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The variety of vegetation present in this wetland supports a vast range of mammals, birds and reptiles, with the result that biodiversity in Nariva Swamp is surprisingly high.  

Boat trips along the winding waterways are the perfect way to appreciate this unique environment and see how forest, marshland and mangroves merge. The water is also the best place to see its resident birds, notably species such as pinnated bittern, red-bellied macaw and orange-winged parrot. Blue-and-yellow macaws have recently been reintroduced, after becoming extinct in the 1970s. A few trails lead through the vegetation, and on foot you stand a better chance of seeing some of Nariva’s mammals, such as red howler monkey and white-fronted capuchin monkey.

This tranquil, sheltered wetland is a perfect environment for the West Indian manatee. However, these peaceful creatures are extremely rare and highly endangered. In the early 1990s, Nariva Swamp was declared a wetland of international importance to protect its diminishing waterfowl population. This move inadvertently helped protect the habitat that is crucial for the conservation of the manatee. Although these gentle creatures are seen very occasionally, sightings are few and far between.   

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: prehensile-tailed porcupine, red howler monkey, white-fronted capuchin monkey, blue and yellow macaw, orange-winged parrot
  • Where: East coast of Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

A Carnival of Wildlife

Swing through the lesser known parts of Trinidad and Tobago to witness the diversity of its wildlife: Trinidad’s national bird – the iconic scarlet ibis, the curious cave-dwelling oilbird, the mysterious colony of bats at Tamana and the world's largest brain coral in Tobago.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Caribbean Wilderness

Journey to the Caribbean to explore untouched rainforest, sprawling savannahs and tropical reefs that offer a variety of captivating wildlife encounters and incredible nature experiences. This itinerary combines birding in Trinidad with the diverse wildlife and scenery of Guyana, before a few days relaxation in Tobago.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,645 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

The Asa Wright Experience

Ask a few well-travelled birdwatchers their favourite places in the world to stay, and Asa Wright will soon enter the conversation. Combined with the glorious contrast of Tobago, this trip is an excellent introduction to the incredible diversity of bird life in Central and South America.

  • When to go: Feb-Mar
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,695 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour