November 18, 2019

Day 3: Caroni Swamp

As usual, we didn’t exactly have a plan for what to do, where to go or how to spend the day. We had to wait until the cricket game was officially cancelled before making plans. So while I waited for the game to be officially cancelled, I explored independence square in Port of Spain (POS). I wanted to go to Khemlani souvenir shop, a cute place with a lot of souvenir options from dresses (kinda over priced in my opinion), fridge magnets, candy, cookies, mugs, and many other things. Once I purchased my fridge magnet, I walked around Independence square. It’s a busy street with lots of shopping and people everywhere, not a place I’d recommend. Being from NYC, independence square was not a place I enjoyed.

In the afternoon we decided to visit Caroni Swamp. I contacted Nanan Tours and they

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Mangroves

were very helpful, friendly, and professional. The driver came to our guest house on time, drove us to Caroni Bird Scantuary, got our tickets so we didn’t have to worry about anything. We went on a 2.5 hour long tour that started at 4pm. Caroni Swamp is an estuarine system made up of mangrove trees and marshes in brackish and saline lagoons. During the tour we saw iguana, four-eyed fish, many tree boas, tiny tree crabs, blue herons, egrets, and hundreds of scarlet ibis (Trinidad’s national bird). Our tour guide at the swamp, Khemraj, made sure to point

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Tree boa

out wildlife and answered all the questions. You could tell, he’s been doing this for a while. Around 5:45 pm, we sat in the boat and watched hundreds of Scarlet Ibis and egrets returning to mangroves for the night. It takes Scarlet Ibis 3 years to become bright red in color and before that they are gray. Since Scarlet Ibis is Trinidad’s national bird, it is illegal to hunt/poach these birds. I couldn’t believe how red these birds looked, especially when they are roosting on green mangrove trees.

Watching so many Scarlet Ibis, egrets and other birds fly in during sunset is an amazing sight. The entire swamp tour was a wonderful experience and watching sunset at the swamp was a great way to end the tour. Once we got back, our driver was waiting there for us to take us back to our guest house but with a slight “glitch”. There were two other guys whose driver had just left (we don’t know why or what happened) but our driver was asked to take them back to POS. Our driver, Wendell Griffith, was very nice and agreed and made sure we were all comfortable. Throughout the drive, the other two guys seemed very annoyed but I guess that’s understandable. Overall, we had a wonderful experience with Wendell and enjoyed talking to him very much.

I would definitely return to Caroni Swamp but next time I would go for their Kayak tours or a more extensive tour (I’m not even sure they offer a tour longer than 2.5 hours). This is definitely a unique experience that you can have only in Trinidad and should be on everyone’s list to visit.

For more photos, please visit my instagram page: Rupal’s Travel Diaries

0 thoughts on “Day 3: Caroni Swamp

  1. It must be an amazing experience. Very well expressed like, the birds change gray color into red in 3 years. The overall wild life and mangrove pictures are beautiful

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