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“Just like staying with friends”

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Karanambu Lodge (Ranch)
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Well this was definitely a highlight of my (far too short) visit to the beautiful country of Guyana, the abundance of wildlife,the surroundings, the hospitality, the food and the comfort of the beds make this a MUST SEE on any trip to Guyana. Alot of brochures state that is is simple accomodation but as Andrea so rightly says its "5 star bush" accomodation. The bedrooms are light and spacious with very comfortable beds, ensuite large bathrooms and hammocks out the front for an afternoon siesta. the grounds are so beautiful and peaceful and the night sky is literally out of this world with no light pollution so its possible to see the whole of the milky way and millions of other stars in the clear night sky. The meal times are lovely as everyone is called to the dining room and are served there meals with the fabulous hosts themselves so you can share stories from the ranch which are always fascinating and entertaining. The meals being excellent, plentiful, home cooked and home grown, including meat and vegetarian options for those that wish. Diane does grace people with her presence the majority of the day especially throughout mealtimes and we were lucky enough over our two evenings to have the company of both Salvador and Diane on our boats on the fabulous evening trips out on to the ponds to see the beautiful Amazonica waterlillies bloom at dusk then, on the way home, spotting for nocturnal wildlife such as black caiman, potoos, snakes and nightjars. All the guides are excellent and know every single bird just from its call and will find you plenty around one of the trails. As i said the hospitality from Andrea and Salvador is second to none and makes you feel right at home and like you dont want to leave, they also appreciate the luggage allowance is restrictive so offer a complimentary laundry service for any clothes throughout your stay. Diane Mcturk herself is a fountain of knowledge regarding the otters and wildlife that surrounds the lodge and is extremely lucky to be able to call karanambu lodge her home. We did go out to see the giant anteaters on the savannah and once the guides find one they herd it towards you for fabulous photo opportunities and a huuuge anteater coming trundling right past you. Unfortunately the waters were still high on our visit so we were a couple of weeks early to see the river otters but the whole rest of our stay here was thoroughly enjoyable and will leave you feeling like you dont want to leave. Definitely one of my favourite places in all of my travels.

Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank moonwaffle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (49)
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31 - 37 of 49 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2012

Diane McTurk has found in Andrea, formerly of NYC (or New Jersey? Can’t remember…)and Chicago, and Salvator, a Guyanian, her perfect successors. Diane grew up at Karanambu and put it on the worldwide map with her river otter rescue operation. She still graces guests with her presence at meals and on some excursions and is both witty and informative to chat with. She’s handed over management and much of the hosting to Andrea and Salvator, who are now carrying on Karanambu’s legendary hospitality.

Andrea manages the kitchen, which loads the table with local delights as well as Andrea’s deep dish pizza (she once worked at Uno’s). Salvator is the gardener and happily relates his battles with leaf-cutter ants and laterite soil. Diane is a legend: Google “Diane McTurk” before you go.

Morning hikes almost always encounter giant anteaters, and the cabins always feature long-nosed bats. They are the benign sort that eats mosquitos, not the fictional sort that dives into hair. We found them fascinating and rather enjoyed their chirps and squeaks.

Fishing is FUN! There is so much variety of weird shapes and bright colors in any easy catch that it’s almost like fishing a saltwater reef! You are welcome to catch for the table, but otherwise it is catch & release. Birds, nests, caiman, otters & otter lodges, and butterflies make all boat excursions trips to jungly paradise.

Don’t miss the excursion to a pond thick with Victoria Amazonicas: the boats sit low in the water and you can watch the lilies open up close and personal.

During our visit, the rooms were tall hostile – Macushi scale, Macushi made twins with footboards and bathroom mirrors barely at chest level on a 6’ person. But extra long twins were due to arrive shortly and may allow a stretched-out slumber by the time you get there. Otherwise, the spacious accommodations are very thoughtfully appointed: night stands, plenty of places to place luggage off the floor, adequate light, large ensuite bathrooms, storage shelves, etc. and even sun and bug products. Each cabin has a large porch with hammocks and the cabins are spaced for privacy.

Regardless of the critters you happen to encounter, Diane, Andrea, and Salvator will make your visit memorable. Try to stay long enough to enjoy good, long chats with each of them.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TalltrekkerTX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Really enjoyed our stay here, the rooms are basic but comfortable and food fantastic (great for veggies). Run by a lovely couple who look after you well. Come here if you want to see the giant anteaters, we saw two as soon as we went looking, very lucky! Lots of wildlife to see on the river and ponds also.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank TravellerNDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2011

Karanambu is one of the most special places I've ever had the fortune to visit. Not only because of its true frontier character and history, and the opportunities to see and experience the wildlife and culture of Guyana's Rupununi, but truly feeling that you are welcomed as extended family into the living and dining room of Diane McTurk, a legend of conservation, and one of Guyana's national treasures. A Thanksgiving weekend spent with Diane, Salvador and Andrea and other guests will rank among my favorite holiday memories of all time. You will experience authentic nature, life and an unrivaled care for guests and the environment at Karanambu. Just go.

Room Tip: This is the best of the frontier. You will experience real life without air conditioning, and it...
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank ericdc71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2011

Nine months later and we still are talking about Karanambu. We met a new “family” there who welcomed us as one of their own, worked tirelessly to make it an experience of a lifetime, and helped us forge a lasting connection with a stunningly beautiful country. Kenneth enthusiastically guided us to more than 100 different bird species; Diane entertained us with stories of a life well-lived and her love and devotion for protecting this special place, including her special “beasts” the otters; Andrea shared her love of photography and she, Auntie Doris, and the always friendly staff made sure we enjoyed meals fit for a fine restaurant; and Salvador shared his journey back to his home because of his love for Karanambu and inspired me to grow bora beans in our garden here (now one of my favorite vegetables). Our cabin was spotless and the rare critters gave us an opportunity to be pioneers rather than city-dwellers. It’s a long way to get to Karanambu, but so worth the trip. It’s not many places to which we know we will return, but Karanambu is, without question, one of them.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank kelloc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2011

I concur with all the other positive reviews.

We had a great time seeing the animals (Bandit the Raccoon, Philip and Bella the Giant Water Otters, the anteaters, squirrel and howler monkeys, cayman, arapaima.....). A few days before we arrived a researcher had photographed 2 jaguars 50 mts from the lodge with an automatic camera. We did hear them grunting but never saw these elusive cats. She also took some photos with her trap cameras of Ocelot and Margay.

The star of the place has to be Diane McTurk herself. Much has been written about Diane but she is as charming and hospitable to every guest as she appears in television interviews. Diane hosts every evening meal and also took us out on the river to see the giant Victoria lilys - along with a rather wonderful rum punch! If ever Diane writes her memoirs it will be a real page turner with great anecdotes from old British Guyana, animal stories to rival Lawrence Durrell and her time in England.

Accommodation is basic but clean and comfortable - the bats mentioned elsewhere are a bit of a pain at night but you are protected from them by the mosquito nets (which they fly into every now and then) this is undoubtedly 'close to nature'. The food however was lovely and my 11 year old daughter had a great time.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank Coolkali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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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Additional Information about 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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