page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100

ISLAND PROFILE 34 lime January - March 2009 hills and wide savannahs… and little tourism development. But Shell Beach, a 90- mile stretch of unspoiled Atlantic coastline where endangered sea turtles lay their eggs, is a reason for intrepid travellers to visit. From March through August, Shell Beach is the nesting ground for four of the world's eight endangered species of marine turtles: leatherback, green, hawksbill and olive ridley. While male sea turtles typically never leave the sea, females use their paddle- like fl ippers to crawl ashore and dig a nest in which they can lay a clutch of around 100 soft- shelled eggs. At Shell Beach guests are invited to watch the turtles nest from a rustic beach camp, which is also home to a turtle conservation project. The hosts are a group of reformed turtle poachers who now monitor the beach as ' Turtle Wardens' to protect their one- time prey, including the six- foot long and 1,000 pound leatherback. CENTRAL RAINFORESTS This region of Guyana loosely encompasses the Pakaraima and Iwokrama mountains, and includes two of Guyana's tourism highlights: Kaieteur National Park and the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. Isolated in the middle of the Pakaraima Mountains, Kaieteur National Park is home to the 741ft sheer drop of Kaieteur Falls, Guyana's crown jewel. While the greatness of Kaieteur is certainly in the falls – at its peak, 30,000 gallons of water per second fl ow over a wall some 400ft wide – visitors shouldn't miss the area's fascinating microenvironments supported by the constant spray of the falls. Birdwatchers come to see the Guianan cock- of- the- rock leks, where the overly orange birds participate in bizarre mating rituals that involve calling and dancing for females. In the evening, visitors can also watch white- chinned and white- tipped swifts by the hundreds, as they return to roost behind the falls. Birds aside, two of the park's more fascinating creatures are the prehistorically large tank bromeliads and the miniscule golden dart frogs that spend their entire lives inside the bromeliads' leaves. The terrestrial tank bromeliads, which have been known to reach nine feet in height, collect water in their upturned leaves, allowing the endemic frogs to thrive. Other highlights at Kaieteur include carnivorous plants and brilliant morpho butterfl ies, including morpho hecuba, whose eight- inch wingspan makes it South America's largest, and the iridescent blue morpho. At its core, Iwokrama is a one million- acre ( 371,000 ha) research project used as a living laboratory for scientifi c research, ecotourism and sustainable tropical forest management. Located in the heart of Guyana, the Iwokrama Forest has an amazing cross- section of Guyana's biodiversity, including 1,500 species of fl ora, 200 mammals, 500 birds, 420 fi sh and 150 species of reptiles and amphibians. One of Iwokrama's many monikers is ' Land of the Giants', because it has healthy populations of some of the Americas' and the world's largest CAPYBARA Thanks to their webbed feet, the world's largest and strangest- looking rodents are strong swimmers. GOLIATH BIRD- EATING SPIDER The world's largest spider got its name from Victorian- era explorers who saw one devouring a hummingbird; their leg span when extended is 12 inches and they can weigh 4.2 ounces. Gold was discovered in Guyana in 1879. The Omai gold mine in Guyana is one of the largest open pit gold mines in South America. The Amerindians called the country Guiana, which means land of many waters. Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America. DID YOU KNOW? Throughout the world, the human race has conquered and claimed for itself, but much of Guyana has remained untouched, and this is the reason to visit MICHAEL DURHAM/ MINDEN PICTURES/ FLPA PIOTR NASKRECKI/ MINDEN PICTURES/ FLPA LUIZ CLAUDIO MARIGO/ NATUREPL. COM ROD WILLIAMS/ NATUREPL. COM Morpho Butterfl y

FALSE VAMPIRE BAT The largest bat species in Central and South America has a wingspan of three- feet and eats birds, rodents and other bats. January - March 2009 lime 35 LL Tiger- striped leaf frog, jumping from a colourful heliconia fl ower BARRY MANSELL/ NATUREPL. COM