… launches inaugural Bartica 4×4 SafariBY ASHRAF DABIEThe Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has embarked on a mission aimed at creating more adventure attractions available in Guyana by cashing in on the rich natural beauty and cultural diversity existing outside of the capital city, Georgetown. This announcement was made as the GTA on Thursday launched the first ever Bartica 4×4 Safari set to take the roads later this month.Organisers of the Bartica 4×4 Safari present at the launch. Also in photo is Director of the GTA Indranauth HaralsinghNature lovers are once again invited to journey in their four-wheel drive vehicles (4×4) through the trails, as the GTA has now turned its attention to the model green town of Bartica in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). This is following the successful execution of four similar adventure excursions which was staged earlier this year as GTA collaborated with several trip organisations such as Rainforest Tours and the ‘Super 7 Team’.The safari is set to kick start on August 18 which will take the explorers out of the city and through the mining town of Linden as they make their way to the Bartica. The three-day journey will feature hiking through nature trails, swimming at lakes and waterfalls along the way and even a cook-out once in Bartica, presenting a true Guyanese experience while exposing the participants to a more natural way of life. The expedition will come to an end on August 20, leaving the Safarians with a life time of memories.In addition, the highlights of the trip will include visits to sites such as the Christianburg Waterwheel in Linden, BK Quarry, Barakara, Marshall Falls and Bartica Beach along the way. At the same time, the participants will be housed at the famous Palm Springs Hotel, adding a luxurious touch to the experience.Providing the details of what is to be expected during this expedition was Kamrul Baksh, the Senior Product Development Officer attached to GTA. Baksh outlined the attractions offered by each Safari, zooming in on the uniqueness of the journey set for later this month.He noted that, “Safaris are an ideal adventure type product that caters for persons who love the outdoors, exploring and discovering beautiful Guyana.” He said too that the Bartica 4×4 Safari offers to the public the opportunity to engage in a life changing experience. “The challenges in overcoming the rugged terrain, the chance to see both historic and natural scenic sports, to enjoy the comforts of a contemporary and luxurious hotel, are just a few of the highlights of this Safari.”Moreover, the Senior Officer further indicated that GTA is currently on a mission aimed at boosting tourism in Guyana by promoting the rich natural beauty existing outside of Georgetown. As such, he emphasised that excursions such as the newly established Bartica 4×4 Safari create the perfect Guyanese experience.“This Safari is a welcome addition to Guyana’s Tourism Adventure Product Portfolio. The Guyana Tourism Authority fully encourages and supports this initiative. People who are starved for adventurous activities in Guyana now have different options to choose from. Each of the Safaris is unique and different in their own way,” Baksh highlighted.Also speaking at the launch was Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Indranauth Haralsingh, who expressed delight in the establishment of yet another Safari route.Haralsingh pointed out that GTA is committed to creating news packages which offer affordable adventure travel, outdoor recreation and short getaways for both citizens and tourists, including those from within the diaspora.“At the GTA we want to create more visibility and help with the branding of the various locations and attractions in Guyana,” relayed Haralsingh.On that note, the Director pointed out, “This inaugural Bartica Safari serves that purpose and will help to bring more visitors to Bartica to support the livelihood and income and employment and everything else of Bartica.”He also extended an invitation, particularly to Guyanese, to join in the adventure and cultural exchange set for Bartica, in a matter of days.The Barticia 4×4 Safari marks the fourth route to be explored by GTA and its partners and will make the way for a number of similar adventure tourism initiatives to follow in the coming months.As such, persons in possession of 4×4 vehicles are encouraged to sign up to be a part of this unforgettable voyage with a participation fee of just $5000 per vehicle. However, individuals wishing to cash in on the experience can do so by renting a four-wheel drive vehicle which can be done at an all-inclusive cost of $50,000.Thus far, 12 vehicles have registered to hit the road on August 18 while GTA and their partners continue to encourage others, primarily Guyanese to come onboard with what promises to be an ideal natural exploration and cultural exchange.