Guyana Expedition



Tepuis are table-top mountains found in South America, particularly in the Guyana Shield, which is an area of ancient geological formations. Tepuis are known for their sheer vertical walls and steep slopes, and they belong to the most iconic and mysterious landscapes in the world, home to a unique and diverse array of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic species found nowhere else.

For centuries, only the indigenous people have been aware of the tepuis, and their lore and mythology were intertwined with them. For Europe they were discovered in late XVI-th century during the Spanish and British race to colonize this part of South America. Since then, these incredible mountains have captured the imaginations of many explorers and scientists. In 1595, the world-renowned British explorer and naturalist, Sir Walter Raleigh, famously attempted to climb one of the most famous tepuis, Mount Roraima. Although he did not succeed in his attempt, his stories of the incredible landscape have inspired many others to explore the area.

Today, tepuis are still largely unexplored and many have not yet been climbed. Despite its unique challenges, the tepui landscape continues to draw explorers and scientists from around the world. In the last few decades, a number of endemic species have been discovered on the tepuis, insectivorous plants, tarantulas, and the miniature black frog.

In recent years, more advanced technology and equipment has allowed climbers to reach the tops of some of the tepuis. However, there are still many which remain unexplored, and some that haven’t even been climbed yet, making them a source of mystery and adventure.

Goals of the Expedition

The first aim of the expedition is to climb Karowtipu tepui, a mountain in the Guyanese rainforest that has never been climbed before. The journey to the mountain will be an adventure, starting with a boat ride from Karamang to Kako river. From there, we will have to walk through the jungle and cross two kilometers of dense foliage. The route to the top of the mountain will involve some technical climbing, so we will need to carefully scout a route that is suitable for the whole team. Once we have a route established, we will secure it and make it safe for the scientists in our team to climb. Once we reach the summit, we will be able to collect samples of endemic species that have never been studied before.
While the scientists are collecting samples on Karowtipu, the climbing members of the team will move on to another, unnamed tepui, located around 20 km south of Karowtipu. We will take a boat to the other tepui and then walk through the rainforest for 4 km. This tepui is much larger than Karowtipu but looks much easier to climb. We will establish a safe route to the top and after around 10 days the expedition camp will move there. Once the scientists reach the summit, we will collect a new set of samples, studying the endemic species of this tepui. This will give us an even greater insight into the biodiversity of the Guyanese rainforest.
If everything goes according to the plan, while the scientists are collecting samples on the second tepui, the climbing members of the team will set out on an exciting and unique mission. We have identified an interesting spot on a topographical map and satellite images that we would like to investigate. On a topographic map it seems to be a crater, while at the satellite images it looks like another tepui. We will take a boat and after 6 hours of a cruise we walk through the jungle for 6 km to the location. Once we arrive, we will take photographs, shoot videos, and make a detailed description of the area. No matter if we find a crater or another tepui, this mission will help us build a better understanding of the rainforest and its unique features.
Finally, during our journey to the potential crater, there is another interesting spot that we would like to investigate. On the topographic map, it looks like an incredibly high rock pillar (over 1000 m high), with a diameter of around 300 m. If this is real, it would be one of the highest peaks in Guyana. However, there is no mention of it anywhere, and we were unable to find any information about it. It may have gone unnoticed due to its small surface area and the low resolution of older satellite maps. We would like to take a detour and investigate this rock pillar, to see if it is real or not.


The Guyanese tepuis, or table-top mountains, provide an isolated environment for some of the most unique flora and fauna on the planet. The tepuis are ancient sandstone mountains dating back to the Gondwanan supercontinent, which broke apart around 180 million of years. The isolation of these tepuis led to the development of endemic species that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

The unique environment of the tepuis has been of great interest to biologists and environmental researchers. Many species of endemic plants, amphibians, and reptiles have been found in the tepuis, providing valuable insight into the evolution of species in isolated environments. In particular, the Guyanese tepuis are home to some of the most impressive endemic species on the planet, with some species thought to have been around since the time of Gondwana.

Although much research has been done on the flora and fauna of the tepuis, there is still much to be explored. Many of the tepuis remain unclimbed and unexplored, meaning that there could be a wealth of unknown species living on these mountains. It is possible that further exploration of the tepuis could lead to the discovery of new species, as well as a deeper understanding of the evolutionary history of the endemic species found on the tepuis.

