In October 2015 I visited Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The private tour was organized by Wilderness Explorers, a tour company in Guyana. Everything worked very well, I was very happy with the organization.

Itinerary

I flew from Ogle Airport, Georgetown, Guyana to Zorg en Hoop Airport in Paramaribo, a small local airport in the city. This was much more convenient than flying into the international airport, which is about 45 km (28 miles) from Paramaribo.

My new guide picked me up at the airport and brought me to the hotel. The hotel was very nice, in the middle of downtown. Nothing was planned for the afternoon, so I visited Fort Zeelandia and then walked around town. Unfortunately, it soon started raining real hard, so I had to take refuge in a restaurant. They served reasonably priced beer in large, 1 l (1 quart) bottles. Fortunately, they provided a cooler for the beer, otherwise it would have gotten warm very quickly in the heat. It was around 35°C (95°F) with 95% humidity, pretty uncomfortable.

On the next day was Maroon Day in Suriname. Maroon Day celebrates the nation of African refugees who escaped from slavery and formed independent settlements. The term Maroon itself derives from the Latin American Spanish cimarrón, meaning fugitive, runaway, feral animal. The former slaves spread and settled in North, South, Central and Latin Americas, Caribbean islands and even in South Asian countries.

Maroons in Suriname created several independent tribes, among them the tribe of the Ndyuka. Creation and celebration of Maroon Day refers to the events of 1760, when the Ndyuka signed a treaty with the Dutch. The treaty was forged by a former Jamaican slave who had learned to read and write and knew about the Jamaican treaty. Signing of this treaty defined the territorial rights of the Maroons in the gold-rich inland of Suriname.

In the morning I did a guided walking tour through Paramaribo. The Historic Inner City of Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture in the city is quite nice, lots of interesting old houses. In the afternoon I had nothing planned. It rained again, so I spent the afternoon indoors.

On the next day we visited a smal nature reserve that has fairly intact rain forest with lots of wildlife. From there we drove to Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. This fort was started in the early 18th century and was used through World War II. The next, and last, stop was at a decommissioned cane sugar factory in Mariënburg.

On the next day I was driven east to the border with French Guiana for the continuation of my trip through that country.

Impressions

The colonial architecture in Paramaribo is very nice, with lots of beautiful houses. It is worth walking around town.

I didn't see much else of Suriname, just Paramaribo and the surroundings. It is a clean country. It was not quite as expensive as Guyana. People were friendly. The official language is Dutch.

Surprisingly, the traffic is left-hand traffic. It dates from the Dutch colonial period. Holland used to drive on the left until Napoleonic times. The Dutch colonies Indonesia and Suriname kept that habit, even after Holland itself changed to right-hand traffic.

Food and beer was good and not very expensive. One of the restaurants had beer in 1 l (1 quart) bottles for about $4.50.

See the separate pages for nature and birds:

Nature
Nature in Suriname
Birds
Birds in Suriname

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

People

Approach Zorg En
Approach to Zorg en Hoop Airport. (546k)
Group Maroon Festival
A group of Maroon Festival attendees. (821k)
Maroon Festival Attendees
Maroon Festival attendees in traditional garb. (772k)
Maroon Dancers
Maroon dancers. (1077k)
Stand Patchwork Blankets
Stand with patchwork blankets. (1181k)
Blanket Suriname Flag
Blanket with the Suriname flag in patchwork. (713k)
Baking Cassava Bread
Baking cassava bread at the festival. (805k)
Ice Cream Vendor
Ice cream vendor. (868k)
Raining Cats Dogs
It was raining cats and dogs. (632k)
Drains Couldn't Handle
The drains couldn't handle the water, the housekeeping staff had to push the water out of the restaurant. (761k)
Beer Comes 1 l
Beer comes in 1 l (1 quart) bottles in a cooler. Note the coasters under the cooler,they are necessary due to the copious condensation because of the high humidity (95%). (601k)

Paramaribo

Street Beautiful Colonial
Street with beautiful colonial buildings. These are buildings of wealthy citizens with decorated balconies. (742k)
Street Lined 100
Street lined with 100 year old mahogany trees. (870k)
Simpler Historical Buildings
Simpler historical buildings of middle class citizens without balconies. (729k)
Church Square Church
Church square. The church originally dates from 1835. (706k)
Nice Building Fort
Nice building near Fort Zeelandia, owned by officers stationed at the fort. (991k)
Fancy House Demerara
Fancy house with Demerara windows. These windows supposedly keep the house cooler. Sometimes ice was used in these windows to further cool the house. (754k)
Demerara Windows
Demerara windows. (698k)
Fancy Light Fixture
Fancy light fixture. (636k)
Wooden Door Maroon
Wooden door, Maroon style. (649k)
Buildings Main Squares
Buildings on one of the main squares in Paramaribo. They are in french style (right), English style (middle), and dutch style (left). (888k)
Governor's House 1730
Governor's house from 1730. (769k)
Church Dating 1778
Church, dating from 1778. (746k)
Simple Colonial House
Simple colonial house. (681k)
All Houses Good
Not all houses are in good repair. (903k)
Neighborhoods Need Tlc
Some neighborhoods need some TLC. (732k)
Food Depot 1790
Food depot from 1790. The brick was very valuable during colonial times, it was imported from Holland. This building burned out recently. (913k)
Jewish Synagogue Mosque
A Jewish synagogue and a mosque next to each other. (665k)
Jewish Synagogue Dating
Jewish synagogue, dating from 1833. (711k)
Mosque Dating 1970
Mosque, dating from 1970. (621k)
Hindu Temple
Hindu temple. (735k)
Interior Yard Fort
Interior yard of the Fort Zeelandia. (1120k)
View River Fort
View of the river from Fort Zeelandia. (676k)
All-wood Saint Peter
All-wood Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, dating from 1882. This cathedral is built entirely of wood. (667k)
Interior Cathedral
Interior of the cathedral. (826k)
Ceiling Cathedral
Ceiling of the cathedral. (799k)

Plantations

Houses Plantation Owner
Houses of the plantation owner (left) and manager (right). (993k)
Plantation Building
Plantation building. (804k)
Plantation Barn
Plantation barn. (732k)

Mariënburg Sugar Factory

Mariënburg Sugar Factory
Mariënburg Sugar Factory. (675k)
Old Train
Old train. (668k)
German-built Locomotive
German-built locomotive. (936k)
Sugarcane Processing Gear
Sugarcane processing gear. (1051k)

Fort Nieuw Amsterdam

Map Fort Nieuw
Map of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. (830k)
Powder House
Powder House. (970k)
Old Carriages
Old carriages. (962k)
Fire Fighting Hand
Fire fighting hand pump. (619k)
Various Old Canons
Various old canons. (1222k)
Old Canon
Old canon. (981k)

This page contains 49 pictures

The total number of pictures online on my website from Suriname is 87

Page last updated on Tue Jul 2 16:18:16 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


Suriname - Former Dutch Colony on guenther-eichhorn.com


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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