Iwokrama River Lodge is located right on the edge of the Essequibo River and is surrounded by huge swathes of pristine rainforest. The lodge was set up to provide a base for sensitive ecotourism to the Iwokarama Reserve.
Accommodation is in 8 detached, thatched roof, wooden cabins each with river-facing verandahs, hammocks and a private bathroom (cold water showers). Electricity in the cabins is provided by solar panels and diesel generators and free Wi-Fi is available in the main communal building with limited connection in some rooms.
The meals are served in the large central building, which also offers good wildlife viewing over the surrounding forest. The food is usually locally sourced and served in a buffet style. There is a bar, small gift and snack shop and conference room in the building. A wide selection of natural history books to browse and some computers are available for guest use.
There is an excellent trail network from the lodge with many interpretative labels next to the key tree and vine species. A capuchinbird lek is found on one of the trails just 20 minutes from the lodge. Other excursions include boat trips along the Essequibo River and to see Amerindian petroglyphs, rapids and Michelle Island. A highly recommended but strenuous excursion is the hike to the top of Turtle Mountain: handrails and steps have been created to make the walk easier and the views of pristine rainforest as far as the eye can see are well worth it. The summit is also a good vantage point for viewing feeding monkeys and macaws, and birds of prey including the elusive orange-breasted falcon can be reliably seen.
The lodge can be reached by a 2-hour road transfer from the Annai airstrip.
The Iwokrama forest was established to protect and manage a huge, one million acre rainforest reserve. The lodge is surrounded by pristine rainforest, home to a staggering diversity of plants and animals. The area holds world records for the number of bat (90) and freshwater fish (420) species recorded and is home to the arapaima – the world’s largest species of freshwater fish. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded including 5 species of macaw, 24 species of hummingbird and 29 species of raptor (including harpy eagle, crested eagle and osprey). Mammal highlights include 8 species of primate (including white-faced saki and golden-handed tamarin), 2 species of sloth, giant anteater, giant otter, Brazilian tapir, giant armadillo, brocket deer, peccary, various cats and bush dogs.