The scientific goal of the expedition is to collect samples of endemic species from the two tepuis. We plan to sequence the samples and create a phylogenetic tree using the data from Guyanese samples, as well as data from other Gondwana fragments such as western Africa, Malaysia, and Australia. By comparing the genetic data from these different locations, we will be able to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of evolution and verify the hypothesis that species found in Guyana are descendants of species that originated in Gondwana. This research will give us a better understanding of the biodiversity of the region and provide us with valuable insights into the origin of the species we find in Guyana.


Meet the Team

Marcin Kruczyk, PhD - Leader of the expedition

Born in Sochaczew, Poland in 1982, Marcin is a married father of two. He currently works as the head of data science for a major consulting firm. He also holds a PhD in Bioinformatics from Uppsala University. As climber and experienced traveler, he links all three dimensions of the expedition – exploration, climbing and science. Marcin is a passionate explorer who has led over 15 expeditions in his lifetime. He has climbed six virgin summits and named four of them. He has also visited six continents and climbed some of the highest mountains in the world, such as Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Mt. Blanc.

Not only has he explored the world’s highest mountains, but he has also taken on some of the most challenging journeys. He drove a Lada Niva from Poland to Mongolia and climbed the highest peak of the country, Tavan Bogd. Marcin has extensive experience in performing and making slideshows for travelling festivals. He was invited as a speaker to all the largest travel festivals in Poland. He has even produced a movie about one of his exploratory expeditions, entitled Explore Apolobamba 2011. Marcin is passionate about exploration, and this expedition to Guyana will be another incredible opportunity for him to discover the unknown.

Tomasz Mucha

Tomasz Mucha, born in 1982 in Rzeszów, hails from the picturesque town of Tyczyn, located near Rzeszów. He is a husband and a father of two children. He graduated from the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology, which has provided him with a comprehensive understanding of the field of computer science. Professionally, he is involved in the implementation of distributed systems, primarily in the banking sector, where he has gained extensive knowledge and experience. However, Tomasz is not only a diligent professional – he also has many passions and interests. He is physically active, enjoying both sport climbing and mountaineering, as well as scuba diving, for which he completed the Padi AOWD course. Music also plays an important role in his life – he plays the guitar and piano (graduated from the 1st degree Music School in Rzeszów). Currently, Tomasz is mainly dedicated to various developmental activities, particularly CrossFit and Calisthenics. He is also an avid mountain runner, finding relaxation and connection with nature through this activity. One of his life’s achievements was participating in the Apolobamba 2011 expedition, during which he conquered 3 virgin peaks and named one of them – Akuku. Additionally, Tomasz was a multi-instrumentalist in the rock bands NoBoCo ?! and Tekno, showcasing his versatility and musical talent. In his spare time, he consistently finds joy in reading good books, allowing him to explore his interests and broaden his horizons.

Prof Wojciech Chaładaj

Born in 1981, inhabitant of Łódź, graduate of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw and doctoral studies at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where he currently works. He climbed in the Tatras, Alps and Dolomites. He led the expedition to Pik Lenin, during which he ascended Pik Razdielnaya (6150 m above sea level).

Participant of an expedition to the Argentine Andes during which he managed to climb Cerro Plata (6050 m above sea level) and Vallecitos (5800 m above sea level). The leader of the expedition in Karakorum, which ended with the first Polish ascent of Ambareen Sar (6175 m above sea level). Leader of the Expedition Explore Karakorum 2007, which explored the Satmaro Valley in the Western Karakoram. Participant of the Explore Apolobamba 2009 expedition, the success of which was the ascent of four virgin peaks and the summit of FAE 3, which had been climbed only once before – the first Polish ascent. Apart from the mountains, he is passionate about sailing, aikido, and board games.

