Image Source: Inti
Situated on the Venezuelan border between Brazil and Guyana, the remote and beautiful region of La Gran Sabana (The Great Savannah) certainly lives up to its name. A popular destination for adventure tourism, most visitors overlook some of the world’s most incredible wonders. Make sure you are not guilty of the same sin and follow our simple guide to getting the most out of this incredible destination.
In the language of the Pemon, the natives of the Gran Sabana, Tepui means ‘House of the Gods’. There is no finer description of the table top mountains that characterise the region. Set against often dramatic skies, these peaks are distinctive individuals rather than connected ranges. The plateaus of the Tepui are isolated from the forests of the ground, making them distinctive ecological islands. This means they are the only place on the planet where you can see certain plant and animal species. Thrill seekers to the region often head straight for Mount Roraima, the highest mountain. They bypass the smaller but equally spectacular Mounts Auyantepui, Matawi and Acopan, themselves a hidden gem of the region. Explore the others at http://www.theleap.co.uk/blog/4-hidden-gems-backpackers-miss-la-gran-sabana-venezuela/.
Image Source: Claudia Salazar
The Guiana Shield
The Tepuis belong to the Guiana Highlands, the uppermost elevation of the Guiana Shield. Nearly two billion years old, this geological formation is the oldest on the planet and the source of some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls.
Image Source: Inti
The region boasts many of the world record’s for natural sights and the waterfalls are no exception. Gran Sabana is the home of Angel Falls, the highest waterfall on Earth. This site is so remote it can only be reached by boat or light aircraft and was not found until the 1930s. Not surprisingly, the best time to see the falls is in the wet season. At this time, they cascade off the end of the table mountains to fall into lagoons surrounded by the tropical rainforest.
With its set of waterfalls, the lagoon at Canaima is a must see for travellers. The cluster of rapids falling into its expansive waters is made up of Salto Ucaima, Golondrina, Wadaima and Hacha. The abundant minerals of the red rocks of the Guiana Shield colour the waters of the lagoon an unusual red. The contrasting pink sands are the result of the quartz intermingled with them and contribute towards making this the kind of site you really only see once in a lifetime.
Santa Elene De Uairen
The most significant town of the region, Santa Elene De Uairen is a great place to base yourself when visiting La Gran Sabana. The starting point for treks up Mount Roraima, the city also has great bus links to the Venezuela-Brazil highway, connecting it with Cuidad Bolivar. Here you can catch a light aircraft to the Canima Lagoons or a boat to Angel Falls.
So whether you are planning a gap year, anniversary celebrations or just a holiday you will never forget, you really can do no better than La Gran Sabana for the trip of a lifetime.
Image Source: Sigfredo Rodriquez