A South American country full of enchanting mysteries – Guyana is sure to leave you spellbound after just one visit. The country is full of breathtaking landscapes, unique and rich flora and fauna, and a diverse culture that attracts tourists from all corners of the world.
Read on as we take you through some mesmerizing Guyana facts. Some of them will blow your mind!
Amazing Facts about Guyana
1. “The Lost World” by Conan Doyle Takes Inspiration from Guyana’s Landscapes
The Tepui landscape in Guyana inspired esteemed author Arthur Conan Doyle to write a novel titled “The Lost World” way back in 1912. A Tepui landscape is a table-top-like mountain that does not exist in chains but is an isolated structure. This trait also allows unique flowers to blossom on these mountains.
2. Scientists Love Guyana’s Rainforests
Several different kinds of flowers and insects exist in the rainforests in Guyana. There are many in the forests that humans have never found. Almost every year, several new species and kinds of flowers are discovered in these forests, and that is when these forests become a part of mainstream conversation.
The extraordinary ecosystem, a plethora of undiscovered organisms, and the mystery associated with these forests attract all kinds of scientists.
3. Sea Turtles Love Guyana Too
Some of the sea turtles you can find in Guyana are:
- Olive Ridley
- Green Sea Turtles
These turtles are often found on Shell Beach, located in the Barima-Waini, which is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Even though sea turtles were mercilessly killed in the past for meat, they are now protected under a non-governmental conservation program.
4. It is the Only South American Country Where the Official Language is English
The official languages of other countries in South America are:
- Venezuela: Spanish
- Argentina: Spanish
- Chile: Spanish
- Brazil: Portuguese
- Colombia: Spanish
- Bolivia: Spanish
- Ecuador: Spanish
- Peru: Spanish
- Paraguay: Guarani and Spanish
- Suriname: Dutch
- Uruguay: Spanish
5. Guyana Has the World’s Largest Single-Drop Waterfall
The Kaieteur waterfall in Guyana has a record for being the world’s largest single-drop waterfall in terms of the volume of water falling. It is 226 meters high and has an average flow rate higher than most waterfalls around the world. This waterfall is near the Potaro River and is an integral part of the Kaieteur National Park.
6. On Mount Roraima, it Rains Almost Everyday
Mount Roraima in Guyana is 2,810 meters tall, and a human completed the first ascent in 1,884. This mountain is the highest peak in Roraima, and it is surrounded by Brazil and Venezuela as well. That said, the highest point on the mountain is Maverick Rock, which lies almost completely in Venezuela. However, the astonishing bit is that it rains almost every day at Mount Roraima’s peak.
7. Guyana Has Diverse Geography
Guyana is divided into four different regions, these are:
- The interior highlands
- Rupununi Savannah
- Hilly sand and clay region
- The coastal plain
Most of Guyana’s population resides on the coastal plain, which is 28 to 77 kilometers wide. It starts from the Corentyne River in the east and goes up till the Venezuelan border located in the northwest. The largest region amongst the ones we’ve listed is the interior highlands.
8. The Country Is Below Sea Level
This is perhaps one of the most astonishing Guyana facts.
Along the shore of the coastal plain in Guyana is a seawall. This 280-mile long defense system protects the country’s plain from all kinds of flooding since the coast is below sea level by approximately six feet.
The country’s coast also has a string of sluices built by Dutch builders who are considered experts of sea defense. These sluices control the flow rates and the water levels in canals and rivers when the tide is high or low.
The construction of these barriers began in 1855. Intermittent work is still carried out because the defense system is prone to occasional water breaches.
9. Guyana Follows a Parliamentary Democracy System
Since Guyana is a former British colony, it is a multi-party democracy with a representative electoral system. In this system, divisions of an electorate are proportionally reflected in the elected body.
In this system, if 35 percent of the electorate supports a particular political party, then 35 percent of the seats will go to that party.
This means that every vote will contribute towards the result, not only a majority. The National Assembly is elected after the voting, and the nominee from that party becomes the country’s President for the next five years.
