By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – This year will mark 12 consecutive years for the hosting of the annual Pakaraima Mountain Safari with plans to largely increase the participation of locals and in a significant way promote Amerindian Villages and Community Based Tourism.
Tourism Minister (ag) Irfaan Ali, Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Director Indranauth Haralsingh, Organiser Frank Singh and other stakeholders and sponsors launched the event in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Tourism on Friday morning (March 21).
The event which is dubbed ‘an adventure of a lifetime’ will take participants on eight days of thrilling adventures beginning April 12 – 19. The aim is to have a convoy of 40 vehicles inclusive of motorbikes and ATVs and will see participation from Jamaica, Trinidad, Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela.
According to Singh, this year a new Pakaraima Mountain Safari Club will be launched as efforts are afoot to make the event more organized. Those desirous of joining the club will have to pay an annual fee of $25,000.
He told reporters; already 10 vehicles have registered with April 02 being the final day for inspections of vehicles which will cover between 529 and 600 miles during this year’s safari.
Meanwhile, Minister Ali said the difference of the event this year is to ensure a wide participation of locals in the event. As such the GTA will be providing 4×4 trucks for some 30 persons.
He said Fly Jamaica is also on board offering packages to persons that may also want to come for the event.
Ali was particularly passionate of the fact that the event will significantly promote Amerindian Villages and Guyana’s very own community Based Tourism. Participants will be provided with a list of items to be sold on the route.
The event is also set to coincide with the Rodeo celebration in Lethem, Region Nine, affording participants both the option of returning to Georgetown for the Easter Monday Celebrations or remaining in Lethem for the Rodeo.
There are also plans in place for persons who may want to join the safari after it has set out on its journey with scheduled and charter flights.
Sponsoring the event this year is the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) which will be outfitting the entire team, Guyoil/Castrol, Marketing & Distribution and MMC.