One day tour: ‘Savanne Trail’

Price € 134,- p.p. 
Day of departure: thursday

A day trip filled with  exiting and adventurous experiences.  You become familiar with off-roading by getting behind the wheel yourself. You will encounter various challenges, you will intensely enjoy all you experience and witness the beautiful nature.

At 07:00 am you are picked up at your place of accommodation. Just outside the busy Surinamese traffic you are introduced to the 4×4 vehicles, travel companions and the guide. The basic skills for off-road driving and the safety instructions are explained in such a way that you become familiar with the adventure that awaits you.

After a short break you start the trip  with your travel companions and guide. Within the hour you enter the savanna. The savanna holds many challenges such as large water pools, hills and deep holes on which you can try out your off-road driving skills. After the lunch  you start the return trip through ‘the hole’ and ‘the swamp’ towards the departure location of the savanna trail.  At 5:00 pm you are back at your place of accommodation.

Included during the tour:
– Transportation from your place of accommodation to the start location of Busiwagi tour and vice versa.
– Lunch
– Drinking water/cold drinks

To take with you:
– Sun protection; cap/hat/bandana, sunscreen lotion
– Swimsuit, towel
– International drivers license
– Sandals (closable straps) or sport or walking shoes
– Photo camera
You are allowed to bring along a bag of max. 20 liters. The bag is stowed in a dust free and waterproof box.

Beware: you get dirty during the tour!!



On behalf of my booking agency, That’s It! tours, I got the opportunity, together with several other tour operators, to experience a new tour: The Busiwagi ‘Savanne Trail Jeep tour’. It is always good to experience something yourself before you offer it to others. There were not many other tour operators on the trip. Upon asking it seemed that 49 tour operators/booking agencies were invited, of which only three were present!

After we have been picked up by the bus, we drive towards the savannah just beyond Zanderij. Extra clothing in the bag, swimsuit and towel included: I am ready!After an hour we arrive at the place where the shiny, bright yellow open 4×4 jeeps of Busiwagi stand in readiness.
There is a short introduction and explanation by Michel Akrum, one of the guides, with the route and the safety instructions, after which we are ready to go.
Two persons per jeep and of course it is allowed to get behind the wheel yourself. I am the one who gets to drive (…yessss!) and I notice quickly that the seat belt here works quite differently. There are a bunch of belts with the corresponding metal attachments lying on the seat. After puzzling briefly it becomes clear. At least we are fastened securely. These jeeps have been adjusted and customized especially for these tours. Rugged, wide tires, increased height due to the big tires, a bright color, but it is not just about the appearance. They are equipped with 5-point seat belts and a fire extinguisher for safety and a roll bar for protection in case the jeep rolls over. Everything according to the same safety standards used in other countries for off-road-events as well. The guide from Busiwagi follows in the rear of the group.

It starts to rain softly but that does not diminish the fun and luckily we still have a small roof over our heads. That seems to protect us from the rain, until my co-passenger lifts the tarp of the roof slightly, and the whole load of water falls into the car! Well, that doesn’t matter anymore anyhow! One way or the other, it just comes with the territory. Getting wet and dirty during an adventurous jeep tour.  Cameras or other valuables can be placed in the closed jeep with the guide if you are afraid of important possessions getting wet. Or you can keep them with you  in a closed plastic bag.

There we go! We quickly experience the challenges of the savannah and the jungle. Narrow trails, loose sand, deep holes filled with water, hills. Everyone has a big smile on his/her face. For a moment we feel as if we are young again and I even feel like a happy child who is allowed to enjoy herself to the fullest in a giant sandbox! All of a sudden one of the jeeps gets stuck in a pool of water. Instructions and directions are given, which are soon followed by the enthusiastic applause and cheers from the group. Problem solved! It is not about speed here, but about skill and adventure. Although it is a great deal of fun to drive through the puddleswith a bit of speed, thus creating a big splash. By now we are covered in splatters, the sunglasses protect against the mud as well, and the jeeps no longer look quite as yellow!

Then it is time for lunch. The lid is taken off the large pot and a delicious aroma drifts our way. Brown beans with rice and smoked chicken! Mmm, yummy! Everyone enjoys their meal and relaxes with a cool drink. There is more than enough. On an active trip good food should be included, and that is something they understand well at Busiwagi. By now the sun has appeared again and there is still time enough to cool down in the dark, refreshing water of a creek close to our lunch spot. Allows us to get cleaned up again! A good balance between adventure and relaxation.

Afterwards all the garbage is taken along, which is important because we have to be mindful of nature, keep it clean, and treat it with respect. Luckily that is also a standard policy of this tour operator. During the longer tours for example, everyone gets his/her own plate, silverware and cup to use during the entire tour. No disposable tableware is used. Furthermore, all garbage is taken back to the city and even garbage left behind by others along the way, is cleaned up and taken along.

This introduction gives me a very good impression of the tour and I truly enjoyed it. And it also differentiates itself from other jeep tours in the sense that you are allowed to drive yourself in the special customized jeeps. For the one-day tour you are picked up at your place of accommodation around  7:00 am and after the tour you are dropped back off at about 17:00 hrs.

The fun thing about this trip is that you are constantly facing all kinds of challenges, are in the middle of nature and get to experience Suriname in yet another intense manner. Michel tells us that he is himself a fervent off-roader and that he thought it would be a good idea to highlight the way in which the Surinamese go into the interior, and that this is why these tours were created. I have since then included this successful one-day tour in the That’s It! tour program. Busiwagi also offers a two-day tour, a ‘Cordon Savanne Trail, and a four-day tour to Blanche Marie for those who are not satisfied with just one day of adventure. The nights are then spent in self-made camps, in hammocks with mosquito netting, truly close to nature. Even more adventure! And a delicious BBQ meal comes standard with those. I would one day certainly like to try that out as well!


‘We actually stumbled across a Busiwagi flyer while booking another tour and were instantly interested; in over 8 months of travelling through Central and South America we’d never come across a 4×4 tour that actually allows you to drive yourself.

First of all the cars look awesome. They are modified Suzuki Samurai’s with 35 inch tyres, raised suspension and engine modifications giving a 15% power increase. In other words, they can drive through anything.

The best thing about this tour is the freedom Michel (the guide) gives you when your driving through the jungle/bush. He always lets you lead which makes it feel like your out there on your own but you know there is help if you need it – which is awesome.

We did the day tour, which starts with a pick up from our accommodation at around 8 and has you back between 4 and 5.

The tour is really about experiencing the car and the environment – highly recommended to anyone with a sense of adventure!

Ben Rustom