Raleighvallen Rainforest School

Raleigh Falls

Water System
Lucia Sloth
The Tree
Air and Water Data
Friends and Visitors
The River
School Day
Raleigh Falls
About Us


Raleighvallen means Raleigh Falls in Dutch.  It is called this because Sir Walter Raleigh is rumored to have journeyed up the Coppename River looking for a Garden of Eden.  Very few people have ever followed him here.  Plantations were not built on this river probably because it is not navigable.  There are only three settlements on the river.   The Kwinti Maroon village nearest to the park, Kaimanston, has fewer than ten residents.  Witagron the other Kwinti village is on a road to the capital.  Many guides put in here.  We take the shorter, better maintained road to Boskamp (75km from Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname) and travel 160 km (100 miles) upriver to Raleighvallen by motorized canoe.

Map from STINASU, Suriname


Imagine living out in the jungle, where there are no cars, phones or computer connections; two hundred kilometers from all those things. Well, life gets a little hard but in some ways it is okay. It can also be fun, like teaching the park workers how to play basketball. But sometimes it still gets boring because we can’t watch television or go online or phone our friends.

We live at Raleighvallen Camp on Foengoe Island.  There is no electricity except for our solar panels.  Our electrical power comes from the sun, but if there is no sun there is no power. So we are lucky if the sun comes out everyday. But the sun makes it so hot that you can make eggs on the rocks. The island is surrounded by black granite rocks.  When the river is low like it is now the island surrounded by exposed rocks.

Do you want to know how life is living out in the jungle on an island? It is like living in the desert because it is hot all day and the water we drink comes from the hot river. So you have a nice warm drink because there is no place to get a cool drink.  If you are living on an island, that is how things are.  At night it gets much cooler so we sleep well under our mosquito nets.. There are fun things you can do at night like going fishing. You take a flashlight, nets, and a slurp gun.  I will add a picture of a slurp gun and some of the fish I catch to this web page next month!

BRYAN January, 2005


In the middle of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, Amazonia, South America