Guyana – Handy Tips
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering all medical eventualities including repatriation.
- Check with your GP for all your required vaccinations including Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus and Typhoid. If spending time in particular areas, a course of malaria pills may also be required.
- Remember to bring any medication you may require for your health and in the right quantities.
- Avoid drinking tap, creek or river water, no matter who tells you it is safe!
- Pack suntan lotion, mosquito repellent and insect bite cream. Also carry a water bottle, wet wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer. These may be available locally but can be costly.
- Pack a raincoat and a good, small, sturdy umbrella (also useful for sun!), sunshades, a hat or cap, travel adaptors, binoculars and a good camera. Do not forget your equipment chargers or batteries.
- If spending time in the jungle, take long sleeve shirts; long socks; a small knapsack; walking shoes with good grip and if possible, an inflatable back rest (useful for boat rides).
- It is often cheaper to book directly with a venue, however, it may be less hassle to let a tour operator organise a complicated itinerary.
- Always ensure that online bookings are followed up with emails and telephone calls. Where possible, only pay a deposit and sort out the balance when you arrive.
- When booking tours and internal flights, remember that some only leave on certain days and often, only when full or minimum passenger numbers achieved.
- The title ‘Resort’ is widely used but can be misleading by Western standards!
- A single room usually comes with a double bed (sleeping 2); a double room often means two double beds and as such may be able to sleep 3-4 people, so check when booking.
- Use credit cards and foreign currency for big expenditures (e.g. accommodation, travel, meals, car rental and excursions) and keep cash (local and foreign) for day-to-day expenditure and places where cards and foreign currency may not work.
- Customer service skills are improving but still lacking in some areas so don’t be surprised or deflected from getting what you have paid for by a “This is Guyana” shrug. If it was promised and you paid for it, you should receive it or be given a refund!
- While the point above is a valid, you must also be prepared for the fact that everything may NOT go like clockwork or to plan due to a lack of infrastructure or administrative errors. Further, it may be that you did not explained your specific requirements clearly in the first place.
- Lastly … and MOST IMPORTANTLY … if things do go wrong, there is no point going on and on about how things work so much better in whatever part of the world you currently live, unless there is a realistic possibility that the improvement you seek can be easily achieved. Why do I advise this? Simple … because at that precise moment, you will be standing on Guyanese soil and not in said place where everything is perfect and runs like clockwork (as if!). If you do, then you will indeed deserve a “Well, you are now in Guyana!” shrug and a “Stchupes!” (suck teet).
- No matter how well you know Guyana, don’t trust everyone.
- Don’t draw attention to yourself by flaunting money, jewellery or expensive equipment.
- Keep your valuables out of sight and in a safe.
- Be aware that the locals will soon spot immediately that you are from abroad.
- The old no go areas ARE STILL no go areas!
- Don’t walk about late at night – private taxis are plentiful and affordable so use them.
- If possible, plan your flights to Guyana to arrive in the day time rather than at night.
For a map of Guyana and more information on Guyana, Georgetown, things to do, where to eat and drink, and where to stay, click on the thumbnail pictures on the right.