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Kaieteur Falls is a wonder of the world

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On my recent visit to Guyana I was utterly blown away on visiting the majestic Kaieteur Falls. In fact, it is near impossible to vividly capture in words the experience of seeing the falls first hand.

Kaieteur Falls in Guyana is among the most spectacular natural wonders the region has to offer. Kaieteur starts at the point where the Potaro Rivers sends 336,000 gallons of water per second crashing down the 741 feet high face into the rocks below, violently erupting into a permanent mist that shrouds the back and lower extremities of the falls. This shroud evokes a sense of mystery as to what secrets lie below, entwined on the rocks; be it remnants from the early Amerindian days or modern relics pushed by the Potaro over the edge.

The fog-like mist splits sunlight to create what seems to be one of the longest lasting rainbows on a sunny day. Even more impressive was the fact that the waterfall is in an area that is undeveloped and surrounded by pristine forests as it was hundreds of years ago.

There are no physical barriers on the cliffs, no vendors, no hawkers, no irritating music or traces of contemporary civilisation on or around the cliffs. This makes the area more attractive to those seeking to connect with the true natural beauty that envelops Kaieteur.

Dominic Guevara and members of his Los Exploradores hiking club of Rio Claro, South Trinidad recently visited Kaieteur.

Upon arriving in Guyana at Cheddi Jaggan International Airport the team took a taxi to Georgetown’s Ogle Airport where they boarded in a 12-seater Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft that gave a surprisingly smooth ride over the vast lushness of the Guyanese landscape that seemingly went on forever. The patchwork like mosaic that represented Georgetown from the air disappeared after five minutes into the flight. Only trees could be seen for miles with the occasional strip mine appearing like a wound among the lush vegetation.

As Los Exploradores approached the falls our Venezuelan pilot passed twice over it to give passengers their eagerly awaited first-hand view of the Kaieteur before landing on a small airstrip outside the Kaieteur Falls Visitor Centre.

Tour guides Tesius Andrews and Thomas Williams greeted the Rio Claro hikers and other tourists on the plane. Williams was quick to explain that no roads were built in the area and what appeared to look like roads were in fact the natural flat rock formation of the area.

The guides took hikers on a two-hour, three-mile trek to three lookout points—Johnson’s View, Boyscouts’ View and Rainbow View—which takes visitors consecutively closer to the falls.

The tour guides explained the flora and fauna of the area including the giant bromeliads in which live the tiny golden frog and the insectivorous sundew plant that keeps the area free of mosquitoes and other nauseating insects.

Williams explained there were resident nocturnal big cats like the jaguar as well as other mammals including monkeys and the elusive Cock of the Rock bird. Guevera said he plans on taking more hikers to the falls and other places in the region since he believes there should be a greater thrust into regional tourism. He said Los Exploradores has beaten several trails across Trinidad and started exploring Tobago around mid-2017. He said the Kaieteur National Park in Guyana was one of the most rewarding hiking experiences in his life.

Frank Singh, Managing Director of Rainforest Tours, Guyana, said the region has a lot to offer when it comes to eco-tourism. Singh was also worried that tourist who traditionally come to the region for the sun and sand in the hurricane devastated islands would now go elsewhere and eventually remain outside the region. Singh said he doesn’t want to see this happen and a greater thrust should be made to keep tourism alive in the region. In that way, when the infrastructure of the affected islands recovers, these tourist can start returning to the smaller islands.


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