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Guyana
An introduction to the land and wildlife

Guyana is Chandra's country of birth. She and Robert have lived there for most of the past ten years. Its wonderful natural resources are a major inspiration for the art of this site and we'd like to use this part of the site to introduce you to its special charms.

Guyana is situated on the northern coast of South America, adjacent to Venezuela, Brazil and Surinam. It is a country about the size of Britain with a population of less than a million. More than 90% of the country is tropical forest and more than 90% of that remains intact. As such it is one of the few countries in the world with large expanses of virgin tropical forest. It is a stronghold of wildlife such as Jaguar, Giant Otter, Harpy Eagle, Caima and much more. In addition it has spectacular mountains, wonderful wwaterfalls, wetlands and the savannahs of the Rupununi.

Guyana is unique in being South Americas only English speaking country, a legacy of its history as Britains only colony inthe region; a period which ended in 1966 when the then British Guiana became independent Guyana. Since then it has had a difficult history, being one of the poorest countries in South America, having been in the power of a represive dictatorship for many years. It has recently become a democracy and is rapidly developing with great benefit to the people, but with equally great threat to the environment.

Robert And Chandra have spent many months travelling the wilds and waters of Guyana where there discoveries included the nesting place of one of the worlds rarest birds, the White-chinned Swift, and a new variety of parrot. They also found new species of fish amongst the colorful hoards that fill the rivers and make them a natural aquarium which is source to many which make their way to living rooms the world over. Here too animals which are rare in much of the rest of South America, such as the Jaguar and Harpy Eagle, remain common. Indeed there seems no end to Guyana's natural wealth of wildlife.

Guyana is also home to the legendary Mount Roraima, made famous by Conan Doyle; whilst Lake Amacu is widely believed to be the origin of the myth of El Dorado for which Sir Walter Raleigh searched fruitlessly along what he called 'The Wild Coast'.

Guyana is widely believed to mean the Land of many waters, a title it surely deserves as it is diseccted by several major rivers of its own as well as being embraced by tendrils of the mighty rivers Amazon and Orinoco. At Kaiteur Falls one of these many rivers plunges over a lip of rock to make one of the worlds great waterfalls, five times the height of Niagra. This is just one of many magnificent waterfalls which ehance the country.

We hope to further expand this site in the future as a gateway to the wonders of Guyana. For the present we'd like to direct you to a couple of sites which will give you an introduction to Guyana.

Iwokrama Programme. A site dedicated to an international programme for sustainable utilisation of natural resources on a large reserve in Guyana, with good links to sites on natural history and conservation in Guyana. The URL is www.sdnp.org.gy/iwokrama

A guide to Guyana. Just what it says. With an excellent selection of links to other sites on Guyana.

 

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