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“Great service, shame about the Bats and Racoon!”

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Karanambu Lodge (Ranch)
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great service, shame about the Bats and Racoon!”
Reviewed April 28, 2011

The hosts Salvador and Andrea are excellent and the food was first class.

The wildlife experience is good and Jerry the guide is affable and well versed.

However sleep comes at a premium with the screeching bats, the possibility of a racoon (that attacked my father) ruffling through your room and insects at night.

  • Stayed April 2011
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ray_London_U_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wrightington, UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights and could happily have stayed for much, much longer. All the people we met were very friendly, the staff were great, Andrea and Salvador really bent over backwards to accommodate everybody's needs, Diane is a superb host and its wonderful to listen to her over meals, which was superb home cooked fare. The otters are beautiful creatures and their keeper Jasper was friendly and informative too. The morning and afternoon trips were amazing and varied too. I loved having bats in our room, think they're great and the more bats, frogs and geckos, the less insects, so they can all stay for me! Really hope to go again in the future.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Beardysaurus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hinesville georgia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2010

I was there with my Son,his Wife,a 14 ,11 and 9years old Kids.We all had a great time ,there was never a dull moment ,the staff was energetic and Frindly.The Food was Delicious for a Ranch all the way in the Interior.It was a Home away from Home Thanks to all espicially the Manager.Herlyn Rogers

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank pondlily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2009

I've visited twice now, and was utterly charmed by the giant otters. Bandit the raccoon is amusing but slightly out of control. Various cats and dogs add to the charm. Most charming of all is owner Diane McTurk, a quintessential part of Guyana. Her vibe and stories are tremendous, and her rum punch is legendary.

Accommodation is comfortable for the region. However, I was disappointed that our hut only had 2 hammocks on the porch (critical for heat-of-the-afternoon naps), and there were four of us. That led to unrelaxing jostling for possession among friends.

The food on the second trip was a bit disappointing, but Diane was called away on business and I suspect things were a bit disorganized as a result.

Pat was our stand-in host, and we really enjoyed her. She is also a pretty good birder, even though she is modest about her skills.

This area has 3 different ecosystems, so it's particularly fascinating for plant and wildlife observation. The giant anteater is a close second favorite of mine, after the giant otter. But make it clear to guides that you want to observe him naturally, rather than have them roust him and herd him toward you. Ideally, a vaquero would find him sleeping in the early morning hours, and you could tiptoe up quietly to observe him at rest. They forage during the night, so you are unlikely to see him going about his termite-hunting business.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank SFeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
241 reviews
228 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2009

This is the best place to stay in Guyana to experience wonderful birdlife, and to meet and talk with Diane was a privilege, we were lucky that she has a young otter in her care at present,and we were able to watch her help him to readjust to the wild hopefully, one day.
We had some wonderful trips on the river,and saw lots of birds, including nighthawks and nightjars, a first for us.Sadly we did not manage to see an anteater, this was a big disappointment. While we were there there was only one (very knowledgeable) bird guide to share between 2 groups doing different activities.
On the negative side we were irritated to be asked to vacate our rooms at 9.15am for an incoming group.As our flight was not for another 3 hours we felt this was unreasonable.
Bandit the Crab Eating (and master cockroach dispatcher!) Raccoon added huge enjoyment to our stay! A highlight was his company on our early morning walk.
Should definitely be included for a trip in Guyana.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank llewellynroger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
183 reviews
173 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2009

