Fronteering Travel

Amerindian Eco-lodge & Ranch Assistant

Georgetown, Guyana show on map

Join us at Karanambu Lodge & work alongside a dedicated team in the Rupununi! Volunteers can expect to work in the areas of horticulture, gardening, tourism & more!

We invite you to the Rupununi; a place of rolling grasslands, where the endless savannah meets the clouds in an endless sky. In our corner of the world, the people are still friendly, the rainforests intact and there is always a good reason to sit and enjoy the sunset with a cold drink and friends, old or new!

We invite you to come join us at Karanambu Lodge and work with our amazing and dedicated team as we welcome travellers, adventurers, naturalists, film makers, conservationists and anyone who love nature and wants to experience the raw, natural beauty that is only found in our part of the wild, untamed Rupununi.

We share a unique blend of old world hospitality and unparalleled nature that has established Karanambu as Guyana’s premier Ecolodge.The Lodge is nestled in the north of Guyana’s southern hinterland, known for its expansive wetlands and unbridled savannah.Here, you will form bonds that go beyond friendship, while having he unique opportunity to share and develop skills in the areas of horticulture, tourism, hospitality, conservation, ranching, construction and joinery. Karanambu has been famed for its biological diversity since Edward ‘Tiny’ McTurk settled here in the early 1920s.

Karanambu encompasses approximately 110 square miles of savannah, marshy ponds, riparian and gallery forest, as well as an approximate 30 mile stretch of the Rupununi River. Within our lands there are as many as 700 species of fish – more than anywhere else on Earth. During the biannual rainy seasons, the tributaries of the Amazon and Essequibo rivers flood their banks and meet. The union of these vast rivers results in the exchange of genetic and biological material, while making Karanambu the home to an extraordinary amount of marine life.

Over 600 species of birds make their home here, making Karanambu a birdwatcher's paradise. The Lodge provides excellent viewing opportunities of Giant River Otters, River Turtles, a variety of monkeys, as well as Black and Spectacled Caiman that live on the part of the Rupununi River that runs through Karanambu’s land.

Giant Anteaters, Crab-Eating Foxes and Red Brocket Deer roam our savannahs and our many fresh water ponds are home to what has been called, one of the world’s best wild collection of Victoria Amazonica water lilies. These lilies - the largest in the world - can reach up to three meters in diameter and their flowers bloom every evening at dusk.

Karanambu is best known as having been the home of world renowned conservationist and Giant River Otter expert, Diane McTurk. Better known as ‘the Otter Lady,’ she dedicated her silver years to the rehabilitation and reintroduction of the area’s Giant River Otters and is credited as the pioneer of ecotourism in the Rupununi. The Lodge provides guests with an excellent opportunity to experience, first hand, the wildlife indigenous to this part of the world

Diane’s work lives on through the Karanambu Trust – the research and conservation arm of the Lodge – which was established by the McTurk family in 1997 to help fulfil Diane’s vision of protecting the Karanambu area and establishing Guyana’s first Private Protected Area.

The Karanambu Trust is dedicated to the conservation of the Rupununi savannahs and the wetland ecosystem.

At Karanambu, we are always excited to share the untouched, natural beauty of our remote corner of South America. Volunteers can expect to work in the areas of horticulture, gardening, tourism, hospitality, conservation, ranching, construction, carpentry and joinery, though some of these may overlap due to the specific needs of the different components that make up Karanambu. There are also opportunities to visit and do outreach work in the neighbouring Macusi villages of Kwaimatta, Yupukari, Massara, Toka and Simuni.

We look forward to welcoming you to be part of the Karanambu family.

Typical day

As volunteers at Karanambu you will have some of the following responsibilities:
Gardening: 

  • Helping prepare meals
  • Helping to fish for food
  • Assisting with general maintenance of the lodge/ranch outstation and Gardening
  • Working with horses, cattle on the ranch outstation
  • Feeding and keeping resident wildlife company
  • Helping with tourists/guests. Any other jobs that need doing
Every day will be different and in general a flexible attitude will be required and a great asset will be to take initiative. Working on a ranch/farm means there will always be lots to day and never a boring moment. 

Details on Arrival

There are no specific arrival/start dates however, we recommend that you arrive in Guyana on a Saturday or Sunday.

Free-time activities

Volunteers have the opportunity to go swimming, fishing, birdwatching, camping and so much more!

Swimming
Riding

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
required
Required Documents
CV, Resume, Letter of Motivation, Two pics and Signed Policies and Liability form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:30 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fronteering Travel cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fronteering Travel.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Fronteering Travel (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Fronteering Travel

The Fee includes: 


  • Accommodation - shared room (Volunteer/Researcher Quarters)
  • Meals - 3 meals a day.
  • Transfers & Pick ups - On arrival in Georgetown one of our representatives will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Georgetown where you will stay 1 night. Our Georgetown coordinator will then take you around in case if you need to get money or anything from the stores before you take your domestic flight (also included). There will be several transfers domesticially by plane, car and 4x4 and in all cases you will be picked up until you arrive back in Georgetown.
  • Work permit - For volunteering in Guyana a work permit is required as well as premmission needed to visit the Amerindian reserves. This will all be arranged after your arrival (as Guyana has no embassies abroad) and will be HASSLE FREE for you. The fee for this is included in the program cost.
  • Mail and Communications - It is possible to receive and send mail from the town of Lethem via our Fronteering representative, however the postal service is very variable in such a remote area and the process regularly takes over a month. It is not unheard of never to reach it's destination! There will be internet connection and cell phone reception in both Georgetown and Lethem. There will be internet connection via satellite in the community, but it is worth noting that this can be very slow! There is no mobile phone reception outside of Georgetown and Lethem.
  • Ongoing service and 24/7 Emergency Contact

Airport Pickup at Cheddi Jagan International Airport

You will arrive in the capital of Guyana where you will need to catch a connecting flight to Lethem. On arrival into Lethem, someone from the project will be there to pick you up and transfer to your accommodation on the project site.

Accommodation

As a volunteer you will have to share room or a cabin where researchwers would usually. Please make sure you keep your room and bathroom clean.

Guesthouse
Food & Beverages
Meals will be prepared by the kitchen staff at the Lodge and sometime with you may be asked to help. Drinking water, coffee and tea are available throughout the day. You may also purchase soads and beer from the ranch store. Breakfast would usually consist of boiled fish or beef along with bread and condiments. Lunch is usually meat (fish, chicken or beef) with rice, noodles and farine(Cassava product). Dinner is usually similar. The meats on the Lodge are often supplemented with wild meat, as it is seasonally available. If you feel the need to eat something else other than what they provide, you can always stock up on the foods/groceries you need when the Lodge vehicle is going to Lethem or Annai. Volunteers will dine with the Lodge staff in the staff kitchen and may sometimes be invited to dinner with the guests of the Lodge
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown. We assist you to find cheap flights to Guyana.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Guyana provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Guyana you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guyana.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,995.00
6 weeks
$2,195.00
8 weeks (max. stay)
$2,495.00
Average fees
$405.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Georgetown/Guyana between 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fronteering Travel will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Guyana.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment must be made up to 30 days before to the volunteer program starts. This payment is also securely handled by PayPal or credit card.
  Americas South America Guyana  Georgetown, Rupununi, Guyana

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