Country - Guyana
Guyana Country Information
Guyana was formerly known as British Guiana before its independence in 1966. Guyana is the only English-speaking country in the entire continent of South America, though a majority of people speak the English-based Creole language. The country is geographically separated from the French Guiana by the republic nation Suriname. Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana are among the other nations along with Guyana that form the border nations in the northern periphery of the continent sharing the ocean waters of the Atlantic.
Guyana is flanked on its both sides by Venezuela in the west and Suriname in the east. The southern border is shared by Brazil. The north and northeastern border is kept doused by the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. The capital city of Guyana, Georgetown, is also endowed with seaside environment of the Atlantic Ocean. The country was one of the founding members of the Union of South American Nations.
The economy of Guyana is mainly dominated by production of cane sugar. The sugarcane plantations were extensively grown from the pre-independence era and encouraged to extend along the northern border with a multiple objective to augment domestic production and also to safeguard the country from climatic natural disasters from time to time. Apart from producing large quantities of sugar which not only cater to local requirements but form a major component of exports, other items of exports include the ore of aluminum (bauxite), gold, rice, molasses, seafood (shrimps). Guyana imports machinery items, foodstuff, petroleum and petroleum.
Environmentally, Guyana is a nation blessed with long streams of several rivers that make the native land fertile in addition to bringing down the climatic temperatures of the terrain compared to the countries of arid regions. The Essequibo river is the longest in Guyana passing between Orinoco and Amazon. Springing from the Acarai Mountains at the common Venezuela-Guyana-Brazil border, the Essequibo river flows down to the north for about 1010 kilometres through the forests and savannas to finally join the Atlantic Ocean. The river takes the form of Murrays Falls, Pot Falls and Kumaka Falls on its lengthy journey before converging into the Atlantic which is 21 kilometers from the capital city Georgetown.
Georgetown is the largest urban city and the financial hub of the country. It is located at the mouth of Demerara River on the Atlantic coast and is labelled as “the Garden City of the Caribbean”. When the country was colonized by the French in 1782, Georgetown had the other name Longchamps. The climate of the country is largely influenced by the Iwakrama Forest which is spread across one million acres in central Guyana. There is a Field Station in the forest equipped with visitor cabins, dining facilities and transportation vehicles. A pleasant experience awaits the visitors when they tread on the canopy walkway at a height of 30 metres and the stroll on the 154 metre hanging bridge enables the visitors to enjoy the visual feast of verdant surroundings.
The greatest and the most outstanding attraction in Guyana is the single drop waterfall “Kaieteur Falls” which is four times taller than Niagara Falls between USA and Canada; and two times higher than the Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. An aerial view of the waterfalls from a height of, say 4-5 kilometres gives an impression to the viewers a flat plait of waterfalls from a long stream of vast expanse of green lands plunging headlong into a single circular shaped ditch. The scene would resemble a keyhole on a supine sprawling treasure-chest of emerald landscape.
The total beauty of the Mount Roraima can be seen only by an aerial view since the triangular shaped apex land can be better discerned from the sky. The mountain serves as the junction between the borders of three nations Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. The flat-land occupying the total summit when viewed from the sky looks like a triangular slice cut off from a circular multi-layered giant birthday cake kept apart on a flat endless vast terrain. The geometrically sector-shaped apex land of about 31 square kilometres juts out into the open space and has 400 metre steep declivities. One should really visit the spot to savour its beauty.
Most part of the Rupununi savannas have been till today left untouched due to the gigantic landspace of about 5000 square miles, though sporadic presence of Wapisiana, Macushi and Wai-wai Amerindians can be noticed. The savannas are dominant with wilderness of grasslands, marshy regions, hills hachured fully by the greenery of rain forests.
The Shell Beach in the peripheral region touching the Atlantic Ocean is home to rare species of turtles like the Green, Hawksbill turtleill, Leatherback and Olive Ridley. While speaking of the shell beach, it is courteous to commemorate Dr. Peter Pritchard who tightened in his waist belt and made serious efforts to mobilise local people in protecting the species of tortoises in the region. Among those who were motivated by his emotional mission are the Amerinidians from the demotic populace of Almond Beach and Gwennie Beach. No wonder, he is called “the Hero of the Planet”, by the TIME magazine.
When you recline on the Shell Beach, your bare torso does not like to get up from the comfort of moist yellow sand dunes and makes you more indolent. The waterscape is a sudden departure from the heavily dense forest lands and the shore line is laced by dwarf coconut trees. A golden twilight focussed on the seashore plantations from the sinking sun in the evening enhances the beauty of the beach.
The Kanuku mountains with an altitude of about 3000 feet have the neighbouring lowlands where 60% of diverse varieties of birds, mammals of Guyana can be found. The semi-aquatic mammal Giant Otter, the Arapaima fish which is the size of a surfboard and the ash-coloured Harpy Eagle are some of the special species endemic to Guyana.
A low-altitude aerial trip over the entire region of Guyana gets you better impression of the country and elates your perspective about the South American continent enabling you to sneak a peep into the unseen world of the green planet.