The Iwokrama Forest is in the heart of one of the four last untouched tropical forests of the world.
It is located 300km south of Georgetown and encompasses 3,700 square kilometres of lush, pristine tropical rainforest. It was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management and is now a protected area.
The forest and nearby wetlands have the highest recorded number of fish and bat species in the world. Endangered species include the worlds largest freshwater fish, the Arapaima, the world's largest otter, river turtles, anteaters and caiman. The area is also home to South America's largest cat - the jaguar along with the largest eagle - the harpy eagle.
The Makushi People
The forest is the homeland of the Makushi people who have lived in there for thousands of years, and conservation organisations have joined with with these and other local people in every aspect of their work - from research to business. These partnerships combine traditional knowledge, science and business to develop socially responsible and sustainable forest products and services. They include low impact timber harvesting, ecotourism, training forest rangers and guides and harvesting aquarium fish.
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is based at Mauisparu, near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve. The walkway is owned by the Iwokrama International Centre and is managed by the Community and Tourism Services (CATS). This is a partnership of the indigenous Makushi community of Surama and two private sector companies providing a unique model for ecotourism business development. With 80% of forest dwellers living in the forest canopy, the walkway provides the ideal opportunity to join the birds and experience the wildlife of the rainforest canopy.
The walkway is a series of suspension bridges and observation decks of up to 30 metres (98ft) in height and 154 metres (505ft) in length. The unique construction allows trees to grow normally by using cables that are adjustable along with braces throughout the support structure. The four observation decks enable you to view the canopy from the mid and upper level forest canopy whilst allowing wildlife to remain relatively free from human intrusion.
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Accommodation choices for Iwokrama
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