Filip Drożdż

The author of photographs for numerous award-winning documentary and feature films. He is a graduate of the Film School in Łódź and the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. His films have been recognized at the most important film festivals around the world, such as IDFA (Special Jury Prize), Locarno (Semaine de la Critique), Camerimage (nomination for the Golden Frog), HumanDoc (Grand Prix), Doc Against Gravity (Grand Prix). His debut feature film, the black comedy ‘Night at the Preschool’, premiered on the Netflix platform in December 2022. As a cinematographer, he has participated in many expeditions (including Long Walk Expedition, Explore Apolobamba) and numerous artistic and video-art projects, such as Mission in Auroville, Ashes And Diamonds in Nollywood. Accustomed to working in difficult conditions, he finds himself well in South America, Africa, and Asia. His main area of interest is exploring the boundaries between narrative and documentary cinema and seeking new forms. He currently lives in Warsaw. He likes to work around the world because it gives him the opportunity to meet people and their diverse cultures. He is fluent in English and Polish, and also communicates in Russian and Spanish.

Dawid Sitnik

Dawid is an adventure-seeking engineer born in Warsaw in 1997. After graduating from Warsaw University of Technology, he started a job as a machine learning specialist at a big consulting company.

He’s also a skilled sport climber and boulderer. To prove his climbing experience he completed a mountain climbing course in the Tatra Mountains. He tries to squeeze in some climbing whenever he goes on holiday. He’s already explored a glacier around Mount Blanc and tackled multiple climbing spots in Poland, Italy, and Germany. But climbing isn’t the only type of adventure that Dawid craves. During his studies, he spent one year in South Korea and one semester in Spain. He also embarked on a hitchhiking trip through Europe right after finishing his high school. He’s always up for meeting interesting people and immersing himself in new cultures.

And when he’s not scaling mountains or exploring new places, Dawid loves training in strength sports like calisthenics. So, whether he’s tinkering with machine learning algorithms or testing his limits on the climbing wall, he is always pushing himself to new heights – both figuratively and literally!

Michał Marzęcki

Born in 1981 in Żyrardów, a city of weavers and visionaries. He graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology at the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Sciences. Entrepreneur, founder and co-founder of companies in the field of IT, gaming and biotechnology. Father of two children, 19 and 9 years old. He loves life, experiencing it, challenges, creating and traveling. He is also interested in psychology and technology. He likes to work on his own mind, body, spirit and self-awareness. He believes in a better world and strives for its positive transformation, starting with himself. He shares and empowers others with faith in positive change.

Janusz Mostowski

Janusz Mostowski is a fulfilled entrepreneur hailing from Łowicz, operating in the construction industry. With his astute business acumen and unwavering dedication, Janusz has made a name for himself as a prominent figure in the field. However, beneath his professional accomplishments lies a deep passion for adventure and exploration.

Privately, Janusz finds solace in his love for travel and mountaineering. His thirst for adventure has taken him to the farthest reaches of the globe, conquering the awe-inspiring peaks of Africa, North and South Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Not only does Janusz excel in climbing mountains, but he is also an avid participant in thrilling biking expeditions. From traversing the rugged landscapes of Cuba to venturing through the stunning landscapes of Mongolia, Argentina, and Chile, Janusz immerses himself in every pedal stroke. His passion for biking invigorates him, and he thrives on the excitement and challenges that come with these expeditions.

Janusz’s love for travel and adventure extends beyond physical pursuits. His vibrant personality and positive spirit make him the heart and soul of any team he is a part of. Whether he is leading a construction project or embarking on a distant expedition, Janusz’s energy and enthusiasm prove invaluable in bringing people together and maintaining a harmonious atmosphere.

Wojciech Wojciechowicz

Wojciech is a native of Sochaczew, is an enterprising force within the water construction industry. With his unwavering dedication, he has successfully established himself as a trustworhty figure in the sector, leading several significant projects in his career.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Wojtek’s adventurous spirit and love for exploration have taken him to the far corners of the globe. As an avid traveler and mountaineer, he has scaled impressive heights in Africa, North and South Americas, Europe, and Asia, leaving his mark on majestic peaks. His passion for the sport has led him to explore various expeditions, spanning across Kenya, Tanzania, Mongolia, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, and many other captivating destinations.

In Wojtek’s quest for new challenges, he has also unlocked the thrilling world of angling. An ardent angler, he has found solace in the western frontiers of Norway, relentlessly pursuing the elusive dream of catching a colossal fish.

