Lethem – Rupununi Savannas – Guyana

This article was first created on the 24th of November, 2016 and last updated on the 24th of April, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

A shot of the environs of the Takutu Hotel in Lethem, Rupununi - Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around July, 2016.

A shot of the environs of the Takutu Hotel in Lethem, Rupununi – Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around July, 2016.

The town of Lethem is located in the county of Essequibo, Region No. 9, in the country of Guyana. At the time of this writing, Lethem is officially a town, having been granted township in 2016 by the present APNU/AFC government in adherence to a promise made during elections campaigning.

Lethem is located in the south of Guyana. It forms the most accessible border between Guyana and Brazil. The Brazilian city of Bonfim is on the other side of the border.

Guyanese who wish to travel to Brazil often travel first to Lethem, either by plane or by bus. Travelers need to check in at the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem to “stamp out” of Guyana before leaving Guyana. However, it should be noted that stamping of passports is not necessary for travelers who are only reaching the neighboring Brazilian cities of Bonfim or Normandy. In order to travel further into Brazil, Guyanese, and travelers of other nationalities passing through Guyana, need to have their passports stamped by both the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem and the Federal Police in Bonfim.

Lethem was named after the British Governor Sir Gordon James Lethem, who governed Guyana from 1941 to 1947.

Commercial Activities in Lethem

The commercial zone in Lethem starts from the junction of the main road (Barrack Retreat) with the road branching off to Georgetown. The Lethem Power Company is the last building going south along Barrack retreat and a Chinese Business is the last one  going north (towards Georgetown). Along this road, there are many Chinese stores as well as other businesses. The two commerical banks in Lethem are the Republic Bank and The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.

Bus Services in Lethem

Carly Bus Service

Hotels in Lethem

The Takutu Hotel

Tour Operators in Lethem

People of Lethem

Most of the people of Lethem are very nice and friendly and very hard working.

Population of Lethem

The population of Lethem stands at around 20,000 at the time of this writing.

Racial Composition of Lethem

Amerindian: 35%

Mixed Races: 35%

East Indian: 10%

African: 10%

Chinese: 5%

Other: 5%

What To Do When You Are In Lethem

Some of my readers ask me “what are some things to do when I come to Lethem”. So I decided to include this section. Here are my suggestions:

Visit the Moco Moco Waterfalls.

Tour the Rupununi Savannahs

Visit the Kumu Waterfalls.

Visit Surama.

Visit the Brazilian city of Bonfim, or go further to Boa Vista.

 

The Takutu River Bridge in Lethem

The Takutu River separates Guyana from Brazil on Guyana’s southern border. The Takutu River Bridge is a 230 meters bridge which crosses over the Takutu River and connects the Brazilian city of Bonfim with the Guyanese town of Lethem.

Criminal Activities and Violence in Lethem

In July, 2016 a young girl was kidnapped from a night club and brutally gang-raped by four men. The criminals were arrested and transported to the Georgetown lockups.

In early 2016, a young man was killed by a stab wound to the neck allegedly while attempting to rape a young woman near to a night club.

In early 2016 there have been numerous reports of arson and arson attempts in Lethem. Several houses were burnt by a mysterious figure who has never been apprehended.

There has been at least five or six reported gun-point robberies of businesses reported in the year 2015.

Around April 19, 2017, a popular security guard of the GBTI bank in Lethem was killed by robbers while returning from a party late in the night. Raj Persaud, then 31 years old, and his wife were walking home when two bandits pulled up with a motorcycle. They attempted to take the woman’s bag and Raj, being a military trained person, entered into a physical combat with the robbers. However, having been a bit intoxicated, he probably was not able to take control of the situation. The criminals stabbed him to the left chest. He was rushed to the Lethem Hospital but died hours later. This incident left the whole of Lethem in a state of shock and sadness, as Raj was well loved by all.

As of April, 2017, after several knife point robberies, Lethem has been considered a very dangerous place to walk at nights.

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A shot of an intersection in Lethem. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016

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A part of the main commercial zone in Lethem. In the background: A General Store. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A part of the Lethem’s commercial zone. In the background: American Store. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Leaving Lethem’s commercial zone. heading to the junction. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The popular Chinese General Store: Asia Trading, along Lethem’s main commercial zone. Photograph taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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At the end of the commercial zone, going towards the Post Office, and RDC. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Lethem-the backlands. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A shot of the Takutu Welding Shop and Wash Bay during non-working hour. Photo taken by Patrick around August, 2016.

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Lethem – The Backlands – Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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In the background: Lethem Power Company and the Takutu Gas Station. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Lethem – The Backlands – Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The Takutu Gas Station and Convenience Store. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The round-about at the end of the Lethem’s main commercial zone. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The round-about at the end of Lethem’s main commercial zone, at the junction with the Takutu Hotel. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A signboard in Lethem, Rupununi Savannas, Guyana, South America. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The round-about at the end of Lethem’s main commercial zone, near to the Lethem Power Company and the Takutu Hotel. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The round-about at the end of the Lethem’s main commercial zone. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The round-about at the end of Lethem’s main commercial zone. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A signboard in Lethem, Rupununi Savannas, Guyana. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A signboard in Lethem, Rupununi Savannas, Guyana. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The road leading to Lethem’s Airstrip. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A photo of the airstrip in Lethem taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Republic Bank wishes travelers at Lethem’s airport a safe journey. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A small plane waiting to take off at Lethem’s airport. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Trans Guyana Airways’ Office, near to the Airport, in Lethem, Rupununi, Guyana. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A popular shop near to the airport at Lethem, Rupununi. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Touch Down Bar and Lounge near to Lethem’s Airport. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A small plane waiting to take off at Lethem’s Airport. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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Air Services LTD, near to the airport in Lethem. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A photo of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A worker standing by to spray the wheels of vehicles coming from Brazil. This is done as a precaution against Mad Cow Disease being transmitted from Brazil. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A worker spraying the wheels of a vehicle coming in from Brazil. This is done as a precaution against Mad Cow Disease being transmitted from Brazil. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A worker getting ready to spray the wheels of vehicles coming in from Brazil. This is done as a precaution against Mad Cow Disease being transmitted from Brazil. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A worker spraying the wheels of a vehicle coming in from Brazil. This is done as a precaution against Mad Cow Disease. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A small boat sailing in the Takutu River, which borders Lethem and Brazil. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A shot of the Takutu River and Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A shot of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The Takutu River, taken from on top of the Takutu River Bridge. Photograph taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A section of Takutu River, taken from on top of the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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The Takutu River and the Takutu River Bridge. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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A Brazilian Portuguese Sign saying: The Bridge Over the Takutu River.Length: 230 meters. Photo taken by Patrick Carpen around August, 2016.

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