Sunday, September 26, 2010

The World's Highest Waterfall

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Angel Falls, Venezuela (also called Salto Angel) is the Earth's highest uninterrupted waterfall. It is 979 metres (3,230 feet) tall - think of it as 2.5 times as tall as the Empire State Building and full 15 times higher than Niagara Falls!

(image credit: Nyaminyami)

Located in the Canaima National Park, in southeastern Venezuela, the falls start from the nameless creek that meanders through the series of highly-fractured crevices and gorges on top of a "Tepuy", or table-top mountain. The water then bursts into the void and plunges uninterrupted 2,421 feet to the river and more cascades below.

You can actually kayak to the base of the falls (imagine how wet you'll be there - though the waterfall is of such a great height that most water is turned into mist before it reaches the ground).

(image credit: Tony Welham)

In a season of highest water, the single waterfall splits into three streams - sometimes even more, which together become a giant veil of water.

How to get to the Angel Falls?

Not so easy. You would need to hook up with a flight from Caracas or Ciudad Bolivar to get to the Canaima camp, from where you'd start your trip along the river to the base of the falls. This page lists the complete directions. The travel guide even says that on cloudy days you can not see the falls (must be a real let-downer after all this trouble to get there!)

This is the most accessible viewpoint to photograph the falls:

The view from the top is fantastic enough to inspire a multitude of "Lost World" legends (including the famous Conan Doyle book), not to mention the table-top mountain itself - a wonder-world of vegetation and species found nowhere else on Earth.

A True Island in Time

It is truly an Island in Time, discovered by the civilized world only a hundred years ago - an ancient landscape shrouded in mystery.

(image credit: Mauricio Marques)

Aerial Fly-by of Angel Falls - an entirely different aspect:

(image credit: Brennan Mulrooney)

In the morning the rocks are colored pink from a rising sun:

(image credit: Mike Ernst)

The fascinating world around the waterfall is a perfect combination of magic and reality. The highly-eroded terrain of table-top mountain, the spectacular maze of gorges which leads to the waterfall can be clearly seen and enjoyed in this video:

1 comment:

Holidays in Devon said...

we are very grateful for God give us gifts like this, all we have to so as a human being, we must take care and develop its beauty.

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