What truly sets Wojtek apart is his unwavering commitment towards his teammates. Always striving to be a reliable and trustworthy individual, he ensures the well-being and success of those around him, making him an invaluable member of any team. His strong empathy, coupled with genuine concern for others, make Wojtek someone you can always count on in times of need.

Michał Klażyński

I was born in 1969 in Łowicz. Went smoothly through the secondary school, studied on a grand scale (medicine, chemistry, psychotronics [parapsychology]) but without sweeping success. Performed a number of jobs in the difficult 90s. Until in 2001 I took over the Łupków mountain shelter as a host and so began my pact with the Bieszczady Mountains. Ever since 2004 I’ve been running the Mała Rawka refuge of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society, became its host in 2006. I’m also on the Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue team. Co-organised expeditions to the mountains of Asia, Africa and South America for a few years along with

Ski touring is my favourite way through the mountains. All journeys seem more exciting if they lead across the mountains. Always hoping to seize the moment when I’m in the right place – local cuisine facilitates it occasionally, but the travel schedule may be an obstacle :).

Christian Schäfer

Born in a small town in the eastern part of Germany, Christian is in a loving relationship with his polish born & raised spouse Aleksandra. Their daughter is a feisty 5-year-old explorer. He is currently working for Amazon Web Services at the intersection of engineering and business, prior he was consulting in the field of machine learning and data. Christian is a military intelligence veteran with 14 years of service in reconnaissance; including multiple combat tours to conflict regions. Past adventures in the Nordics, Africa and North America combine hiking and climbing and are adding to his personal exploration log and underline his passion for nature and the elements. His experience covers advanced combat survival, medical aid and mission planning. South America is missing from his travel logs, the excitement of discovery and teamwork is fueling his passion to support this endeavor.

Michał J. Dąbrowski, PhD

Born in 1981 in Warsaw, where he lives with his lovely wife, three wonderful kids and two friendly dogs. Currently, he works as the head of the Computational Biology Group at the Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences. He also conducts extensive cooperation with private entities, implementing projects related to nature value modeling in the context of BiodiverCity, BioBlitz, BREEAM certification and public health analyses with particular focus on the early diagnosis of rare diseases.

While studying Biology, he was involved in many projects concerning native species of crayfish, bats and herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles). He was the initiator of educational campaigns for children regarding active protection of amphibians. For several years, as part of his master’s thesis, he conducted field research of amphibians in the Kozienicki Landscape Park. His doctoral thesis covered field research of small mammals in the Białowieża Primaeval Forest and molecular analysis in the genetic laboratory at the Museum and Institute of Zoology, PAS. In 2012 Michał continued his scientific development in the field of human genomics and epigenetics in terms of bioinformatics analyses at the Uppsala University. He is the author of over 20 scientific publications, dozens of animal inventories, reports and environmental assessments, and he has been the leader of several scientific grants, and currently focuses on epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression regulation.

One of Michał’s first passions was hiking in the mountains, especially the Bieszczady and Beskid. He is a fan of bicycle trips, forest camping and sleeping in a hammock. Michał is also a sailor and for many years was actively involved in the Santa-Maria Sailing Club, renovating boats, running sailing camps and being a member of the Club’s board. He is a sailing instructor of the Polish Sailing Association. He took part in and organized himself multiple sea cruises, among others his greatest life expedition was a sea cruise around Spitsbergen through the Hinlopen Strait on the Solaris yacht. He also took part in numerous sea regattas, including the prestigious Gotland Runt.

Przemysław Szymroszczyk

Born in 1976 from Upper Silesia, specifically Kędzierzyn-Koźle, a father of two children. Since childhood, he has been passionate about nature. He has consistently pursued his passion – from attending an Ecological High School, through the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the Catholic University of Lublin and working in the Department of Ecology and Zoology there, to the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where he is currently employed as one of the caretakers of the largest national zoological collection. His love for Southern Africa has transformed into a project studying the biodiversity of the Kalahari region, involving numerous trips to that area and the creation of a regional collection of insects found there. He finds fulfillment in nature photography. He finds complete relaxation and rest in remote places still largely untouched by human hands. Due to his background, he is fluent in German.