For an adventurous trip in Guyana, you need to make sure you pack as light as possible and still have everything you need. Here’s what to pack for Guyana.
So you’re all booked for your Guyana adventure and it’s time to start packing. But what should you pack for an adventure-themed trip in the Amazon or savanna?
The first thing you need to know is that it’s warm and humid throughout the year in Guyana. Temperatures are constantly around 30°C throughout the year. There are no substantial differences between seasons except for the amount of rain so make sure you visit during the dry season if you can. That means you’ll just need to pack lightweight and breathable clothes.
However, most of Guyana is affected by malaria so it’s important to cover up as much as you can. You’ll need to bring quick-dry long-sleeved shirts that are comfortable and breathable in hot, humid weather. There is no way to escaping the heat though — other than occasional dips in the pool or creek. Get ready to sweat like you never did before and for one helluva an adventure!
Table of Contents
- What to Pack for Guyana
- When Are You Traveling Guyana?
- Why You Should Pack Light
- What to Pack for Guyana
- Camping Accessories
- Travel Medical Kit
What to Pack for Guyana
When Are You Traveling Guyana?
Since Guyana is in the tropics, the temperature is always the same throughout the year. The only difference there can be is the amount of rain depending on the time of the year you’re visiting.
The best time to travel Guyana is between September and April because it is the dry season. During our visit in November, we still got a bit of rain even though it was the dry season — but they were just 10-minute showers.
Don’t forget that during the wet season many areas and roads of Guyana can be impassable because of the mud. However, if you’re already booked to travel during the wet season, don’t forget to bring some waterproof gear and dry bags to protect your equipment.
Why You Should Pack Light
It’s important to pack light if you’re traveling on domestic flights in Guyana. They have a strict baggage allowance: 13 kgs per person including hand luggage.
I’m a strong believer in ‘less is more’. The less you travel with, the more convenient it is to travel around. If you’ve booked an adventure trip in the savanna or jungle, you will be out and about a lot, and yon’t be able to shower much. I only brought three outfits for my 10-day trip in Guyana: one for the savanna camping adventure, another for my horse-riding safari, and a third for the few days in Georgetown.
What to Pack for Guyana
Definitely bring a backpack and not a suitcase! You’re most likely going on an adventure into the savanna/jungle, so a backpack is much easier to transport around. I always travel with my Osprey Tempest 30 backpack and it’s great for all kinds of adventure trips. If you are taking domestic flights in Guyana, keep in mind that they have a weight limit of 13kg for both your backpack and hand luggage. Make sure you have a rain cover for your backpack, not really for water but rather for dust.
Also make sure to bring a daypack for excursions, boat trips etc. If you’re bringing your SLR, make sure to bring a padded camera bag to protect you gear on the bumpy roads of Guyana. I travel with the Lowepro ProTactic 450W which is a comfortable camera bag that’s great for the outdoors.
It’s important to bring moisture-wicking, breathable long-sleeved shirts for the jungle. The purpose of long sleeves is to protect you from bugs — as you can imagine there are many! It’s very hot in Guyana — so breathable material will make it more comfortable. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid colors that are too bright or flowery patterns, as they attract bugs.
I suggest avoiding wearing white as it will get really dirty in no time. I suggest dark colors such as military green, blue or brown. I washed my shirt every night in the creek and it would dry overnight.
Convertible, quick-dry hiking pants are the best solution for this kind of trip, as they dry quickly and they can easily become shorts. Make sure you follow the usual guidelines — no flowery patterns, no white fabrics, and no bright colors. Also, make sure they are comfortable!
Jeans are too heavy in the heat, however they are definitely the best solution for horse-riding safaris. In order to avoid bad bruises from the saddle and friction on the horse’s back, you want a thick pair of trousers.
You are going to get dirty and sweaty, so make sure you don’t bring expensive jeans, and that they are not too tight. Again, comfort is really important on this trip! After riding a horse twice a day for hours every day, you will thank me.
Another thing that you will need every night at the camp is a pair of comfortable, baggy pants. They worked great for me as they were fresh, lightweight and very comfortable when sleeping in various positions in the hammock.
These harem pants will also stay clean and you will wear them every night after your bathe in the creek, enjoying them for dinner and sleeping time.
This is one of the most important things to pack. Driving ATVs can get really dusty, plus the sun is really strong. With a scarf on your head and face you will be just fine.
The purpose of knee-high socks is to protect you from bugs and keep your blood pressure at best during the long days of hiking and driving in the heat. Hiking socks are great as they dry very quickly. For socks, the color doesn’t really matter. Just make sure they are not too hot so that you don’t sweat too much during the day.
