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This eco-resort lies 500 kilometres south of Georgetown, where the northern savannah, swamp and forest meet at the Rupununi River and the plain stretches towards the Pakaraima Mountains and Brazil.   

The lodge, which is renowned for its legendary hospitality in addition to the tranquil atmosphere and abundant wildlife, is surrounded by forest with the open range out in front. Its six clay-brick and palm-thatched cabanas, each of which has an en suite bathroom and verandah, give it the flavour of an Amerindian village. Facilities are basic yet comfortable – with solar-powered electric lighting until bedtime, cold water showers and flushing toilets. Laundry is done free of charge.

The former cattle ranch is owned by the McTurk family, and meals are taken around the large dining table in the open living room of the ranch house, accompanied by stories about the ranch and the family’s history. Diane McTurk is well-known for rehabilitating orphaned giant otters, and her work has featured in National Geographic magazine and several television programmes. Her late father, Tiny McTurk settled here in 1927, and has played host to both Gerald Durrell and David Attenborough. These days Salvador and Andrea de Caires look after Karanambu, leaving Diane free to develop the Karanambu Trust, work with her beloved otters and write.

The otter rehabilitation programme means that orphaned otters are often present at the ranch, and you can help staff tend to them, or visit communities of otters that have been released. Activities operate on an informal basis depending on the interests and preferences of guests, opportunity and season (wet or dry), but may include: exploring the Rupununi River in search of otters, black caiman and arapaima; a fishing trip to Simoni Pond; spotting giant anteaters on the savannah; birdwatching at nearby ponds; a trip to see Victoria amazonica – the world’s largest water lily and Guyana’s national flower – as it opens after dusk.

Another highlight is an evening visit to Crane Pond to see large numbers of ibis, anhinga, heron and egret roosting. Water-based activities increase as the land floods during the wet season – usually between mid-May and mid-September – and in all but the driest times Karanambu is reached by a relaxing two-hour boat ride on the Rupununi River, an excellent way to see wildlife. 

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Key info

  • Available*: Oct-Apr * The dates shown are when the accommodation is generally available. Please enquire for specific availability.

Wildlife trips

This accommodation is featured in the following itineraries:

Guyana: A Land of Giants

This exceptional adventure penetrates the densely forested interior of Guyana, the ‘land of many waters’. Staying in Amerindian villages and former cattle ranches, you will travel by light aircraft, four-wheel-drive vehicle, dugout canoe, and on foot, discovering the rich and colourful birdlife and searching for jaguar.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,395 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Rainforests, Savannahs & Wetlands

Guyana is a tiny but wildlife rich country containing pristine rainforest. Giant river otters, caiman, extraordinary flora and lekking sites for the spectacular cock-of-the-rock all combine to make this 2-week itinerary the perfect introduction to bird and wildlife watching.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Ultimate Guyana Nature Experience

This expertly guided group adventure takes you deep into Guyana’s pristine interior to explore its rainforests, rivers and savannahs, and see a remarkable variety of wildlife. Travelling by air, land, river and on foot you’ll stay in Amerindian villages, research stations, ranches and jungle lodges.

  • When to go: Mar-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,425 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
This accommodation is located in:

Rupununi Savannah

This diverse area of mixed savannah, moist tropical forest and mountain takes its name from the floodplain of the Rupununi River in the southwest of Guyana, along the border with Brazil – one of the country’s most complex ecosystems, and among the earth’s last great wildernesses.

  • Where: Southwest Guyana
  • Ideal for viewing: giant anteater, giant river otter, armadillo, anaconda, black caiman
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris