Words and photos by Brett Goulston
In Surinamese (a combination of Dutch and local language), danpaati means “dam on the parting waters”. The eco-resort is in the middle of the Suriname River, surrounded by thick jungle and small villages mainly inhabited by descendants of African slaves who fled from their captors in the mid 1800’s when slave labour was abolished.
From Paramaribo, it’s a two-hour drive to the small river junction town of Atjoni where where you board your long-boat for the long ride (2 hours) to the lodge. With hat, sunscreen, water and sunglasses, it’s a delightful journey even though it could not be described as luxury in any sense of the word whatsoever!
On arrival we’re greeted by some of the staff singing and dancing and then shown to our lodge overlooking the river. Now we’re in heaven! The manager of the lodge, Noah, is a delightful, warm and friendly Surinamese from the capital. He and his number two, Gabrielle, explain all the workings and facilities of the lodge. They also tell us how all staff are from surrounding villages and being a community lodge, our stay here makes a major contribution into the local area.
During our short stay, we undertake a 3km flat forest walk and learn about the amazing jungle plants and wildlife. Our guide, Tony, shows us how the locals use the trees and plants for a multitude of purposes. We also walk through a local village and go swimming in the river at some small rapids.
The lodge itself is a delightful place to stay. The food is very good, the rooms are lovely (full-on western-style bathrooms in each cabin), there is a swimming pool and lovely places to sit and read, eat or talk. All in all, it’s a gem of a destination in the middle of the jungle and the fact that we did not spot mosquitos added to our enjoyment.
Join Blue Dot Travel’s three-week small group tour to The Guianas in Feb 2019. Click here for more information.