By Bibi Khatoon
Breathtaking. Magnificent. You must have read or heard all about the Kaieteur Falls- the largest single drop waterfall found in the forested area of Guyana. But despite all you’ve read and seen or heard, this is a destination to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. You must visit this majestic wonder!
Whether you want to visit for a special occasion or simply to experience the beauty of this treasure, planning for a trip to the iconic Kaieteur National Park- the home of the majestic Kaieteur Falls – is something to add to your bucket list. If you are also in for a dip, there are tour companies which also offers a visit to the lovely Orinduik Falls located on the Guyana-Brazil border.
As the restrictions associated with COVID-19 are lifted, my small team comprising of two Guyanese families planned a trip with Evergreen Adventures in December 2021 to the Kaieteur National Park and Orinduik thereafter for a much needed dip after a long trek.
One month later, the day has finally arrived on January 16, 2022. It was a cold morning; I woke up for my maiden voyage to the Kaieteur Falls, an iconic tourism destination which needs no introduction. Being fearful of
heights, I was both excited and nervous.
Myself, family and friends reached the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at approximately 09:00h for our flight which was expected to depart at 10:00h;
the flight with Trans Guyana Airways left at 11:00h due to the weather. Flight delays can soil your mood but the destination was worth the wait.
Flying over a country covered in 85% forest, it is easy to fall into a doze during your flight but the conversation continued with those nervous to be in a small aircraft. At about forty (40) minutes later, the landscape moves from only dense forest to the majestic table-top mountains said to being among the oldest surfaces on earth.
And then she appears out of the dense Amazon rainforest- the Kaieteur Falls flowing from the Potaro River. Seated at the window on the aircraft allows the best view for photos and videos of your own of this national treasure. It is difficult not to be amazed by this site.
As preparation is made for a steep landing onto the runway at the Kaieteur National Park, the excitement increased. Created in 1929, Kaieteur is the first national park in the Amazon region. It sits on the Guiana Shield and was declared a protected area meaning that you are not allowed to remove any items from the park.
Once out of the aircraft, the roaring of the falls can immediately be heard as it crashes over the mountain’s edge. The rainforest is often times cool and the air is fresh beyond compare; one cannot help but take a deep breath once there.
A short washroom break at the Guest house is followed by a refreshing hike into the cool rainforest.
After a twenty (20) minutes trek led by park rangers, there are three main viewpoints to witness the majestic beauty of the Kaieteur Falls. These are Johnson, Boy Scout, and Rainbow viewpoints named after the visible rainbows you can often see at this spot. Two other points, Break and Lookout, are closed for general visitors and require special permission from the Protected Areas Commission to visit.
We were lucky to spot the tiny Golden Frog (Anomaloglossusbeebei) which is only found at the Kaieteur National Park. He was a friendly little fellow found in the leaves on the edge of the falls.
Trying to get the best photos and immersing in the beauty and strength of the Kaieteur was worth the trek. After taking several photos of the best scenery, we returned to the guest house for a short lunch break before making our way over to the Orinduik Falls.
Located on the Guyana-Brazil border, the Orinduik Falls is where the Ireng River thunders over steps and terraces of solid jasper. With a backdrop of rolling grass-covered hills of the Pakaraima mountain range, this is truly a beautiful place to visit where you are also afforded the luxury of swimming and playing under the cold water cascading over the rocks.
Smoothly flowing over the surface of the rocks, the cold water is just the right depth to allow you to lay on the rocks and watch as it gushes over your bodies.
From enjoying the luscious falls to interacting with the indigenous peoples and purchasing their crafts, the flight back home was filled with reminiscent memories.