By boat to Danpaati River Lodge to overnight in the jungle of Suriname

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Suriname is a country which is still in development when it comes to tourism. It is not a very popular destination for travellers. However, it is a beautiful country with friendly people and lot of things to see and do. Especially when you are looking for an adventurous trip, you should go to Suriname. In my opinion, it is nice to visit the countries which are not that popular for tourists, because in that case you can make better contact with the locals, which I totally love when travelling.

General information about Suriname
Suriname is a country located in South-America. Neighbour countries are Brazil, Guyana and French Guyana. In the past, Suriname used to be a colony of the Netherlands, but its already independent since 1975. However, the official language is still Dutch and most of the tourists are coming from the Netherlands, because they are visiting their family or friends who do live in Suriname. Nowadays, Suriname (and especially Paramaribo) has some historical tourist attractions which are worth the visit.

Suriname is a country that exists out 80 percent of jungle. In this jungle you can find a rich amount of flora and fauna. There are some beautiful places in the jungle. Examples are Brownsberg and the Brokopondo lake.

The infrastructure of the country is not always that great. The road system has a length of 4.304 kilometres from which 3.175 kilometres is unpaved. The roads which are paved are mostly located in and around the capital of Suriname, Paramaribo. When you go further in the inland of the country, into the jungle, most roads are unpaved or there are no roads at all.

Would you like to go into the inland of the country, there is a possibility you have to go partly by boat. In the time I made a roundtrip through Suriname, I went to different kind of accommodations. By one accommodation, Danpaati River Lodge, I firstly went a part by bus and after I had to take the boat to get to the accommodation. It really was a great experience to see that there are accommodations in the middle of jungle, on an island, where you only can get by boat. From Paramaribo it is approximately three hours by bus and after another three hours by boat. It was a long journey, but it was totally worth it!

The boat trip
During my round trip through Suriname, I went several times by boat to a certain place. Sometimes it was a big boat for the whole group and sometimes there were many little boats for just a few persons. During the trip to Danpaati River Lodge, we had two small, long boats for the whole group. You had to sit by two and the boat was driven by a local.

On the way, we did not came across a lot, but I find it very inspiring to see so much nature around me. When you do not come across a lot, you would suggest it was a pretty boring ride. However, we stopped a few times during our trip at some places. There were two other accommodations we visited on the way and it was really nice to walk around those accommodations for a bit. The owner of both places gave us a tour and showed us the place. Furthermore, at these places we came across a lot of animals. In one place, there were some trees with lots of squirrel monkeys which were a little tame. In the other place, we came across some other animals, like a colourful parrot, some turtles and some lizards.

Danpaati River Lodge
This accommodation where I stayed at two nights is located on an island in the middle of the jungle. When you stay at Danpaati, you totally get into the Maroon culture. The people from the accommodation are really friendly and give you a warm welcome. I have never felt so welcomed before. The people where singing, doing a dance, smiled and it really felt like they were happy to see us. We also got a welcome gift, something to drink and a self-made delicacy. It is an accommodation at a paradise island and in a completely peace atmosphere. You can really relax and enjoy the silence.

The accommodation have many little houses located around the whole island where you, most of the time, can stay in with two or three persons. Furthermore, there is a building which is a place where you can sit all together and have some breakfast or diner. There also is a swimming pool and a deck where you can have a sit and enjoy the beautiful view over the water.

The island has not much reach when it comes to the mobile phone and in the evening, the electricity possibility will stop for the night. In the morning you can use it again. This sounds very hard for someone who needs electricity or their mobile phone all the time, but actually it gives a great relaxation. You are not constantly busy with your phone, so you can ultimately enjoy the living on an island in the middle of the jungle. Furthermore, the electricity is only off for the night, so you will not really suffer from it. During the night, you can use an oil lamp if necessary.

General travel information
The best time to travel to Suriname, is in the months February, March, September or October. In those months, you avoid the periods with a lot of rainfall. Furthermore, you need a passport (of course) and a tourist card is required. In Suriname they pay with the Surinam Dollar (SRD), so do not forget to change money before you are travelling to the country.

Author: Tamara

Note: this article is also represented on Infohub (click here).