We refer to a letter in SN captioned ‘The facilities and immediate environment of Kaieteur Falls were in a run down state’ (May 11) and wish to offer the following.
Efforts are underway to improve the facilities and conditions at Kaieteur for visitors and the Visitor Arrival Centre will play a big role in this.
These efforts are ongoing for the improvement of the visitor facilities and include improvements to infrastructure, facilities and monitoring systems. Currently under construction is the Visitor Arrival Centre which will be opened later this year and will cater for craft and gifts, a snack bar, improved washroom facilities, a viewing gallery on the upper flat, an interpretation centre and orientation hall and communication centre. This is being funded by the KfW Project, a joint venture between the Government of Guyana and the Government of Germany. This centre will definitely improve upon the level of facilities offered at the park and enhance the visitor experience.
We are mindful of the specific needs of the elderly and disabled and would explore with the tourism sector ways of making their visit more comfortable. In the interim recognizing their challenges as far as possible we try to facilitate visits by them by assigning a personal tour guide who caters for the specific needs of that visitor.
The trails are regularly maintained; however, it should be noted that too much disturbance will reduce the number of fauna visible to the visitor on the trail. At various times during the year a number of species of both flora and fauna can be observed from the trail; these include the cock of the rock.
Several initiatives to conserve and protect the rich biodiversity through efforts to protect species as well as focus on habitat and ecosystems lead to careful consideration of the use of motorized vehicles on the trails.
It is important to note that while providing a premier tourist attraction in the waterfall, the park is also renowned for its high biological attributes and as such the management of the park is challenged to recognize the potential for tourism while at the same time ensuring the biodiversity, landscapes and conservation value of the area are protected and maintained.
The Kaieteur airstrip is regularly monitored and maintained by the Civil Aviation Authority which has jurisdiction over it, and as far as the NPC is aware, there have been no adverse reports regarding the airstrip’s condition.
While the suggestions on landscaping are noted, the beauty of Kaieteur is its natural, untouched state, and the fact that it is home to many rare, threatened and endangered species, some of which are endemic to Kaieteur.
National Parks Commission