North Pakaraima Mountain safari set for Sunday

-strict COVID rules in place

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The North Pakaraima Mountain Safari was granted conditional approval by the National COVID-19 Task Force to host its 18th outdoor experience in Guyana’s mountainous region.

Coordinator, Frank Singh, told the News Room that a negative COVID-19 antigen test is mandatory for all participants and only a maximum of 50 persons are allowed to participate this year.

“We have to observe all the COVID protocols in the sense that we have to wear our masks, sanitise, social distance and we have to do an antigen test – all who is participating this year,” Singh said.

He further revealed that the participants will also be required to do another antigen test after returning from the safari. The test results will be sent to the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, the Task Force and the Guyana Tourism Authority.

Pakaraima Mountain Safari Coordinator, Frank Singh (Photo: News Room/March 24, 2021)

Additionally, to ensure the safety of all involved, Singh said that everyone will have their temperature checked every morning. If a person is found with a high temperature, they will be referred to the nearest village with a health centre to be tested and medevac to Georgetown.

Meanwhile, with this highly anticipated outdoor event, Singh said the response has been tremendous but, “I had to disappoint a lot of people.”

He said the safari usually sees over 150 participants, seeking to discover Guyana and experience firsthand the indigenous way of life. Apart from the participants, Singh explained that villages in the Pakaraima Mountains would always look forward to the safari, but this year the participants will not be allowed to enter the villages.

“Before, we used to go in the villages and socialise with the villagers but now we have to do our camping on the outskirts of the villages and we will be looking for where there is a source of water to do our camping and cooking.”

A view of the Pakaraima Mountain during the 2019 Safari (Photo: News Room)

One of the longstanding rules of the safari is for every vehicle to take supplies to the villages as ‘gifts’.

The villages, in turn, would have their produce from farmlands on sale.

“Whatever produce they have – cassava, oranges – whatever they have, they bring it out and we buy it,” Singh explained.

But this year, given the circumstances, participants are being encouraged to supply face masks and sanitisers.

The safari will depart Georgetown on Sunday, March 28, and will last for a period of seven days. Persons will journey through the tropical rainforest reserve, Iwokrama and will also pass indigenous villages such as Karasabai, Tiperu, Yorong Paru and Kato among others. The safari promises an unforgettable experience full of wildlife, pristine forests, mountains and hills.

Meanwhile, approval was also granted for the Bartica Safari in August and the South Rupununi Safari in November this year.

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