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Awarradam Tour

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Where is Awarradam situated?
The local people pronounce the name as ‘Awaadan’. Awaa means ‘awara’ (an orange-colored palm fruit) and ‘dan’ (dang) means rapid. The island, on which the jungle lodge is built, lies in the rapid with the same name, approximately 225 km from Paramaribo. The island lies in the Gran Rio river which flows together with the Pikin Rio river, 30 km upstream, to form the Upper Suriname river which, in its turn, flows into the Brokopondo lake, 75 km upstream. The river gets its water from the rain and the season can make a difference of 6 meters in the water level! Somewhat south of the Brokopondo lake lays Atyoni, the most southern destination, accessible by land. From Paramaribo, you can make a trip by car (4 to 5 hours) to Atyoni, followed by a trip by dug-out canoe (8 to 10 hours, depending on the water level) to Awarradam. You can therefore reach Awarradam during a full-day overland trip. Flying to Awarradam, in a small airplane, from Paramaribo to Kajana airstrip (215 km – 50 minutes) followed by a trip by dug-out canoe (10 km, in half-an-hour) is of course much easier. Awarradam lies at a distance of 20 minutes by boat, south from the farthest village in the area. More than 80 Saramaccan villages can be found along the river.

Flying route
The flight takes you above the basin of the Suriname River. Depending on the occurrence of the clouds, you will be able (after 5 minutes) to see Paranam beneath where bauxite is processed into aluminum for export. After 10 minutes you are flying above the Johan Adolf Pengel international airport and after 18 minutes you can see the Brokopondo lake beneath (1600 square km) with the Brownsberg also clearly visible. The ‘gaps’ in the rainforest indicate the locations where gold mining takes place. South of the lake, along the Upper Suriname river, lie numerous Saramaccan villages. The road visibly ends at Atyoni (after 31 minutes). Laduani (34 minutes), Botopasi (37 minutes) en Dyumu (45 minutes) can all be clearly spotted because of the airstrips. Airstrip Dyumu lies between the Gran Rio river and the Pikin Rio river. Along the Gran Rio river lies the village Kajana, the fourth airstrip along the river, the ultimate destination of your journey.


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Jungle lodge
7 double cabins and 1 quadruple cabin, all with a view on the river, offer sleeping facilities for 18 persons with single beds and mosquito nets. The hammocks on the balcony add to the cozy atmosphere. The shower- and toilet facilities are centrally situated. The traditional building style and local materials have been used, with kerosene lamps for light, so that you never loose the feeling of ‘being in the interior’. A ‘restaurant’ where 3 meals are served daily and the bar- and recreation facility make it all complete. All personnel are local people of whom some live on the island and some along the riverbanks, in the small village called Sindofiti.

The villages
‘Awaadan’ lies in the part of the river known as ‘Langu’. Here we find 8 villages: Bendiwata, Kuututen, Ligolio, Bëgoon, Kajana, Deböö, Godowata en Stonhuku. Ligolio is the only Christian village; all others are governed in the traditional manner. You recognize the villages because of the landing jetty with overhanging palmleaves, the traditional entrance (azanpau) that keeps bad influences outside the village. Each village has a traditional meeting place, a central sacrificial site and a hut visited by the local women during their monthly period. The Saramaccans managed to maintain their culture and you ‘feel’ this during the walk through the village. Kajana has a school and a medical clinic; Ligolio also has a school. The Captain of Langu lives in Stonhuku; the living area of the Saramaccans knows many captains and basjas. The community has frequent contact with Paramaribo so there is a regular supply of goods. Many Saramaccan, especially young men, work in Paramaribo, French Guiana or with the gold diggers, and return to the village during their days off with provisions for their family.

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Activities during the tour
The groups we take into the interior, to visit Awarradam, are often very divers. You will spend 3 or 4 nights and the program, often adapted to the water level, offers, as much as possible, activities to everybody’s desire. The various trips are made by boat (dug-out canoe). Life vests are offered to the guests prior to each trip because METS keeps safety high in its banner. You have the opportunity to swim in the rapids near the island or a couple of minutes away, by boat, to nearby Peti’. A walk in the forest with detailed information about the local use of various plants (building material, medicine), walks through various villages and a performance of local singing and dancing will certainly entertain you in a pleasurable and educational manner. After a boat trip of 75 minutes, the Grandam (local pronunciation ‘Gaandan’, gaan=big, dan=rapid) offers you a welcome cooling off as well as a magnificent view.
Handmade souvenirs are offered for sale in the village. The guide provides more information about the program to which you may participate to your own liking. There is also the opportunity for activities outside the group, such as taking a jungle walk, bird watching, fishing, peddle in a dug-out canoe or visit the local agricultural plots .
The guide will see to it that you have adequate guidance at a small extra charg

Price from 535, = Euro p.p.

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