Whether you’re going on a long hike or not, hiking shoes are a good option for an adventure in Guyana. You will need something comfortable and sturdy that can protect your feet while driving ATVs or walking in the savannas.
Some say high-ankle shoes are better as they protect from mosquito bites, some say low-ankle shoes are better as it gets too hot otherwise. I think anything works as long as your shoes are comfortable. Gore-tex tends to maintain humidity inside the shoe so it’s better to avoid it.
Teva sandals are lightweight, and will give your feet a huge relief after a long, hot day in the savanna. Also, you can use them for kayaking and in the city.
For horse-riding, I recommend bringing a good sun hat that protects your head and also face and neck. The most important thing is that it has a string so it doesn’t fall or fly away while you are cantering through the savanna or running after a calf!
Swim suit (1x)
You’ll need this for swimming in the creek, kayaking or swimming at the hotels in Georgetown.
Regardless of what kind of adventure you’ll be having in Guyana, you’ll most probably be camping. Here are some camping accessories you’ll need to bring.
Pack a headlamp that has a red light, which doesn’t attract bugs. Otherwise as soon as you turn your light on, you will be surrounded by a “humming cloud” and you’ll start scratching soon!
With Bushmasters you will be given a Camelbak hydration bag, so you won’t really need an extra bottle. But I found it useful to have an extra bottle to brush my teeth, take medicines and supplements etc. Also, in Georgetown and on the river trip this was really handy. Check out the que collapsible bottle as it occupies very little space. Remember, the more water you drink, the better!
If you are not provided with a Camelbak hydration pack by your agency, I recommend bringing one. It’s easy and convenient to carry one. You can use it as a small daypack too, and it has a pocket for tissues, sunscreen and other small items you need. A 100oz one should be enough.
Don’t forget to bring a small towel for camping and swimming in the creek. I recommend bringing a quick-dry microfibre towel that rolls into a ball.
Bring your usual toiletries. Forget about makeup. Lips can get really dry and chipped with the sun and heat, so bring a good lip balm preferably with SPF. Don’t bring shaving kits while camping. You don’t have to shave as the tiniest scratch can quickly get infected in the tropical environment, so nobody uses razors out in the savanna or jungle. Also, don’t bother bringing styling products for your hair. They will only get mixed up with dust and you’ll be stickier than before.
Guyana is in the tropics, so remember to put lots of sun screen on your hands and face all the time!
Definitely a must-carry as most of Guyana is in malaria-infected zones. Preferably bring a bug spray with 50% deet. I always use the Ardan anti-insect spray as it’s easy to use and doesn’t smell too much.
Guyana has a “type A” socket and plug system with 2 pins, the same as the USA. I always travel with an international travel adapter that can be used in almost every country. As sockets are limited in ranches and lodges, make sure you bring a multiple socket outlet or USB hub.
Electronic devices: Camera, GoPro, mobile phone, etc
Because of Guyana’s regulations, you will have to declare them before arrival (your agency will provide a form). As you may not be able to charge your electronics everyday, make sure you bring an extra battery for everything.
You’ll need them to protect your eyes from the sun and dust.
Passport and vaccination card
Don’t forget the most important documents! As I mentioned in my Guyana travel guide, yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Guyana.
The currency in Guyana is the Guyanese Dollar, currently at the rate exchange of US$1 to GY$208. You can bring some USD and exchange them as soon as you arrive or withdraw at the airport’s ATM.
Travel Medical Kit
It’s essential to bring a medical kit when traveling in Guyana, as the harsh weather and malaria-carrying insects can put your health at risk. Add to that, you’ll most likely be spending your whole trip in the remote jungle or savannah with no easy access to healthcare. If you haven’t got one already, I recommend getting the Adventure Medical Kit that already comes with everything listed below already.
- Zinc oxide cream if you get a skin rash as I did from sweat.
- Gloves, in case you need to treat someone else’s injury.
- Plasters or wound dressing, for potential cuts or scratches.
- Rehydration sachets: they worked wonders for me and other travellers. You sweat a lot and you need to put water and salts back into your body.
- Blister dressing and foot powder if you’re doing lots of hiking.
- Hydrocortisone cream: this was used by almost everyone in our group as we got bad reactions from bug bites.
- Pain killers: necessary regardless of where in Guyana you’re going.
- Antihistamine drugs: if you get a bad reaction from bug bites this is another great option.
A trip to Guyana will be an adventure of a lifetime. I hope my Guyana packing list has been useful to you. Remember to pack light and you’ll be fine. Happy travels!
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