Kaieteur Falls

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Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur1999.jpg
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Location Kaieteur National Park, Potaro-Siparuni Region, Guyana
Coordinates 5°10′30″N 59°28′49.8″W / 5.17500°N 59.480500°W / 5.17500; -59.480500Coordinates: 5°10′30″N 59°28′49.8″W / 5.17500°N 59.480500°W / 5.17500; -59.480500
Type Plunge
Elevation 4380
Total height 741 feet/226 metres
Number of drops 1
Longest drop 741 feet/226 metres
Watercourse Potaro River
Average
flow rate
23,400 cu ft/s (660 m3/s)
World height ranking 123

Kaieteur Falls is a waterfall on the Potaro River in Kaieteur National Park, central Essequibo Territory, Guyana. It is 226 metres (741 ft) high when measured from its plunge over a sandstone and conglomerate 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 metres (822 ft). While many falls have greater height, few have the combination of height and water volume, and the falls are among the most powerful waterfalls in the world with an average flow rate of 663 cubic metres per second (23,400 cubic feet per second). [1].

Kaieteur Falls is about four times higher than the Niagara Falls, on the border between Canada and the United States and about twice the height of the Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. It is a single drop waterfall and is the 123rd tallest (single and multi-drop waterfall) in the world, according to the World Waterfall Database. The same website lists it as 19th largest waterfall in terms of volume [2], and in their estimation, Kaieteur is the 26th most scenic waterfall in the world [3]. .

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

Discovery[edit]

On 24 April 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.[1]

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 in the fall by his relatives. Thus the fall was named "Kaieteur" what means - "old-man-fall".[1]

Tourism[edit]

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.

Services[edit]

Kaieteur International Airport is located on the left bank of the Potaro river and is 6 kilometers from Kaieteur falls. The Kaieteur International Airport serves the Potaro-Siparuni regions.

Popular culture[edit]

Kaieteur Falls is featured in the documentary film The White Diamond by Werner Herzog and Animal Planet's River Monsters with Jeremy Wade.

Kaieteur Falls is featured in the science fiction animation television series G Gundam. The lead character trains and bathes under the falls before his final fight.

Kaieteur Falls is featured in the opening of the fourth season credits of the Discovery Channel's series "Gold Rush" (2013). It also features in the body of a few episodes of that season.

Kaieteur Falls is featured in episode 6 of David Attenborough's series "Life on Earth (TV Series)" in which the native frogs, which thrive in the moist conditions, are discussed.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kaieteur - the most impressive waterfall". Wondermondo. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 

External links[edit]