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Guyana Gallery Page 7 - Kaieteur Falls
Guyana Gallery Pages

• 1 - Introduction   • 2 - Demerara River to Parika   • 3 - Region 3, Hubu, near Parika, and nearby Essequibo River  
• 4 - Region 3, Fort Island and Essequibo River   • 5 - Santa Mission   • 6 - Mibiri Creek • 7 - Kaieteur Falls  
• 8 - A Few More Pictures   • 9 - People of Guyana (old photographs)   • 10 - Old Views   • 11 - More Old Views   • 12 - Old Adverts
~~~
• See also Georgetown Gallery


The magnificent Kaieteur Falls are the centrepiece of Guyana's Kaieteur National Park. It is indubitably one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. The Potaro River flows for approximately 225 km (140 miles) before joining the Essequibo River, Guyana's largest river. Nine waterfalls are found on the Potaro River, most notable being Kaieteur Falls and Tumatumari Falls. Below Kaieteur Falls lie Amatuk Falls and Waratuk Falls.

The Potaro River falls over the Kaieteur escarpment to form the Kaieteur Falls. The waterfall has a sheer (i.e. uninterrupted) drop of 226 metres (741 ft), a total height of 251 metres (822 feet), and during the rainy season, a width of 122 metres. While many falls have greater height, few have the combination of height and water volume. This has given Kaieteur Falls the misleading label of "largest single drop" waterfall in the world which is often misinterpreted as "tallest single drop", which it is not.

Nevertheless, it is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world and most certainly one of the most impressive. Well worth a visit. Find out more at Kaieteur National Park.

On April 24, 1870 Charles Barrington Brown, one of two British geologists appointed government surveyors to the colony of British Guiana (now known as Guyana), became the first European to see Kaieteur Falls. The other surveyor was James Sawkins. Brown and James Sawkins arrived in Georgetown in 1867 and did some of their mapping and preparation of geological reports together, some in separate expeditions, but Sawkins had taken a break from his work when Brown came upon Kaieteur.

At the time of discovery, Brown did not have time to investigate Kaieteur Falls closer and he returned here one year later when measurements of the waterfall were made.

Brown's book Canoe and Camp life in British Guiana was published in 1876. Two years later, in 1878, he published Fifteen Thousand Miles on the Amazon and its tributaries.

According to a Patamona Indian legend, Kaieteur Falls was named for Kai, a chief, or Toshao who acted to save his people by paddling over the falls in an act of self-sacrifice to Makonaima, the great spirit.

Another legend though was told to Brown by Amerindians in the night of discovery of falls: Kaieteur has been named after an unpleasant old man who was placed in a boat and shoved over the falls by his relatives. Thus the fall was named "Kaieteur" which means - "old-man-fall".
[Source: Wikipedia]

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Kaieteur Falls viewed from the air.
[2012]
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Kaieteur Falls, a magnificent sight.
[2012]
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The Potaro River on its way from the falls.
[2012]
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The water thundering to the rocks below.
[2012]

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Getting that all important picture.
[2012]
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At the top of the falls. Another important picture!
[2012]
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Kaieteur National Park Visitor Centre.
[2012]
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Potaro River heading away from the falls.
[2012]
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The Potaro River from the air.
[2012]
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The Potaro River cascading over the edge of the falls.
[2012]
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Over the edge and the rainbow.
[2012]
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The Potaro River just before the drop.
[2012]
Click to enlarge Across the border in Venezuela, is another natural wonder, Angel Falls (El Salto Angel) in the Canaima National Park.
It is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall with a height of 979 metres (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft).
It falls from the top of the Auyantepui mountain. This waterfall is 19 times the height of Niagara Falls.

Local Indian inhabitants named the falls Kerekupai-Meru, in the Pemon language, meaning "falls of the water to the deepest site".
The modern name is derived from an American pilot, Jimmy Angel, who landed on top of Auyantepui in 1937 while searching for gold.

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