Blog Suriname

Jodensavanne - Historical Jewish place and visit to Blaka Watra


jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

This day tour is easy to do with a rental car or taxi.

A part of the trip is via a bauxite road, so the car becomes a bit red. The tour goes from Paramaribo via the tourist route to Domburg, Paranam, Powakke, Jodensavanne and Blaka Watra. Nature, culture and swimming in a creek in 1 day.The preparation for the journey starts with having a car. Do you use a rental car: most car rental companies do not want their car to be on bauxite roads. The red bauxite sticks to the car and is not good for the paint. Tip: After the trip, have the car washed at one of the many car wash places in Paramaribo and the surrounding area. Do not let the car washers forget to also strip the edges of the doors and trunk of the bauxite.

Take with you

jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

A small list of things useful to take with you on this trip: cool box (lend one to your guest accommodation), towels, swimwear, cube ice to keep drinking in the cooler, drinking water, fernandes soft, cola, beer, parbo, chips, cookies, dry underwear and outer clothing (after swimming no longer wear that soggy, sweaty clothing), camera and phone, warm meal. The cube ice, drinks and refreshments can be bought at any supermarket, along the way you will encounter many. I prefer to get the warm meal at Paranam, there are a few good indonesian restraurants where they also have take-out service.

Domburg and Paranam

We start the tour on the Churcillweg. This road runs from south Paramaribo along the river to Domburg. Do not be surprised of the big houses along the river. On the way we come across the Staatsolie refinery. Domburg is a small village with a square along the water where almost every day market is held and where a few warungs are located. Maybe you have some appetite in an egg roll or a baka bana.
Continue the main road. Now we drive to Paranam. On the way we pass Le Jardin restaurant and relaxation resort White Beach. The gas station for White Beach is the last one we encounter. If you still want to refuel, it has to be done there.
A little past Paranam we arrive at a large crossing. Left is towards the lake and Jodensavanne, straight ahead is direction Zanderij airport and to the right is straight back to Paramaribo. If you want to buy some good food, you have to cross this road. Quickly on your left you see a few warungs. My favorite is Warung Sonate.


We take the road towards the lake. Drive around the old alumina smelter. After a sharp turn we are on the road towards the lake. The first paved road on the left is the road to Overbrigde. The 2nd paved road on the left is the road to Powakka and Jodensavanne. We take this road. In Powakka, the houses were well separated on the white savannah sand. The inhabitants of the village belong to the Arawak tribe and originally live off hunting, fishing and the proceeds of their agricultural plots. Nowadays there are large annanas fields and there are several swimming facilities and resorts to stay overnight. The villagers are friendly, but do not like unsolicited visits. Time for a tasty Parbo Radler at one of the supermarkets, as a good opportunity for a meeting with one of the residents.


jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

We follow the road and arrive at the new bridge over the Suriname River.

After this bridge the asphalt road also stops. The road becomes bauxite red. This is the road that goes directly to Blaka Watra. But we have to leave this road for visiting Jodensavanne. Follow the signs to Jodensavanne, beware: there are some small signs, so pay attention.
Jodensavanna was founded in the mid-17th century by Jews who fled from Brazil because of the favorable location on the hill and the presence of two natural springs, one of which would have medicinal effects. Moreover, the then capital Thorarica was close by. In 1691, a letter was issued by Governor Van Scharphuizen, in which the Jewish Nation received a piece of land belonging to a hundred fields: \'to use its synagogue, for cemetery of its dead and for heirs to housing\'. The Jews successfully applied to the sugar culture. After a flowering period of almost a hundred years, the decline followed in the second half of the 18th century and residents began to move away to the emerging Paramaribo. The survivors lived mainly from trade with the soldiers stationed on the Cordonpad, the defense line along the Surinamese plantations. The big fire of 1832 almost put all the houses in the ashes and the last inhabitants moved to the city. The Beracha Ve Salom synagogue (Blessing and Peace) remained in use until 1860. During World War II, an internment camp for alleged NSB members from the former Dutch East Indies was established in Jodensavanna.
The prisoners were instructed to clean the village and the cemetery. More than 436 gravestones were uncovered, but quickly disappeared under the weeds when the NSB-members left Jodensavanna in 1946. A subsequent cleaning attempt was made in 1967 by the troops in Suriname (TRIS), followed by a restoration of the ruin of the synagogue in the seventies. Because of the internal war, the area has been abandoned for years. The Jodensavanna Foundation has given the entire site a facelift since 2000. For example, the nearby Cassipora cemetery has been uncovered and the medicinal source has been made accessible again.

Blaka Watra

jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

We drive back to Redi Doti. We drive to the left with the bend and thus arrive at the main road, which we continue on the left. After a kilometer or 7 Blaka Watra is on your right hand. Is there no one at the gate, just continue driving because it is probably not so busy. Soon someone will come to your car to tell you that you have to buy a ticket at the first aid post.
I think Blaka Watra is one of the most beautiful swimming, relax, chill-spots in Suriname. The creek is still natural (unlike Colakreek and Marinalex), beautiful surroundings, not far outside the city and not expensive. Access for 2 people with a car is not yet uro 5. The spot is also managed by local natives. After a nice beer and good food, it's time to go back to Paramaribo. Paramaribo, here we come.

Organized tours

jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

Several touroperators go with organized tours to Jodensavanne. Please inform is Blaka Watra is part is the program. The price is euro 70 per day.


jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

Calculate for the he entrance to Jodensavanne and Blaka Watra euro 10 per person. If you have a rental car, follow the direction above with help of your map app (my favourite is MAPS.ME). You can also go with a taxi, ask the price in advance, the price will be around euro 65.


jodensavanne surinam suriname kekemba trip tour

Check pictures and short movies about Jodensavanne on Instagram

About Me

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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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