Our day trip to Brownsberg started at 8am with our guide Steven, though in the jungle it's "Steve-o", a young Surinamese guy that constantly said "yeah man" in a Caribbean accent despite having spent most of his life in Holland. We had one fellow passenger, Helene from Holland who had been working in Suriname.
Brownsberg, or Brown Mountain is a good 3 hours or so from Paramaribo. We stopped on the way for snacks, some yummy Surinamese treats like egg rolls and fried banana, then continued along the way. The last half was on a dirt road and the last section was a windy track to the top of the mountain.
At the top is some accommodation and a restaurant for those staying overnight. From here you get a view over the flooded valley, a hydroelectric damn owned by a Bauxite mining company, which despite being man made was very picturesque and still with the remnants of a few tree trunks still sticking up from the water.
From there we walked to our first destination, an hour and a half through the jungle to a small cascading waterfall for a swim. We didn't see much on the way unfortunately, other than a lot of blue morpho butterflies.
The waterfall was down a steep track that required ropes to hang onto to descend. It had 4 "levels" which Steve-o called the pool, the Jacuzzi, and the shower. The lowest level was a nice little circular bath which we soaked in a while, then climbed up through the waterfall to the other levels.
After some time here, Steve-o suggested we make our way back to try and fit in one of the other falls, as well as the hill top with a better view over the lake. Most day tours don't pack all this in but he really wanted to make sure we got to see as much as possible which was great.
After lunch, from the restaurant, we walked out to the hill top for another view of the lake. From here you could see how far it stretched, as big as London we were told. We were also treated to a bit of a song from a howler monkey as he boomed and growled through a tune.
Our last sight was another waterfall, again quite a challenging walk for which we were given some long sticks as walking poles. The fall wasn't huge but we were able to stand directly under it for a nice shower to end the day.
Night started to fall as we walked back to the car, and we saw a few birds over our heads. It was after 7 when we left, so the long drive back to Paramaribo didn't get us in until close to 10pm. Given our tour was only supposed to be until 6 we definitely felt we got a bit of a bonus by going with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable super guide Steve-o!