- Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls is a great
waterfallon the Potaro Riverin central Guyana. It is located in Kaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters (741 ft) when measured from its plunge over a sandstonecliff to the first break. It then flows over a series of steep cascades that, when included in the measurements, bring the total height to 251 meters (822 ft).
name = Kaieteur Falls
caption = Kaieteur Falls,
Kaieteur Gorge, Mazaruni-Potaro, Guyana
coordinates = coord|5|10|1.2000|N|59|28|1.2000|W
elevation = 4380
type = Block
height = 741 feet/253 meters
height_longest = 741 feet/226 meters
average_width = 371 feet/113 meters
number_drops = 1
average_flow = 23,400 cu ft/s or 663 m³/s
world_rank = 122
Kaieteur Falls is about five times higher than the more well known
Niagara Falls, located on the border between Canadaand the United Statesand about two times the height of the Victoria Fallslocated on the border of Zambiaand Zimbabwein Africa. It is a single drop waterfall which is the 122nd tallest (single and multi-drop waterfall) in the world, according to the [http://www.world-waterfalls.com/database.php?pageNum_wwdSearch=3&totalRows_wwdSearch=437&s=N&t=H&orderby=singledrop&sortLimit=300 World Waterfalls Database] . The same web site lists it as 19th largest waterfall in terms of volume [http://www.world-waterfalls.com/database.php?s=N&t=W&orderby=avevolume&sortLimit=5000] , and in their estimation, Kaieteur is the 26th most scenic waterfall in the world [http://www.world-waterfalls.com/worldsbest.php?orderby=ratSce%20DESC] .
Its distinction lies in the unique combination of great height and large volume, averaging 663 cubic meters per second (23,400 cubic feet per second). Thus it is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, rivaling even the
Jog Fallsof India's Karnatakastate during the monsoonseason.
Up river from the falls, the
Potaro Plateaustretches out to the distant escarpmentof the Pakaraima Mountains. The Potaro river empties in to the Essequibo Riverwhich is one the longest and widest rivers in South America.
24 April 1870, Charles Barrington Brown, one of two British geologists appointed government surveyors to the colony of British Guiana(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. After completing their surveys of thousands of miles of interior rivers during the heady days of gold discoveries, the surveyors left British Guiana in 1871.
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
PatamonaIndian legend, Kaieteur Falls was named for Kai, a chief, or Toshaowho acted to save his people by paddling over the falls in an act of self-sacrifice to Makonaima, the great spirit.
Kaieteur Falls is a major tourist attraction in Guyana. The falls is located in Kaieteur National Park and is in the centre of Guyana's rainforest. There are frequent flights between the falls' airstrip and
Ogle Airportand Cheddi Jagan International Airportin Georgetown.
Werner Herzog's 2004 documentary film " The White Diamond" focuses on Graham Dorrington, a British aeronautical engineer, who builds a teardrop-shaped airship in order to study the canopies of the rainforest. The film depicts both Dorrington's craft's first flights as well as the falls themselves and the swiftsthat nest behind it.
In May 2006,
Ben Fogletrekked to the falls with five English novice explorers for his "Extreme Dreams" series. The programme was aired in September 2006 on the BBC. The programme was criticised for trivialising local culture and over-playing the difficulty of the trek. It did help raise Guyana's international profile.
Each programme was prefaced with the statement that Kaieteur is the highest single-drop waterfall in the world, although the
Angel Fallsin Venezuela claim to be nearly four times higher. There are about 40,000 tourists a year.
* [http://www.kaieteurpark.gov.gy/ Kaieteur National Park] home to the Kaieteur Falls.
* [http://www.geographia.com/guyana/places.html Geographia.com] - Places of interest in Guyana.
* [http://forests.org/archive/samerica/guykafal.htm Guyana's Kaieteur Falls ] - article on the falls.
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