By Richard Bhainie
After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adventure seekers can once again experience ‘the adventure of a lifetime’ when the Pakaraima Mountain Safari hits the trails on April 10-17, 2022 for the 19th year.
Speaking at a simple launching ceremony held at the GuyOil Service Station, Regent Street, Georgetown on Wednesday, Frank Singh, Coordinator of the Safari, described the scenic expedition as “cross-country off-road 4×4 driving.”
“You will get to see the culture and customs of the Indigenous people, you get to pass through the Iwokrama forest. On our way back, we get to stop at the Canopy walkway and you will get to see the beautiful mountains of Guyana,” Singh said.
The cross-country safari starts in Georgetown, Region Four (Demerara – Mahaica) and covers Regions 10 (Upper Demerara – Upper Berbice) and Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo) before the journey culminates in Region Eight (Potaro – Sipuruni).
Adventure seekers will leave the Providence Terminal of the GuyOil Service Station on the East Bank Demerara at 04:00hrs, stopping first at Annai Village. Other stops include Karasabai and Kato before the tour ends at Orinduik.
The ‘safarians’ will also visit the Lethem Rodeo before returning to Georgetown.
To be part of the 2022 Safari, persons must have their own 4×4 vehicle which will be inspected by Singh’s team to ensure it is off-road worthy and must pay a registration fee. It is also compulsory for each vehicle to contribute to the indigenous villages through donations.
Giving brief comments, Director (ag) of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Kamrul Baksh said that the last two years have been challenging due to the pandemic but the safari will resume with the full gamut of activities, all of which will be executed in a safe manner.
“This safari here really speaks to the nature and the type of tourism product we have here in the country. It’s exploring the outdoors, it’s about getting to know one’s country,” Baksh said, noting explorers will get the chance to witness Guyana’s vast landscape while learning of the country’s indigenous heritage.
Present at the launching was former Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Harripersaud Nokta, referred to as ‘the father of the safari’ who is also the author of ‘Patamona dream’, a book on the genesis of the Pakaraima Mountain Safari and the road linking Regions Eight and Nine.
Nokta, one of the founders of the safari, said that he is pleased that there is a continuation of the education and recreational event which allows people to enjoy happy moments with their friends and family and interact with natives of the Pakaraimas.