Botopasi - Hotel on the Upper Surinameriver
This is the story of one of our guest of Kekemba Resort Paramaribo of her trip to Hotel Botopasi. In the morning I left for the interior of Suriname. After a ride by bus of about three hours I arrived at Atjoni, where I took a taxi boot, cheap but with stops along the way. During the boat trip the beautiful nature of the tropical rainforest is already overwhelming. Along the banks small villages and people in the river doing their laundry and doing dishes.
I am met by Annet. She is super nice and welcomes me. We walk a short distance through the village of Botopasi, consisting of wooden huts and an occasional wooden house. Officially, 2000 inhabitants live here, but the men have often moved to the city to make money and children over 14 who want to go to school also leave the village. On the waterfront we wait for our boat, the locals shelter from the rain at the hairdresser in a wooden hut. As soon as the rain stops, everyone emerges and the daily life continues: the women stand wide-legged in the water to scrub the pangi and other items of clothing on the stones, from the village come more women, with big plastic bins on their heads, full of dishes. This is also washed in the river, with a scourer and a lot of soap from a block. The boat takes us in a wide circle to the other side. The hotel is shining in the sun, with the huts next to it. Everywhere beautiful plants and palms and it looks super neat. After I have settled in my room, I join Annet to swim in the river. Before we can, we have to wait until Wilhelmina, the cook, has washed the chicken. Small fish feast on the fat she cuts off from the chicken bolts. The water flows hard, so you can only swim on the spot. I try not to think of the anacondas, shudders and piranhas with which I share the water. The water is blissfully cool and refreshing. Not only the local population uses the river water, the hotel is also supplied with water from the river: brown water flows from the taps and showers. For drinking water they are dependent on rainwater, which fortunately is filtered after they catch it in 2000 liters barrels. It tastes wonderfully delicious and I get, as promised, not bothered by my stomach. At the end of the day it starts to rain and I crawl with a book on the couch on the top floor of the hotel. The hotel is just like a big family, when at 7 pm the generator comes on for 3 hours of electricity, the food is served. We eat delicious massala chicken with garter and rice. Simple but very tasty. Breakfast is daily at 8 am and lunch at 1 pm. In the evening at 10 pm the generator goes out and hotel Botopassie is shrouded in the dark. I slept well in the simple but clean room. Even before the electricity went out, I went to bed.
The next day in the afternoon I go on an exploration in the jungle behind the hotel. The creek is a half hour walk. The water is high in the forest and in the water next to me I hear a hard splash ... a caiman who jumps away from that uninvited guest in his habitat. The jungle is already really jungle after the first meter. You can hardly imagine that, but it is full and overgrown. It is full of beautiful plants, lots of green in species and sizes and everywhere you hear bugs. My trip in the jungle was more than enough for this afternoon, almost an hour and a half wandering in the jungle. In the evening we eat delicious fish from the river in a crispy spicy layer, with rice and coleslaw. When I go to my room in the evening, there is a tree frog on the wall. Which of course jumps away with a huge leap into the room.
After a breakfast with white rolls (they do not know anything else) and cheese, egg and peanut butter, I am ready for a walk to Kampaloa, a traditional village. Followed by a jungle walk and the village of Botopasi. As a guide, I get Josephat. We are sailed upstream and step on the stone steps of the village Kampaloa (Kambalua), in the middle of the women who are of course busy with the dishes, the washing, the bathing of the children and themselves. Josephat teaches me to say ooweekiyo as good morning. But I think that is so fake, so I call everywhere: good morning. The village of Kampaloa is almost extinct. So I can walk around undisturbed. I am always skeptical about this kind of trips, but nothing has been set up here for the tourists. Many women are to their cost plots, often a good distance from the village so they stay overnight under a roof of palm leaves. In itself not much worse than in the village, where rocky huts of heavily parched wood with palm leaf roofs stand. Those roofs last 6 to 8 years, unimaginable. The cabins here and there have some carvings but otherwise it is all sadness and poverty around me.
Botoposi offers you three ways for a overnight stay:
- In a small private cabin with private bath and toilet (the socalled Wosu): Euro 45,- per peron per night. The cabin is for maximum 2 persons.
- In a room in the main building with shared bath and toilet: Euro 40 per person per night. A room if for maximum 2 persons.
- In a hammock with shared bath and toilet: Euro 30 per person per night.
Contact kekemba, preferably by e-mail, about information on availability at Botopasi.
You can go with public transportation is Botopasi or with private transport.
City bus is Srd 70 (about Euro 10) per person one way.
Taxi boat Srd 70 (about Euro 10) per person one way.
Disadvantage of a city bus and taxi boat is that they often stopped quite frequently and also stop on the way a number of times. They are also not connected to each other and there will therefore be some waiting time at Atjoni. On the day of departure to Atjoni-Paramaribo, you will be picked up at 8am in the morning with the taxi boat. With private boat you leave at 10 am.
Private bus or taxi is Srd 420 (about Euro 60) for maximum 3 persons. Every extra person Srd 140 (about Euro 20).
Private boat is Srd 560 (about Euro 80) for maximum 4 persons. Every extra person Srd 140 (about Euro 20).
Botopasi also organize completely arranged packages, one price with transportation, lodging and trips.
Culture & Nature Tour, a 3 day tour with visiting 4 inland marron villages and a visit to the Samaaka Marron Museum. Price Euro 200 per person.
Jungle Trail Adventure, a 4 day tour with one night in the jungle with Rastafari and a visit to the Samaaka Marron Museum. Price Euro 300 per person.
Tapawatra & Jungle Experience, a 5 day tour with a day trip to the Tapawatra rapids where the Suriname River is born and with a one night stay in the jungle and a visit to the Samaaka Marron Museum. Price Euro 375 per person.
Contact kekemba, preferably by e-mail, about detailed information about the tour and depature dates of these tours.
Check pictures and short movies about Botopasi on Instagram
Since July 2018 I started this blog for information about Suriname. Some contributions are from guests of my resort, Kekemba Resort Paramaribo. For the moment the blog is only in english.
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