eco-lodge, conservation & Ranch

Rupununi savannah, Guyana



The Experience

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. 

This Is Why

  • One of the last real frontiers on Earth
  • Living on a conservation site
  • Untouched land and river system

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    All year round!
  • Package Price

    4 Weeks: 2495.00 US$
  • 6 weeks: 2995.00 US$
    8 Weeks: 3495.00 US$
  • Volunteer duration
    4,6 or 8 weeks (other durations available on request)
  • Average Work hours
    8 hours per day, 6 days on 1 day off
  • Number of Volunteers
    1 - 5 
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Shared room
  • Internet Access
    Yes however, internet access is limited at the project.
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Adventurous individuals who have an interest in the outdoors and who do not mind getting their hands a bit wet and dirty. 

Fast Facts: Guyana

Where? Guyana,Rupununi Karanambu

Country Size: 214,970 km2
83,000 sq mi

Population density? 3.5/km2
9.1/sq mi

Country Famous for? Tallest single drop water falls in the world, giant otters, Amazon Rain forest, Jauguar, Black Caiman, Giant otters, largest fresh water fish in the world (Arapaima)

When to visit: All year round

    • What's Included
      • Placement
        Karanambu eco-lodge/conservation center/ Ranch Program
      • 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
        If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
      • Tours
        Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours, Spanish (at nearby Isla Magaritha) and English Courses in Guyana before and/or after you have finished your volunteer project.
      • 24/7 Emergency contact
        If there are any problems during you stay at the project you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

      What's not included: International flights, Insurance

      Package Price:
      4 Weeks: $2495.00 US$
      8 Weeks: $3495.00 US$


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

      • 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

        This program is an all-round one. Volunteers will have the opportunity to experience life with the locals, life of a researcher/conservationist and a bit of ranch life.  Duties and tasks will vary depending on what the program for the day is.

  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Experience in wildlife research, animal husbandry, carpentry and/or construction will be a plus
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, dependable, honest and with a good sense of humor.
    • You must be physically and mentally fit and comfortable with the arrangement of living in a remote location.
    • 18 - 40
    • No experience required but must be willing to learn and try new things
    • Always let someone know when you are leaving the main compound and never do so alone.
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • The opportunity to learn about the Rupununi, its history and the cultures of its indigenous people. Learn first-hand about conservation and experience life in a different setting.
    • Self-development through time alone and the chance challenge yourself, build on your existing skills while learning new ones.
    • Develop independence and confidence. Have a positive impact on the environment! 
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Guyana, Rupununi, Kananambu eco-lodge/trust 
    • Area Famous For
      Different species of Birds, Fish, Large Mammals
    • When to visit
      All Year round, Dry Season is recommended!
    • Wildlife viewing
      Some of the best in the world, however spotting wildlife can be difficult.
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana;
    You will arrive in the capital of Guyana where you will need to catch a connecting flight to Lethem.
    For 4 - 8 weeks - Volunteer at the Karanambu Program
    For several weeks you will work along an amazing team and getting involved in the day to day activites at the project! 
    Your last day
    - you will travel back to Georgetown where you will catch your connecting flight back home or take the opportunity to travel through Guyana. Our staff will gladly help you to book any tours to see more of this great country.
  • Accommodation

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

    Things to bring from home

    • Hiking Shoes
    • Rain gear
    • Anti Mosquito repellent + after bite
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat/cap to protect yourself from the sun
    • Sunblock
    • Complete Kitlist will be provided after applying or on request


    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 sodas 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.


    Karanambu is located in the North Rupununi, a region of southwestern Guyana with expansive wetlands and picturesque savannahs!







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