While terms like ‘eco-conscious’ and ‘sustainable’ are increasingly overused, Iwokrama River Lodge is the real deal. Not only is this pristine rainforest environment protected, but its local inhabitants – the Makushi people – have hands-on involvement in all aspects of the project, including scientific research, conservation and tourism.
Set on the Essequibo River are eight beautifully constructed wooden, thatch-roofed cabins raised on stilts, each with a veranda and hammock. The main building includes labs and a roomy semi-open lounge/dining area where you can mingle with the researchers and hear about work taking place at the lodge.
The whole area is fantastic for wildlife – expect to see macaws, toucans and howler monkeys, and if you’re very lucky, a wild cat. Don’t miss the hike to the top of Turtle Mountain from where the views over the jungle are simply breathtaking.
To reach the lodge you can fly from Georgetown to an airstrip a half-hour drive away, or travel overland from the capital across the unpaved red earth in a 4WD journey of about six hours.