10. There’s a Festival that Celebrates the Day the Country Became a Republic
In 1970 Guyana became a republic. Since then, the country’s citizens have celebrated every year on a festival called Mashramani that happens in February. This festival has colorful float parades, games, street dancing, feasting, a masquerade band, costume competitions, and other entertaining activities.
11. Guyana Is Famous for Its Rum
El Dorado is a famous rum brand that is produced in the distillery in Demerara. From the 1600s, several different selections of rums have been aging in Oak barrels. Now, a normal tourist or a citizen can enjoy rum that’s at least three or fifty years old.
12. The Majority of the Country Is Forest
Out of this area, more than half is considered to be a primary forest. Sadly, some parts of these forests can’t be accessed by humans. This is also why the country has a remarkably low deforestation rate.
13. Africans Aren’t in the Majority
In the country’s total population, a quarter of the residents are African, while almost half of the population has East Indian origins. After slavery in Guyana, there was an increased demand for plantation workers. This was also the reason why several East Indians immigrated to Guyana.
14. Cricket Is Popular
Guyana is popular for its skilled cricketers. Names like the following are just some of them:
- Clive Lloyd
- Rohan Kanhai
- Alvin Kallicharran
- Shivnarine Chandarpaul
Cricket is a sport played with a bat and a ball between two teams of 11 players on a 22-yard pitch. Guyanese cricketers are allowed to play for the West Indian cricket team. Interestingly, during the 1970s and the 1990s, West Indies had the strongest cricket team in the world.
15. Guyana’s Flag Is Called the Golden Arrowhead
Four of the five colors on the flag represent a distinct trait from the country:
- Green: For the fields and jungles that are scattered all across the country
- Black: Signifies perseverance
- Red: Sacrifice and zeal
- White: For the several rivers
16. Guyana Has Several Rare Species
The country has several colorful kinds of frogs, jaguars, and a blue tarantula discovered for the first time in 2017. Scientists have found several different species of tarantulas solely in Guyana.
17. Guyana Has a Diverse Population
After slavery was abolished in 1834, Portuguese, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese laborers were brought to work on the plantations. Hence, the population now is pretty diverse. The most prominent races one can find are:
- Mixed race
Did these facts get you riled up for a trip to Guyana? Check out the guide that can help you enjoy the country to the fullest!
18. It Has a Healthy Economy
Despite the problems a country like Guyana has faced throughout the years, it’s economy still stands strong to this day. It has a strong economy which focuses on different kinds of textiles, rice, vegetable oils, wheat, textiles, aluminum ore and rice milling. Other materials like rice, sugar, bauxite, shrimp and gold are also an integral element of Guyana’s export market.
19. Georgetown Is a Famous Tourist Destination
Georgetown is the largest city and the capital in Guyana. This city is in the Demerara-Mahaica region, and it is the center for financial services and administrative affairs.
But apart from that, the city has also become famous amongst tourists for it’s beautiful attractions like Demerara Harbour Bridge and St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. If you’re planning a trip to Guyana, a visit to Georgetown is a must!
20. One of the Most Successful Lawyers in the World Was from Guyana
Guinness World Records say that if one person deserves to be called the most successful lawyer the world has seen, then it has to be Sir Lionel Luckhoo who lived in Guyana.
No, this Indo-Guyanese, Georgetown-based lawyer wasn’t a part of the trial of the century or the OJ Simpson case. However, he succeeded in getting 245 consecutive murder-charge acquittals.
That’s seriously impressive!
Luckhoo was a lawyer from 1940 till 1985, and he passed away in 1997.
10 Things to Do in Guyana
You probably wouldn’t put Guyana on your Bucket List, but know that this country is full of surprises! Have a look to see the different things you can do in Guyana.
Guyana is a beautiful country that is full of beautiful forests and a welcoming culture that celebrates diversity. If you’re planning a trip, consider checking out what Guyana has to offer!
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Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.