, sleeping accommodations, first-aid equipment and rescue/emergency medical knowledge, etc..
FLIGHTS TO KAIETEUR-YEAR ROUND
DAY TOUR WITH TOUR OPERATORS
Since Kaieteur Falls is becoming internationally known as a 'must see' on any visitor's itinerary, there are numerous packaged tours that have been developed by local tour operators. These packages include trips from Georgetown:
to Kaieteur Falls;
to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls;
to Kaieteur and Baganara Resort;
to Kaieteur and Annai (Rock View Resort);
to Kaieteur and Karanambu Ranch,
to Kaieteur and Arrowpoint Nature Resort, and
to Kaieteur and Shanklands Resort etc.
Note: The above randomly selected tour packages are the more common destinations and are not intended to be a complete listing. Each package can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual traveler and are subject to change or availability.
For fly-in visits to Kaieteur Falls, guests normally remain on-site between two (the norm) and four hours depending on the flight schedule and/or the tour operator. The day tour is available all year round.
Upon your arrival, you will get the chance to view the Kaieteur Falls from five separate vantage points that offer excellent photo opportunities ((Johnson's view, BoyScout view, Rainbow view, Break view, Lookout view). Visitors are later guided along rainforest trails by a knowledgeable tour guide. With a little patience you can usually get a close up view of the beautiful, but poisonous 'golden frog' and, if you are lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the orange 'Cock-of-the-Rock'. You will also make the acquaintance of several attractive carnivorous plants, some of which feed on insects. There are an abundance of beautiful wild flowers, butterflies, birds, etc. endemic to the area.
CUSTOM DESIGNED TOUR
For those who wish to enjoy the complete experience of both Kaieteur Falls and the National Park, take a regularly scheduled regional flight (not a packaged tour) which flies to Kaieteur Falls three times a week (Sun, Wed & Fri, @ 9 AM). In this way, it is possible to extend your stay between flights as long as you wish. It is imperative, however, to take your own water, food and other supplies to last. Also, there are additional expenses such as park entrance fees (US$12/person), accommodation fees (US$14/night) and guide fee (negotiable) to be considered that would normally be included in the total package price from a tour operator. The ticket can be purchased either at the Georgetown regional Ogle Airport or from tour operators.
WHAT TO BRING?
T-shirts, shorts or long pants, non-slip footwear, face cloth, towel, hat, sun glasses, insect repellent, sun block, camera, film etc.
KAIETEUR GUEST HOUSE
The picturesque guest house has a quaint veranda offering a view of the nearby Falls. It was built in 1975 by Government and has been recently refurbished (2003). There are two bedrooms, each with two beds. One of the bedrooms is self contained while the other is regular standard. In addition, there are 12 comfortable hammocks which can be hung most anywhere inside guesthouse. All beds and hammocks are equipped with nets although very few mosquitoes are found on site. . Solar powered electricity (110V), water, stove, large dining table and refrigerator are available. Rain water is used as drinking water, so carry purification tablets. All food must be taken in by air. The resident housekeeper is more than willing to prepare vegetables or cook complete meals when requested. There is a radio set for communication.
WHAT CAN YOU SEE FROM OVERNIGHT STAY AT KAIETEUR?
Flights of Swifts.
Swifts work like clockwork. In the morning, as if they heard the starting gun, they head out for their daily feeding sites and in the evening the flight is coming back home to roost. This can be very easily seen as the birds are never late.
Changing Face of the Falls
The falls disclose very different faces depending on the time of the day. Early morning light reveals the falls wrapped up in a pillar of mist. At this hour the waterfall looks like a long, horizontal central heating pipe insulated in thick wool lagging: believe it or not the water is not visible. This scene can be admired just after sunrise yet by 9 o'clock the d?cor is gone. At this time the usual daily setting takes over. Nothing particular happens until sunset but in spite of the midday heat it's not a bad idea to spend a while at the brink. From before the verge, although the tumbling masses of water cannot be seen, it is possible to see wisps of mist rising from the gorge. They move above the ridge, and before being dispersed by wind and sun, they offer an interesting view.
At sunset however, the area takes on a different warmer shade. Full moon rising on the other side of the river and the first stars lit in the evening sun are beautiful to watch and offer excellent themes for photographs.
But perhaps the biggest visual surprise comes at night. There is another mass of fog, but this time it is horizontal, not vertical as in the morning, and extends exactly above the river and only on the upper part of it. For some reasons at night nature unfolds a tailor-made canopy over the river, which ends abruptly at the verge. This local, rectangular cloud is a rare and strange phenomenon.
RULES OF THE PARK
Trash should be collected and brought back to Georgetown (pack-in\pack-out).
Stay with the group and for added safety, keep an eye on each other.
Removal of flora, fauna, rock or other indigenous material is prohibited.
No camping is permitted at Kaieteur plateau
Respect all signs in the park.
Follow instructions of tour guides or the Park Warden.
Wear non-slip footwear because some areas are slippery near the Falls
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