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GUYANA - eco tourism

Guayan ecotourismIn Guyana inland from the coastal plain most of the country is covered by thick rain forest, although in the east there is a large area of grassland. Towards the Venezuelan border the rain forest rises in a series of steep escarpments, with spectacular waterfalls, the highest and best known of which are the Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River. In the southwest of the country is the Rupununi Savanna, an area of open grassland more easily reached from Brazil than from Georgetown.

The area west of the Essequibo River, about 70 percent of the national territory, is claimed by Venezuela. In the southeast, the border with Suriname is in dispute, the contentious issue being whether high or low water is the boundary (in the area of the Koeroeni and rivers).

Until the 1920s there was little natural increase in population, but the eradication of malaria and other diseases has since led to a rapid growth in population, particularly among the East Indians (Asian), who, according to most estimates comprise about 50 percent of the population. The 1992 census showed the following ethnic distribution: East Indian 48.3 percent; black 32.7 percent; mixed 12.2 percent; Amerindian 6.3 percent; white 0.3 percent; Chinese 0.2 percent; other 0.02 percent. Descendants of the original Amerindian inhabitants are divided into nine ethnic groups, including the Akawaio, Makuxi and Pemon. Some have lost their isolation and moved to the urban areas, others keenly maintain aspects of their traditional culture and identity.


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