Orinoco Delta, Venezuela
The state of Guayana is known for the “table” mountains and swampy jungles of the Orinoco basin. The Orinoco Delta covers an area of approximately 41,000 sq. km and is the second largest in South America after the Amazon.
It is noteworthy that all the rivers in the Orinoco Delta are multi-colored. The color of the water can vary from light gray and pale yellow (so-called white rivers) to dark coffee and even inky (black rivers). It depends on the components of the soil at the bottom, coastal vegetation, season, climate and many other factors.
Interestingly, there are almost no mosquitoes around the black rivers, and caimans are not found in their waters. White rivers, on the contrary, are teeming with living creatures and there are a myriad of insects here. The color contrast is especially noticeable at the confluence of two rivers or at the confluence of a tributary into the main channel. The waters of two colors do not mix immediately, but for some time they flow in parallel, as, for example, at the confluence of the Caroni River in the Orinoco. The floodplain of the Orinoco and Apure rivers, together with their largest tributaries, forms a vast area of a bizarre mosaic of slow, meandering rivers and streams, floodplain swamps, marshy forests, freshwater lakes and flooded savannah forest. When the Orinoco reaches the coast, the main full-flowing channel of the river is divided into a complex branched network of smaller branches with countless islands.
The Orinoco selva is decorated with the Morice palm trees growing here, whose straight and slender trunks reach 30 meters (their core is eaten). There are many birds in the delta and floodplain of the Orinoco, there are more than 100 colonies of them. A large number of scarlet ibis, tree storks, Brazilian yabiru, various types of herons and ducks nest in the region. Savannah bird life is also unique, with tinamou, Brazilian cariama and a rich variety of small songbirds and parrots, as well as numerous predators: hawks, falcons, kites, falcons and vultures.
In the savannah, white-tailed deer and numerous predators from the cat family: cougar, ocelot and jaguar are often found. The Orinoco selva is also inhabited by many varieties of monkeys, among which the howler monkeys stand out. Their piercing cries are heard at a distance of up to 7 km. The freshwater lakes and rivers of the delta are home to a wide variety of creatures, including piranhas, caimans and the world’s largest snake, the anaconda.
On the banks of the numerous tributaries of the Orinoco, the Varao Indians live, translated from the local dialect as “people in a canoe.” They are mainly engaged in fishing and many of them do not know Spanish. Warao are skilled artisans, famous for basketry, woodcarving, and especially wooden figurines carved from balsa wood. Its wood is very light in weight and easy to process, balsa shuttles float perfectly on the water. Hammocks woven by the Warao Indians from the fiber of palm leaves are very popular among Venezuelans.
You can get to the eco hotels of the Orinoco Delta as follows: by plane from Caracas, Gran Roque (Los Roques archipelago) or about. Margherita to Maturin Airport and then by speedboat.
The climate in the Orinoco Delta is tropical humid. The average air temperature fluctuates around +26 – 27 C throughout the year, while the nights here are sometimes quite cool. The rainy season lasts from April to November, and during this period the river becomes the most full-flowing, some roads on land are flooded. The dry season lasts from November to March.