Stabroek Market

One of the most prominent landmarks in Guyana’s capital Georgetown, is Stabroek Market. With its iconic clock tower the beautiful building dates back to the late 1700s, although the current structure was built in 1880 and was first opened to the public in 1881. The structure itself is built entirely of cast iron and covers an area of over 76,000 square feet, making it the largest public market in the Caribbean.

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Stabroek market is the perfect place to spend a few hours just to experience the local culture. It is the beating heart of the city and you can find anything you need ; from shoes to toilet paper. It is a place that is always bustling with people and activity not only inside the market but also in the surrounding area.  Merchants have sprouted up all around the main building selling consumer goods.

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You will find all kinds of things such as clothes or CD’s. Inside you will find merchants selling things varying from vegetables and meat to paper and shoes. The smells of the various fish, like salt fish, crab, herring, and many more fill the shops.  Inside the market there is a collection of restaurants along the southern wall. Tasty curries of a wide variety are available and are reasonably priced. You can buy halal meat or enjoy great Indian dishes.The main parking lot outside also serves as the local bus station. Taxis and minibuses stop here and also ferries that transport people and goods from all towns and villages along the Demerara river.

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It is a place where locals meet up after work for a chat or to hang out. Locals come here every day, either selling items to make a living or buying items for their household. Although not specifically unsafe, I would suggest a little caution inside the market area; hold your bag close and tight.

Rupununi  

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The Rupununi is a region located in South-West Guyana, bordering the Brazilian Amazon. The name “Rupununi” originates from the Makushi language, which is a dialect of one of the local communities, and derives from the word ‘rapon’, which is a black-bellied whistling duck that can be found along the Rupununi river. The Rupununi is an extraordinary natural area in southern Guyana and  harbours one of Guyana’s most unique and diverse ecosystems with almost 9,000 species some of which  are highly endangered. The savanna is also home to several indigenous tribes; they call the river Raponani. Due to the savanna’s remoteness from the rest of the Guyana, most trade is conducted with Brazil and therefore most people speak Portuguese.

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The Rupununi Savannah is divided into two near equally sized parts by the Kanuku Mountains and is hence divided in a North and South Rupununi.  North Rupununi has been isolated from the public eye for the last thirty years until recently. The area has been rediscovered and there is now an increasing interest in the region for gold mining, agriculture and petroleum. In the coming years  plans to control this interest have to be made as it is beginning to threaten the spectacular wildlife and natural habitat of the Rupununi. Also, there is much more research to be done in the region regarding its unique species composition and biological data.

Rupununi Scene

However, tourism is also developing in the region. Recent upgrading of the Georgetown-Lethem road and completion of the Takutu Bridge opens up new economic opportunities that may bring rapid change to the region. Dozens of cattle ranches were set up in the late 19th century. There are several ranches in the region that are usually worked by vaqueros (cowboys), some of whom are descendants of 19th century Scottish settlers. You can rent a 4×4 and spend the night in one of the eco-lodges or ranches in the region; such as Surama eco-lodge or the Karanambu Ranch. Most ranches also organize their own guided tours to explore the region. Of course you can book a tour with one of Guyana’s tour operators beforehand. The region usually floods in the wet season (May – August).

Kaietur 

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There is little doubt that Kaieteur Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls on Earth. Kaieteur Falls is on the Potaro River in central Guyana located in the Kaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters (741 feet). Kaieteur Falls is a major tourist attraction in Guyana. Many people love the pristine rainforest that surrounds the falls. Kaieteur waterfall is very special due to the combination of several factors:  The fall it is five times higher than Niagara Falls and about two times the height of the Victoria Falls. Kaieteur Falls is the world’s widest single drop waterfall. While many falls have greater height, few have the combination of height and water volume, and Kaieteur is among the most powerful waterfalls in the world with an average flow rate of 663 cubic meters per second.

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The fact that the surroundings of this beautiful monument of nature have not been commercialized also leaves a great impression. While most large waterfalls of the world are crowded by tourists, Kaieteur is comparatively desolate. The falls are only accessible by plane in privately guided groups. It is a 15 minute hike from the airstrip to the fall and there are several viewpoints to be admired. The pristine forest is beautiful and therefore the hike is an experience in itself! There are frequent flights between the falls’ airstrip and Ogle Airport or Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown. You can book your flight at the airport or with one of the tour operators in Georgetown. Be aware that there is usually a minimum of 4 people for the tour to be guaranteed and therefore the tours cannot be booked too far in advance.

Abseiling Kaietur

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Are you a real adventurer? Then you can have the opportunity to abseil from the top of the falls 741 feet down to the jungle floor. This challenge is not for everyone; only a few have accomplished the abseil of this unique waterfall. The abseil is mainly a free drop with no rock wall or support to lean against.  This gives you the unique sensation of floating in mid air. After dropping down you will be one of the select few to walk the new path behind the waterfall, towards the undiscovered cave where thousands of swallows are reputed to nest.

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Photographer  | ERWIN NELES – TOMAHAWK  During Real Adventures With TOMAHAWK
neleserwin@gmail.com  |  neles@sr.net   |  www.facebook.com/erwin.nelesfotograaf  T. +597 898 1797

Photographer 2  |  Guyana Tourism Board

Read Magazine N°7