‘Epic Savannah Drive’ to boost eco-tourism in indigenous communities

—Linden-Soesdyke trail drive set for July 1st

A couple powers through a flooded section of the trail on an ATV during the drive last year.

The fifth leg of the Epic Savannah Drive promises to be an event filled with adrenaline and adventure for nature and sports lovers, while contributing to the local economies of indigenous villages along the trail.

Organized by local tourism group, Savannah Drive Guyana, the one-day event aims to facilitate eco-tourism in indigenous communities along the Linden- Soesdyke highway. The event, organizers say, provides a new form of recreation through the terrain and landscape of the indigenous communities.

This year, the Savannah Drive passes through the communities of Yarrowkabra, Swan and Laluni and ends at Pakuri Mission. The event is scheduled for July 1.

A group of participants riding through a trail at last year’s Epic Savannah Drive (Photo Courtesy of Savannah Drive Guyana)

The Epic Savannah Drive is an off-road trail driving activity, which includes dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), four wheel drive and other off-road vehicles.

Along the drive, persons will have the opportunity to stop in the villages and participate in drag racing and archery events.

The event will kick off in Yarrowkabra and proceed to Swan Village, where participants will have the opportunity to take part in archery, then move to Laluni, where bikers can participate in an obstacle course. The entourage will then make their way through the savannahs to Pakuri. It was explained that at Pakuri, there will be a mud-style drag race to boost the adrenaline of the participants. The event concludes in the afternoon with a ‘Pakuri Washdown,’ a festival inspired by heritage celebrations.

Coordinator of the event, Shane D’Andrade, at a simple launching held at Parc Rayne, Houston, on Friday, announced that this is the second year his team is partnering with the Guyana Tourism Authority to host the event.

 He explained that the partnership between the two is a collaborative effort to get Guyanese and foreigners to visit and explore what the country has to offer. He also stated that the event aims to provide economic activities throughout the communities it passes through. He noted that 40% of the proceeds go to the communities that are participating in the event.

He also disclosed that persons can choose to sleep over in the village or travel back home at the end of the event. He pointed out that the activity is 100 percent family oriented.

“The Pakuri village is opening their eco-resort and we are helping them market it through this activity. They would have accommodations available for camping at a cost,” he said, urging persons to experience the outdoors away from civilization.

D’Andrade further stated that along the trail there will be tour guides, first responders, mechanics and medical personnel, as well as an ambulance on standby in cases of emergency. He noted that there will also be police overseeing the activity.

The coordinator went on to explain that prior to the event, all vehicles participating will be inspected to avoid any unfortunate events.

Persons can register at Rent-a- Tent at Houston, EBD, the key shop on Carmichael Street next to Oasis Café or Nadine and Sherwin’s Variety store at the Agricola road head.  Registration costs for motorcycles is set at $3000; four wheel vehicles $10,000 and patrons wishing to attend without vehicles will pay $5000, inclusive of meals and transportation.

The organising committee disclosed that the Epic Savannah Drive is the fifth of ten events on their calendar for the year. Activities lined up for the remainder of the year includes the Pace and Power event, scheduled for mid-July, the Moraikobai Village Day Drive in August and their customary heritage drives to indigenous missions in September.

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