Guyana
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Guyana

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Guyana Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

214,969 sq km (83,000 sq miles).

Population

739,903 (2013).

Population density

3.4 per sq km.

Capital

Georgetown.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Donald Ramotar since 2011.

Head of government

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds since 1997.

Electricity

110 volts AC in Georgetown and 220 volts AC elsewhere, 60Hz. American-style (two flat pins with or without grounding pin) and British-style plugs (three square pins) are used.

Guyana's attractions range from the 19th-century stilted wooden houses of its capital, Georgetown, to the awesome natural splendour of the towering Kaieteur Falls along the Potaro River, five times the height of Niagara. The country's mixture of rainforests, beaches, savannah and rivers draws adventure tourists hoping to camp, trek, fish or perhaps be lucky enough to spot a jaguar.

It was the Dutch who first established a European presence here in around 1616. They remained in undisputed control until the end of the 18th century. The outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars then brought a period of turmoil during which the territory changed hands several times between the Dutch, British and French.The British ultimately prevailed following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. The territory was then declared the colony of British Guiana, a status which it retained until independence in 1966.

After the abolition of slavery in 1834, the plantation owners imported labourers from India. Indians now form the largest racial group, with most living in the agricultural areas, particularly around Demerara. Other immigrants were Americans, Europeans (Portuguese, British and Dutch) and Chinese.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 21 August 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Most visits to Guyana are trouble-free.

Crime levels are high. You should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

If possible, avoid travel to and from Georgetown Cheddi Jagan international airport late at night and before dawn. There have been incidents of violence, fatal accidents caused by erratic driving and incidents of violent theft by gangs, who follow cars travelling from the airport and attack their victims when they reach their final destination. Always drive with windows closed and doors locked.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

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