Guyana may not be high on your hit list (be honest with yourself – you prefer the appeal of Brazil or even Peru, as I once did). But please forget all that and head to the three Guyanas.
That said, Guyana was still my last port of call on the continent, as we crossed the border from Suriname and suddenly I was able to speak English and explore a country I knew little about except the British colonialization. Guyana houses the highest waterfall in the world and a whole lot more.
Dagron Tours is a great choice to show you what Guyana has to offer. Their office is also very handily situated on Middle Street in Georgetown, directly opposite Rima Guesthouse, where we stayed. They have a few different options for touring the Amazon part of Guyana and indeed the Kaieteur Falls or just pop into the office when you arrive in Georgetown. Prices are around $200 US for the Kaieteur Falls tour. You can pay in local currency, US Dollars , Euros and Visa.
91 Middle Street
Georgetown , Guyana
You need your passports for check in and the bags will be weighed and bear in mind that you will not be issued with an actual physical ticket. The planes are tiny and they know who is on them.
The internal flight takes approximately one hour and was smooth and scenic, where you’ll see beautiful endless Amazon rainforest – trees everywhere and rivers flowing. As you fly over Kaieteur Falls, the pilot will fly down near the falls so you can get your first glimpses of it. Have your cameras ready for photos and videos as the view of Kaieteur Falls is just magnificent.
Arrival at Kaieteur National Park: tmall landing strip in the middle of Kaieteur National Park is next to a big hut, which acts as a souvenir shop, place to stay and washrooms. It’s a wooden base in the middle of the jungle.
We have our lunch here – bottle of water, spicy sandwich and a jam sandwich and soon we are off on the walk to explore this part of the Amazon and more importantly the Kaieteur Falls!
Nature at Kaieteur National Park: the terrain we walk on is all natural, apart from the custom built steps.
We are told that there isn’t really a threat of insect bites here and that insect repellent is completely unnecessary!
We are also shown the point where the overland walk arrives at the Kaieteur Airfield. We saw trees which contains frogs inside water within it, which help deter mosquitos. We also spotted some white necked swifts and some centipedes.
The first of our four viewing points for the Kaieteur Falls is Johnson’s viewing point and it’s a short, easy walk to get to it.
On arrival at Johnson’s Viewing Point we catch our first proper glimpse of Kaieteur Falls and it is memorable. Everybody in our group grabs the photo opportunity naturally, unaware there are three more even better view points to come! A
Boy Scouts Viewing Point: In the 1930’s, the boy scouts once built a shelter here nearby the viewing point, with a hiking challenge required in order to earn a badge of honour.
The walk from the remains of the shelter down the the viewing point is just a few minutes. Then we are feasted with the Boy Scouts viewing point, which is closer and bigger than Johnsons.
Rainbow Viewing Point: the third viewing point is stunning until we reach the final viewing point, which is mind blowing.
We are lucky on the day as the sun is shining and a rainbow is clear for most of the walk, and we grab plenty of rainbow photos. Oddly the view of the rainbow was better from the Johnsons and Boy Scouts lookout points than the actual Rainbow named one!
The Top of Kaieteur Falls is epic and a moment of awe, where the river just drops and the falls begins. The endless gushing waters we see here are a sight to behold.
The burning question is how high is it? Obviously depending on the amount of water, the climate at that time etc. the exact height varies. Most sources site it as 226 metres in height.
It also has just one single drop – it is a standalone waterfall and for this reason it is believed to be the highest standalone waterfall in the world.
What does the name Kaieteur Falls mean? There is an ancient story about a family who pushed one of their members on a boat over the edge of the waterfall, in local dialect “Kaieteur” means “old man falls”. It is also possibly named after a chief called Kai.
Staying Overnight at Kaieteur Falls: some people go overland which takes a few days, and some pencil in the luxury of spending a night here, within a few hundred metres of the Kaieteur Falls. The price of a bed for the night in the lodge is 3,000 Guyana Dollars, which is only $15 US.