"My beloved Nickerie"

Nickerie is the western border district of Suriname, a country on the northern shoulder of South America.
The district is bordered by Guyana in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the north, the district of Coronie in the east and the district of Sipaliwini in the south.

The District Commissioner's office

Nickerian beauty, dressed in the colors of the Surinamese flag

The first plantations (Paradise and Plaissance) were founded in 1797 by Scottish colonists, nearly 150 years after the first Europeans had settled in Suriname.
When the soil turned to be very fertile, many setllers moved to Nickerie.
In the first half of the century the district was called Lower Nickerie; Coronie then was Upper Nickerie.
In 1851 Nickerie became simply Nickerie.

Map of Surinam with the old borders

Untill 1983, when the borders were redefined, Nickerie was the largest district (64.000 sq. km, which was 39% of Suriname's territory).
As a result of the redefinition nearly 90% of the (southern) territory of Nickerie was transferred to the newly formed district of Sipaliwini.

Suriname's most popular flower fayalobi (rubiaceae)

Map of Nickerie in the second part of the 19th century

The district is named after the Nickerie river, while the name Nickerie is perhaps derived from Warraus (language of an Indian tribe), and means awara nut (astrocaryum segregatum).
On the Sipaliwini savanna relics were found of human habitation of about 8000 years old.

Rock-drawing along the Corantijn river

East of the Nickerie river mouth (on the right bank), there is a large swamp area, called Bigi Pan.
This area is of great importance for breeding, migration and wintering of a wide variety of birds.
Bigi Pan is also very rich in fish and shrimp, and is an important nursery for these species.

View of Bigi Pan

Nickerie is renowned for it's delicious
kwikwi (hoplosternum thoracatum)

"Kankantri" (bombacaceae) or "Busigado", the giant of the
Surinamese forest at Walther Hewittweg in Van Petten polder (formerly Cassaveweg)