|Total height||741 feet/226 metres|
|Number of drops||1 (tallest single drop waterfall of the world)|
|Longest drop||741 feet/226 metres|
|Average width||371 feet/113 metres|
|World height ranking||123|
Kaieteur Falls is the world's largest single drop waterfall by the volume of water flowing over it. Located on the Potaro River in the Kaieteur National Park, it sits in a section of the Amazon rainforest included in the Potaro-Siparuni region of 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 Kaieteur is 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).
Kaieteur Falls is about four times higher than Niagara Falls, on the border between Canada and the United States, and about twice the height of Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. It is a single drop waterfall.
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 of the longest and widest rivers in South America and the longest river in Guyana.
The falls were rediscovered by Europeans in 1870 by a party led by Charles Barrington Brown, a British geologist appointed as a government surveyor to the colony of British Guiana. Brown and his partner James Sawkins had arrived in Georgetown in 1867, and while they did some of their mapping and preparation of geological reports together, some work was performed in separate expeditions, and Sawkins was taking a break from his work at the time of Brown's discovery of Kaieteur. At this point, Brown did not have time to investigate Kaieteur Falls closer, so he returned one year later to make comprehensive measurements.
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", which means "old-man-fall".
Kaieteur Falls is a major tourist attraction in Guyana. It is in Kaieteur National Park in the centre of Guyana's rainforest.
The park is served by Kaieteur International Airport, about a 15-minute walk from the top of Kaieteur falls, with frequent flights to Ogle Airport and Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown.
Kaieteur Falls is featured in:
Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian unit of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall in the world. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the heart of the city of Curitiba. For most of its course, the river flows through Brazil; however, most of the falls are on the Argentine side. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The Geography of Guyana comprises the physical characteristics of the country in Northern South America and part of Caribbean South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela, with a land area of approximately 214,969 square kilometres. The country is situated between 1 and 9 north latitude and between 56 and 62 west longitude. With a 459 km (285 mi)-long Atlantic coastline on the northeast, Guyana is bounded by Venezuela on the west, Brazil on the west and south, and Suriname on the east. The land comprises three main geographical zones: the coastal plain, the white sand belt and the interior highlands.
A waterfall is an area where water flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf.
Wooroonooran [Aboriginal - "Black Rock"] is a national park in Queensland (Australia), 1367 km northwest of Brisbane, between Innisfail and Cairns.
The Guiana Shield is one of the three cratons of the South American Plate. It is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America that forms a portion of the northern coast. The higher elevations on the shield are called the Guiana Highlands, which is where the table-like mountains called tepuis are found. The Guiana Highlands are also the source of some of the world's most well-known waterfalls such as Angel Falls, Kaieteur Falls and Kuquenan Falls.
Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa, which provides habitat for several unique species of plants and animals. It is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is considered to be one of the world's largest waterfalls due to its width of 1,708 m (5,604 ft).
Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world's tallest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 metres (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft). The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyán-tepui mountain in the Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State. The height figure, 979 m (3,212 ft), mostly consists of the main plunge but also includes about 400 metres (1,300 ft) of sloped cascade and rapids below the drop and a 30-metre (98 ft) high plunge downstream of the talus rapids.
Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland.
The Essequibo River is the largest river in Guyana, and the largest river between the Orinoco and Amazon. Rising in the Acarai Mountains near the Brazil–Guyana border, the Essequibo flows to the north for 1,014 kilometres (630 mi) through forest and savanna into the Atlantic Ocean. With a total drainage basin of 151,000 square kilometres (58,000 sq mi) and an average discharge of 4,531 cubic metres per second (160,000 cu ft/s).
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Mardalsfossen is a waterfall in Molde Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is sometimes referred to as one of the tallest waterfalls in Europe. The falls are on the Mardøla river which flows out of a hanging valley into the lake Eikesdalsvatnet, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) northwest of the village of Eikesdalen. The waterfall was depicted in the coat of arms of the old Nesset Municipality.
Kaieteur National Park is a national park located in the Potaro-Siparuni Region of Guyana. The Park's boundaries and purpose are defined in the Kaieteur National Park Act, and was created to preserve the natural scenery, and its fauna and flora. The Act is administered by the Kaieteur National Park Commission.
The Potaro River is a river in Guyana that runs from Mount Ayanganna area of the Pakaraima Mountains for approximately 225 km (140 mi) before flowing into the Essequibo River, Guyana's largest river. The renown Kaieteur Falls is on the Potaro.
The Augrabies Falls is a waterfall on the Orange River, the largest river in South Africa. Since 1966 the waterfall, set in a desolate and rugged milieu, is enclosed by the Augrabies Falls National Park. The falls are around 183 feet (56 m) in height. Some sources cite an approximate height of 480 feet; this is actually the height from the base of the canyon to the top of the walls, not that of the falls themselves.
The Orinduik Falls lie on the Ireng River, a highland river that thunders over steps and terraces of red jasper on the border of Guyana and Brazil before merging with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River.
The Arnik River is a river of Guyana, a tributary of the Potaro River.
Potarophytum is a group of plants in the family Rapateaceae described as a genus in 1939.
Charles Barrington Brown was a Canadian geologist and explorer. On April 24, 1870 he was one of two English-based geologists appointed government surveyors to the colony of British Guiana. That same year, he was the first Westerner to see Kaieteur Falls. The other surveyor was James Sawkins.
The Guianan moist forests (NT0125) is an ecoregion in the east of Venezuela, north of Brazil and the Guyanas. It is in the Amazon biome. The climate is hot and humid, with two rainy seasons each year. As of 1996 the tropical rainforest habitat was relatively intact, although there were mounting threats from illegal logging and gold mining.
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