The trip overall was nice, but sadly came at the expense of two full days just in transit from/to Paramaibo. 🎢🚌🏞️
Tasting transport in Suriname
Our first tour deeper into the jungle left pretty early at around 7am from Paramaibo. First up a pretty bumpy 5h bus ride to Witagron (180km). The route is really made for jeeps and not a bus, but heh. Our driver didnt care much and blasted through it with an astonishing 35km/h average.
From there we jumped into long boats for another 4h or 60km up the Coppename river. Going by boat is a little slow in dry season, as the skipper maneuvers zick zag like to avoid sandbanks and rocks. Do expect to get stuck and push the boat – happened twice to us and is fun.
We arrived at the Raleigh falls nature reserve late afternoon. Three nights in hammocks in a simple yet amazing jungle lodge on FUNGU island lied ahead.
Laura’s comment: Our time on Fungu island was magical especially at nights all the jungle sounds, the moon and stars and an incredible group of people that made for a memorable time.
Voltzberg – Steep climb, amazing views
On our first full day on the jungle island we hiked for about 8h / 19km and visited the Voltzberg – at 220m the highest point in the area. On the way through the jungle we spotted few animals, mainly ants though 🐜 🐜 🐜, and learned a few things from our guide Wilfried – a Parbo beer & marihuana fueled amerindian surinamese.
The hike up the hills is pretty steep and best done in dry conditions for safety reasons (really not much to hold on to if you slip, rope not reliable). From the top you get a 360 degree view of the surrounding amazon forest. Quite breathtaking 🏞️🏞️🏞️
After about 19km we were done hiking for the day, refreshed ourselves in the river and got a lift to camp by boat just as it started to rain ☔. Who cares!
Raleigh falls – Uninspiring in dry season
The Raleigh falls were a 5min boat trip followed by 2km hike away from our camp. The trailhead is in another lodge that apparently belongs to the president and is run by his younger brother. If it was him, thanks again for the fish meal.
The waterfalls were nothing out of the ordinary and look more like strong currents especially during dry season, as we have right now. But then its less about the falls anyway and more about the time spent in the jungle. Swimming is not advised near the waterfalls, as electric eels are hiding beneath the rocks and could easily immobilise you with a 500 volts kiss 😘 🐠 ⚡
Laura wasn’t feeling great and skipped the hiking part, but in return we enjoyed the river beach near the trail head. The warm and sweet river water is just amazing to swim in. You just need to watch for currents, sometimes sharp rocks and avoid swimming with any open wounds as piranha’s live too.