Caribbean Net News recently reported on group tourism familiarization trip to Guyana organized by the Guyana Sustainable Tourism Initiative (GSTI), a joint project of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the United States Agency for International Development/Guyana Trade and Investment Support (USAID/GTIS) project. Birdwatching tour operators, journalists, and photographers from North America and the United Kingdom “poked around Guyana’s rainforests and savannahs in search of birds, mammals, and local culture.” The familiarization trips have been a key part of the GSTI strategy to market and promote Guyana’s tourism products for additional markets beyond birding, including community-based, general nature, conservation based, research-based, adventure, and educational tourism. Efforts are also made to increase and improve guide training, product development, transportation logistics, and ecotourism standards.
On the recent trip, the itinerary included Georgetown, Iwokrama River Lodge, Atta Rainforest Lodge and Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, Surama Eco-Lodge, Rock View Lodge, Karanambu Ranch, Lethem and Kaieteur Falls. Visitors were eager to see harpy eagles and other bird species. By the end of the trip the group had identified nearly 360 different species of birds (including the harpy eagle, near Rewa).
General Manager of Andean Birding, Charlie Vogt has birded extensively in South America but still managed to add 65 new species to his list. Vogt said he “was blown away with the vast pristine rainforests” of Guyana.
Some of the birds seen were the orange Guianan cock-of-the-rock (at Kaieteur Falls and Iwokrama), “the bizarre mooing and Draculalike poses of the Capuchinbird,” as well as more commonly-seen macaws, toucans, woodpeckers, and hawks.
For full article, see http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/article.php?news_id=22467
Photo of harpy eagle from http://www.gina.gov.gy/archive/daily/b070707.html