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Dadanawa Ranch
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Reviews (19)
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Reviewed March 14, 2012

Set in 1750 square miles of stunning savannah and bordered by the Kanuku Mountains it is a place you will never forget. The ranch itself has buckets of history and charm set deep in the interior of Guyana. The people are a treat and range from bushmen, amerindians, cowboys, researchers, and of course Duane Defrietas adventurer, anaconda wrestler, ranch manager, and raconteur. The accommodations are basic in the sense that there is no electricity but there is running water and the food is excellent. You go there for adventure, the wildlife, the land and cows...lots and lots of cows...

This is their website : http://www.dadanawaranchguyana.com/
This is my blog where I wrote about some of my experiences there: http://absurdtraveler.blogspot.com/

Room Tip: The main guesthouse is the best
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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8  Thank KrisArndt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2010

Let's start with this: Dadanawa Ranch isn't for everyone primarily because the accommodations are at the bottom-end of basic. If you come to Dadanawa expecting to be pampered, you'll be miserable. But if you are open to a remarkable ranch-based experience and are interested in opportunities to see some rare wildlife, you just may find this place totally amazing.

You can drive to Dadanawa from Lethem... it's a few hours over a not-very-good dirt road. Alternatively, if you have a group, you can charter a filght to land right in front of the guest buildings. Sometimes TGA will divert their Lethem flight if there are enough passengers demanding it. There is a fee for this service.

At Dadanawa you can essentially be a ranch-hand for as long as you stay, working with the vaqueros to manage the 6000+ head of cattle that roam here. This was once one of South America's top-producing cattle ranches, and there is ample evidence of that history around every corner.

Our group visited with nature in mind: this is one of the only places in the world to glimpse the endangered Red Siskin, and also a really good place to spot the highly endangered Giant Anteater.

Justin DeFreitas and crew are a motley, friendly, slightly unruly bunch with remarkable wildlife and birdspotting skills. Their "I-cant-believe-that-thing-works" 4X4's will take you out on the savannahs along the Brazilian border and to the Kanuku foothills to find crittrers and to explore a really beautiful corner of this country. These guys have seen and done it all, and know their way around instinctually. I was impressed by everyone's stated commitment to natural conservation.

Justin's father Duane - and a crew from Dadanawa - also lead deep-jungle and river expeditions all over the country. When it comes to ambitious expeditions, they're pros. Duane happens to be a talented photographer and videographer as well, as evidenced by some of the most close-up shots I've ever seen of Guyana's Jaguars.

There are opportunities to learn about ranch operations by visiting the slaughterhouse, tanning shed, and stables. A visit to the infamous General Store is obligatory, as it epitomizes life in the rural "wild-west." Canoe and kyak trips are possible, too.

Meals are dead-simple home cooking fare. The main guest building has four guest rooms with ensuite showers and flush toilets, but walls don't reach the ceilings so privacy is limited. During my visit, linens were spotlessly clean and mosquito nets in good condition, but the bathrooms were a bit grungy. A nice balcony surrounds the guest building creating a perfect place for afternoon rum-hour. It is all bare-basic, but generally clean and all your fundamental needs are met.

If South American ranch life interests you, Dadanawa could be a very cool part of your Guyana experience based on the wildlife, a taste of Guyanese history, the wild-west ambience, and the jovial crew that runs the place. For the cost to stay here (driven up by high fuel costs) you would expect a higher level of polish and comfort; however, if you take Dadanawa for what it is - a working ranch in a remote corner of South America - a visit to here can be quite rewarding.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled on business
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9  Thank MRMinSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2009

The place for eco tourism and a total outback adventure. Great people, great hospitality and amazing views. Sunrise and Sunset are out of this world. Great fishing and bird watching.
Sandy and Duane are great hosts.

Stayed: March 2006, traveled solo
8  Thank DHMToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2009

This was an incredible experience. Riding out with the vaqueros, following there daily work.
Sleeping under the stars. What a milky way!!!
The staff is amazing and the bosses are too cool.
If you are in the neighborhood, even if it's a 1000 miles, don't hesitate.
You won't regret it.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with friends
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5  Thank KoenBelgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2009

I went two times to Dadanawa, and it's worth visiting! I lost my heart in the savannah and still hoping to go back. The overwhelming stunning nature, the brave vacquero's, the warm welcome by Duane and Sandy. Tidy clean and spacious rooms, delicious fresh food.... what more can I say

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled on business
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6  Thank ChristinaBelgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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