Beautiful remote location, good birding and run by the gracious, hospitable and extraordinary Diane McTurk. She is rather let down by her staff, both the "indoor" staff who were unsmiling and seemingly prepared to only do their jobs in the most basic way and the guides, only one of whom was knowledgeable about birds. The others did not seem to know much about anything and their English was almost unintelligible. We saw quite a few monkeys on one of the wonderful river trips but sadly no otters (apart from the baby one Diane is looking after at the moment). Bad time of year for them apparently, water levels are too low and they were elsewhere. We had no luck with anteaters either. Also bad time of year, they have babies and spend most of their time snuggled up in their dens. The sort of thing it would be useful to know when planning a trip if animals are a priority. We loved going for an early morning walk with "Bandit" the semi tame racoon running about like a dog. There are several dogs and cats around the ranch and we several times had to eject an unwanted cat from our cabin and indeed our bed. We were only troubled by cockroaches one night and it was explained that fumigators had been around earlier and the cockroaches had a final burst of energy before dying. It was rather unpleasant for that one night but they were all dead or gone by the next morning. I saw no tanatulas or spiders (anywhere at all in Guyana) although I carefully looked for them. This pleased me greatly!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank MyrtleWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2009

The previous three reviews do reasonable justice to the facility and Karanambu's venerable host, Diane McTurk. Wilderness Explorers in Georgetown organized both my trips to Karanambu (spring 2009 and fall 2009) and each visit was memorable and treasured for all the reasons articulated elsewhere.

Do take note that, as with every destination in Guyana, insects and wildlife are integral parts of the experience. Keep an eye out for Bandit the Racoon who will - amusingly - join you for a hike but can get feisty at other times around the Ranch itself. There are a bunch of cute dogs and cats to play with at other times. The occasional otters-in-residence can definitely be a lifelong travel highlight, but check ahead because they are not always there. Same goes for anteaters: this is a great place to spot them, but finding one is not guaranteed on any given day. Encourage your guides to seek out and show you the anteaters in a humane and responsible way: these are sensitive nocturnal creatures that should not be rustled from their nests just for your pleasure. Most guides are in tune with this, but it pays to voice your expectations for best wildlife viewing practices.

Encourage the management to provide drinking water in dispensers (and bring your own kleen kanteen or similar) to reduce plastic waste in an environment where recycling is simply not possible.

If you're a light sleeper, bring earplugs that will block the noise of bats who may fly in and out of your hut and rustle around in the thatch roof plus the squeaky tree frogs that chirp away at night.

Wireless internet is offered while the generator is on, but the service is typical of the region and fast enough for basic email only. There are limited electrical outlets (all US style) to recharge your laptop or camera gear: definitely bring an extension cord and extra batteries to reduce your need to use limited power resources.

Definitely forward your dietary needs well in advance of your visit: supplies are flown or trucked in and there is no way to make last-minute shopping trips.

Bottom line: a truly unique, classic Guyana experience!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank MRMinSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Karanambu Lodge (Ranch)

Property: Karanambu Lodge (Ranch)
Address: Lethem Guyana | Karanambu, Guyana
Location: Guyana > Rupununi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Rupununi
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A thatched and clay brick settlement on the banks of the Rupununi River, Karanambu prides itself on its pioneer spirit and old world charm and hospitality. Guests are welcomed as friends, share meals around a single ranch style table: and step into a landscape and culture relatively unchanged for generations. To a former generation it was known as the home of Tiny (Edward) McTurk; an amateur naturalist and local folk legend, it was Tiny who introduced the English speaking world to the creatures of South America. Today Karanambu is best known for the work of his daughter Ms. Diane McTurk 'The Otter Lady', whose contributions to Eco-Tourism, Conservation and especially the rescue and reintroduction of Giant Otters has made her Guyana's most famous icon. Within its 110 square mile area Karanambu boasts 5 habitats, 6 species of monkeys, over 600 species of birds, world class fishing and a vast array of flora and fauna. For almost 100 years the McTurk Family and wildlife of Karanambu have attracted visitors from across the globe and has been features in publications by: David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell, Jeff Corwin, Davis Finch, Steven Hilty and John Gimlette. With its rustic yet civilised style Karanambu has been featured on the BBC, German Television, National Geographic, Calgary's 'Zoo Quest' and the Discovery Channel and was in 2013 the recipient of the Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award. Pioneers in the tourism industry in Guyana, Karanambu is today considered the hallmark of Bush Tourism and Eco-Tourism in Guyana. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Karanambu Ranch Hotel Rupununi
Karanambu Lodge (Ranch) Guyana/Rupununi

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