Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls is a great waterfall on the Potaro River in central Guyana. It is located in
Kaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters (741 ft) when measured from its plunge over a sandstone cliff 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).

Infobox Waterfall
name = Kaieteur Falls

caption = Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
location = 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
watercourse = Potaro River
world_rank = 122

Kaieteur Falls is about five times higher than the more well known Niagara Falls, located on the border between Canada and the United States and about two times the height of the Victoria Falls located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in 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 Falls of India's Karnataka state during the monsoon season.

Up river from the falls, the Potaro Plateau stretches out to the distant escarpment of the Pakaraima Mountains. The Potaro river empties in to the Essequibo River which is one the longest and widest rivers in South America.


On 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 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.


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 Airport and Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown.

Film expeditions

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 swifts that nest behind it.

In May 2006, Ben Fogle trekked 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 Falls in Venezuela claim to be nearly four times higher. There are about 40,000 tourists a year.

External links

* [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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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kaieteur Falls — [kī΄ə toor′] waterfall in WC Guyana: 741 ft (226 m) * * * Cataract on the Potaro River, west central Guyana. After a sheer drop of 741 ft (226 m), the falls pass into a gorge 5 mi (8 km) long, which descends another 81 ft (25 m). The falls are… …   Universalium

  • Kaieteur Falls — [kī΄ə toor′] waterfall in WC Guyana: 741 ft (226 m) …   English World dictionary

  • Kaieteur Falls — Sp Kãjetūro krioklỹs Ap Kaieteur Falls L C Gajanoje …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Kaieteur Falls — Kai′e•teur Falls′ [[t]ˌkaɪ ɪˈtʊər[/t]] n. geg a waterfall in central Guyana, on a tributary of the Essequibo River. 741 ft. (226 m) high …   From formal English to slang

  • Kaieteur Falls — geographical name waterfall 741 feet (226 meters) high & 350 feet (107 meters) wide central Guyana …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Kaieteur National Park — is a National Park located in the Potaro Siparuni Region of Guyana. The Park s boundaries and purpose are defined in the Kaieteur National Park Act, and was created to preserve the natural scenery (including Kaieteur Falls), and its fauna and… …   Wikipedia

  • Kaieteur-Fälle — 5.1781111111111 59.482277777778 Koordinaten: 5° 10′ 41,2″ N, 59° 28′ 56,2″ W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Falls — /fawlz/, n. a town in NE Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River. 36,083. * * * (as used in expressions) Angel Falls Churchill Falls Grand Falls Iguazú Falls Victoria Falls Iguaçu Falls Kaieteur Falls Niagara Falls …   Universalium

  • Kaieteur — /kuy i toor /, n. a waterfall in central Guyana, on a tributary of the Essequibo River. 741 ft. (226 m) high. Also called Kaieteur Falls. * * * …   Universalium

  • Kaieteur — /kuy i toor /, n. a waterfall in central Guyana, on a tributary of the Essequibo River. 741 ft. (226 m) high. Also called Kaieteur Falls …   Useful english dictionary

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