Every tourist has at least one Instagram post of a waterfall, and many of them have famous falls in the world on their bucket lists. But none of them compares to Kaieteur Falls. Mounted deep in South America's Amazon Forest, on Guyana's side of the rainforest, Kaieteur Falls measures 226 m tall and is the world's largest single-drop waterfall. About four times higher than the famous Niagara Falls and two times higher than the Victoria Falls, Kaieteur guarantees breathtaking sights that will lift anyone's spirits. With around 23000 cubic feet per second volume of flowing water, this waterfall is more powerful and rapid than any fall on earth. Sitting on River Potaro in Kaieteur National Park, this waterfall is a must-visit for any nature lover. Here is a guide to Kaieteur Falls: the world's largest single-drop waterfall.
The History Of The World’s Largest Waterfall
Kaieteur Falls was founded by Charles Barrington Brown in 1870, a geologist from Britain, who was assigned the role of surveyor by the British Guiana colony. The locals surrounding its region knew about the existence of Kaieteur Falls in the 19th century. Together with his partner James Sawkins, Brown came to Georgetown in 1867 to undertake some mapping and preparation and some geological work. The team performed some of the work individually, and while James was taking some rest from his expedition, Brown discovered the Kaieteur Falls. Because he didn't have enough time to do everything and prepare all the reports, he came back a year later to make the measurements of the falls.
Brown later featured Kaieteur Falls in his books, Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana, and Fifteen Thousand on the Amazon and its tributaries, published in 1876 and 1878, respectively. The waterfall got its name from a chief called Kai, who paddled over the falls to save his people by sacrificing himself to Makonaima, the great spirit.
Another story claim that Kaieteur was entitled after an old man whose family was placed in a boat by his relative and shoved in the falls. This led to the naming of the falls as "Kaieteur", which translates to "old man."
Kaieteur Falls And Kaieteur National Park
Kaieteur Falls is situated in Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni area, in the Guyana Shield - which is completely covered in savanna and rainforest. Featuring magnificent biodiversity, this region has an outstanding natural value – the reason why it was converted into a Kaieteur National Park by the British Government in 1929. The British Government was ruling this area at the time, and this act became the first preservationist act in South America and the Caribbean.
Now extending to 63000 hectares, Kaieteur National Park is heavily preserved because of the incredible potential it has for tourism. Mounted in the Amazon jungle, this region features a more beautiful, pure nature than most famous waterfalls. The Falls measure 67-122m, depending on the time of the year. The park hosts incredible wildlife with varying species, making it an excellent spot for wildlife viewing. Various frog species are also housed in this region, including the highly poisonous and endangered, having their habitats at the waterfall’s base.
Kaieteur Falls is home to an amazing flora, including the sundew, a popular natural insecticide that gets rid of mosquitoes. Coula, a tree in the genus coula, which can hold twice its weight, capadulla, and the giant tongue bromeliad. Capadulla can actually be a lifesaver to travelers, especially when they dehydrate while exploring the massive wilderness. The region is home to Patamonia Amerindians and is isolated, making it challenging to reach the destination. There is a restriction on the number of travelers visiting this place, mainly to protect the area and help it remain intact as its tourism potential totally depends on the park remaining unspoiled.
When To Explore Kaieteur Falls
September is a perfect time to visit and explore the Kaieteur Falls – just when the rainy season has come to an end. At this time, the vegetation is lush due to the recent rain, and the pathways are dry, clear, and free of mosquitoes. The weather is hot just as in the whole Guyana region, but travelers can enjoy a beautiful breeze at the area of the waterfalls.
How To Get To The World’s Largest Single-Drop Waterfall
Visitors can use the two possible ways to reach the destination. An easy way is a day trip from Georgetown on a small charter flight. The trip doesn't have to start from Georgetown as there are other places in Guyana to fly from. An overland trip is another alternative, but it is way less comfortable as it can take up to 5 days. The only advantage of an overland journey is that it is way more adventurous, allowing tourists to enjoy incredible views on the way to the falls.
Exploring Kaieteur Falls is a travel opportunity and experience of a lifetime – thanks to the fact it is pure nature and unspoiled.