Surinam - Omitted Country Of South America VII.
Para district is situated in south direction from capital, along both banks of Surinam-river. Moreoever, there are smaller rivers and brooks, including big number of old plantations, preserved till now, and became popular places for relax. Jodensavanne is most known. It was founded in 17th century by Portuguese Jews. After one hundred years´ lasting period of prosperity and growth, the place was abandoned, after big fire in 1832. Later, during the 2nd World War, a colony for Nazi followers was placed there. At present, you can see here ruins of synagogue (1639-1685), the first synagogue in western hemisphere, old cemetery and healing mineral sources. Further, you can visit the village of Santigron, situated along Saramacca-river, established after the fact when slavery was abolished (1863). Now, the Marons are living there.
Commewijne area is placed on right bank of Surinam-river. You can find there many old buildings and plantations. To the most popular belong the plantations of Meerzog, Peperpot, Alliance and Marienberg. All these localities were very important for the economy of the state. Nevertheless, some of them are inhabitated at present, and became a centre of very popular ecotourist movement. Even fishers´ villages, such as Pomona, Margrita, Rust-en-Werk, etc., are worth to visit. District capital - Nieuw Amsterdam - is characteristic with its old citadel (1743-1758). Now, it is a seat of museum in open air.
A picturesque region along Marowijne (Maroni) river, including their tributaries of Lava and Tapanahony, belongs to one of best places for the investigation of Surinam´s characteristic culture. These areas are inhabitated with tribes of Paramaccans - descendands of deserted slaves of practically all African ethnical groups. So, local culture is a mixture of various African traditions. To most picturesque communities of this area belong small towns of Albina, at Marowijne-river, and Langatabetje („long island“), where a leader of Paramaccan tribe is living.
Having the permission of local authorities available, you can visit Galibi, nature reservation, which is accessible through a crater only, where thousands of green sea turtles put the eggs in June and July. It is one of a few places of a globe, where you can follow such process inside nature conditions.
A capital of Nickerie district, an important port and the second greatest town of Surinam, is placed along south bank of the river of the same name. The town is famous with its removal. So, the town was moved twice (within 1870 and 1879) to the new place, owing tp quick earth decay. At present, the locality is protected, from sea side and river estuary, with powerful walls.
Upstairs, along flow of Nickerie-river, you can find popular Blanche Marie Waterfalls, where regular river excursions are taken place. You can make acquiaintance with local tribes, giving their time to fishing or to visit rain forest.
On upper flow of Courantyne-river, close to the border with Brasil, Sipaliwini district is to be found. The Indian tribes of Trio, Wajana and Akurio live in this region. Just recently, they took a connection with surrounding world. To tell the truth, only enthusiastic travellers come to such places, who can valuate marvellous Wonotobo and Itabru Waterfalls (situated in Courantyne), nature reservation Tafelberg and, last but not least, picturesque position of local villages of Palumeu, Pelelutep or Kwamalasamutu, the surroundings of which are inhabitated with the oldest tribes of the region.
National parks and nature reservations of Surinam
Nearly 80% of state territory is covered with tropical virgin forest, protected with effective system of national parks and protected areas. This system includes eleven nature reservations, one national park and four protected areas, on a surface of approx. 164 thousands of square metres (more than 12% of state territory).
Surinam Central Nature Reservation was registered in UNESCO World Nature Heritage Centre (registration made in 2002) and involves: 16 thousands square metres of rain forest (it belongs to the greatest reservations of Caribbean area). This complex was created with connection of three national reservations (Raleigh Valley, Tafelberg and Eilerts de Hann Gebergte), placed in south part of the country. Inside those reservations, you can meet more than 5000 sorts of plants, and even rare animals are appearing there, such as: jaguar, great armadillo, gigantic otter, tapir, three-toed sloth, eight sorts of primacies and 400 sorts of birds, including rare ara arakanga parrots.
Brownsberg National Park (one-and-half hours´ drive by car from Paramaribo) is an extensive area of mountain tropical rain forest, with nice view to one of greatest world basins - W. J. van Blommestein Meer. It is placed in distance of 130 kms in south direction from Paramaribo, in an altitude of 500 metres above sea level.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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