National Trust of Guyana

Iwokrama Rainforest

Table of Contents

Reading Progress

Location: Essequibo 

Classification: Natural Site 

Period/ Year Built: Not Applicable 

Historical Background / Description: 

Iwokrama Rainforest is located in heart of the Guiana shield and consists of approximately 3,710 square kilometres (1,432 square miles) of untouched rainforest. The forest which is dissected by the Georgetown-Lethem Road is bordered by the Pakaraima Mountains, the highlands savannahs and the Essequibo and Siparuni Rivers. It is home to the Iwokrama Mountain which measures 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) high and is mostly inhabited by the Makushi (Macushi) people. 

Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) is an autonomous, non-profit organisation established by the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1996. The centre manages the Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Centre and the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. This famous canopy walkway is elevated 33 metres (108 feet) above the ground and allows visitors the opportunity to walk across a small section of the rainforest. The walkway was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and is the first and only, in the Guiana Shield. Built of aluminium, the canopy walkway allows the trees to grow unrestricted by using adjustable steel cables and braces throughout its connections with the trees. Located a short distance away from the research centre is a 300 metres (984 feet) tall mountain called Turtle Mountain.