Mount Roraima

There are many amazing places in the world. One of them is Mount Roraima, whose name translates as “big blue-green mountain.

General information about the mountain

General information about Mount Roraima
Blue-green Roraima Mountain.

Roraima is a natural attraction in Venezuela that thousands of tourists come to see every year. The local Indians call it and other mountains of this type “tepui”.

Location of Mount Roraima on the map

The mountain is located in South America on the border of three countries – Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. But officially it belongs to Venezuela and is part of the Canaima National Park.

On the map
Mount Roraima is at the junction of three countries.

The origin of the mountain

2 billion years ago, Roraima was a rock that was part of a plateau of gigantic proportions. Over time, the plateau has been eroded by erosion, and some sections, including Roraima, have remained standing, becoming mountains.

They acquired the kind of mountains now called “table mountains” for their truncated flat tops and vertical walls.

Roraima is considered the highest of the mountains in this region that could have been formed in this way. The highest point reaches 2810 m.

Characteristics of a natural landmark

If you look at the mountain from below, you get the impression that it has a completely flat surface, but in fact this is not the case. There are both hills and depressions. In addition, the entire area of the summit is covered with many cracks that rush to the base of Roraima.

There are also many water sources on the plateau. The clearest lakes, fastest rivers, peat bogs and waterfalls. The latter can be found almost everywhere.

Climate and average air temperature

The climate at the foot and at the top is not much, but different. The rainy and dry seasons alternate. During the rainy season (May to October) it is not recommended to travel here, because fog forms on the plateau, which lasts for weeks.

As you climb to the top, the air becomes wetter and colder. The region has a tropical climate, but at the top of Roraima it is different. Here the temperature does not rise above +10 … +15°C during the day and drops to +5°C at night.

Features of Mount Roraima

Because of the isolated environment here has formed a section of terrain with a large number of endemic species of animals and plants, which are not found anywhere else in the world.

Flora and fauna of the area

Roraima is home to a unique fauna. Many species of animals are colored black. There are black tiny toads and scorpions, black leeches and dragonflies.

The animal life in general is not rich, and of the large species inhabited only capybaras. There are not many birds, as few trees grow here because of the frequent lightning strikes on the surface.

Flora also has its own peculiarities. Many varieties of carnivorous plants are found on the summit, feeding on insects and other small critters that they can capture.

Flora and fauna
Flora on Mount Roraima.

The presence of a plateau

The Table Mountains, among their features, have a flat top that forms a large plateau.

Roraima Plateau
A large plateau on the mountain.

Photo of a natural landscape

The views from the mountain are beautiful. For the sake of such experiences, contemplation of natural beauty people from all over the world rush to the conquest of the tepuis.

View from the mountain
The view from the mountain is fantastic.

Exploring Mount Roraima

Many attempts to ascend one of the tepuis have been made since the early 19th century, most of them ending tragically. By the end of the nineteenth century one British expedition did manage to do so. A group of daredevils conquered Roraima and a world that had existed in isolation for centuries opened before them.

Research on the area began half a century after this event. Then scientists learned about the origin of the mountain and began to study the fauna and flora of the surface.

The largest expedition with research climbed the mountain in the 2000s. Then the largest network of quartz caves in the world was discovered.

On top
The black surface of the Roraima Plateau.

How to climb Mt. Roraima

Tourists climb the mountain on foot. The route is not easy, so you need a good level of training and physical fitness. In this case, special equipment for the ascent is not required.

There is an option to climb to the top by helicopter, but it is quite expensive, so not many decide to use it.

In addition, this method deprives one of the pleasure of contemplating the views of the ascent.

Climb the mountain with the help of peculiar steps made of stone. The ascent itself is quite gentle, which makes the way to the top a little easier.

A tour group on the summit.

Finding a guide and preparing for the ascent

It is forbidden to climb the mountain without a guide. It is not safe for the tourists themselves. In addition, the area itself belongs to the protected area, which is carefully monitored here.

You can walk only on special trails, which will be able to guide tourists. The guides are chosen from the local Indian tribe.

Preparation for the ascent begins in advance. Two to three months in advance, you should be vaccinated against several types of diseases that are found in the region.

Since the complexity of the route is above average, it is worth preparing your physical form for the ascent in advance. To go through the mountains with a heavy backpack a few dozen miles for all the days of the route will be impossible for a person accustomed to a passive way of life.

What you must have with you

You only need to take the essentials with you:

  • backpack with a capacity of 50-60 liters;
  • sleeping bag and mat;
  • waterproof clothing;
  • raincoat;
  • special trekking shoes;
  • A hat that will protect you from both the wind and the scorching sun;
  • first aid kit;
  • sunscreen;
  • flashlight with a set of batteries;
  • folding knife.

Food on the route is often prepared by the guides themselves. They carry almost all the food on them. You can pay the guides to carry the tourist’s equipment as well, but then the trip will cost more.

How to get to Mount Roraima

All tourist itineraries start from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. From there, travelers take a bus to the small town of Santa Elena de Huiren in the southeast of the country.

From this town, the trip continues by jeep to the Indian village of Paratepui. Here is the checkpoint in the park, and from there walk to the first camp 12 km on a flat road. From the camp begins the ascent to the summit with a guide.

The Venezuelan natural landmark can also be reached from Brazil. Then take a bus to the Venezuelan border, and then take a cab to Santa Elena de Huiren.

Excursion to Mt.
Traveling to the mountain with a guide.

Interesting facts and legends of different peoples of the world

Facts about Roraima:

  1. The writer Arthur Conan Doyle took this place as the prototype for his book “The Lost World. According to his idea, the dinosaurs in his work were able to survive due to their isolation from the rest of the world.
  2. Roraima inspired not only the famous writer, but also the creators of the animated film “Up” and director Steven Spielberg in creating his iconic film “Jurassic Park.”
  3. The top of the mountain is surrounded by clouds almost all the time. The dense fog that this creates adds to the mystery of the place, generating many incredible stories.

There are local legends associated with the mountain. For example, from the representatives of the Pemon Indians you can hear the story that on the mountain once lived the progenitor of all people – the goddess Quin.

They called these mountains by the word “tepui,” which means “abode of the gods. Based on the name, it is easy to understand why the locals did not seek to conquer the top. After all, the deities can be angry and punish a person who decides to enter their home.

There are other mysterious stories about Roraima. According to one group of explorers, their wanderings across the plateau lasted four years, even though it was impossible. The food supply was designed for only a few weeks of travel. And it seemed to them themselves that only two or three months had passed.

Many incredible finds have been discovered on Roraima. In the caves, scientists found images of animals and people.

Skeletons with a sweet odor were also found there. After inhaling this fragrance, people fell into a coma, and after coming out of it, they told amazing things that happened to them during that time.

In addition to the cave finds, a site was found on the surface with a complete absence of vegetation, which could not have appeared naturally. Also on the plateau they found some silver-colored powder, which was an alloy of metals.

Even now it was impossible to produce such material. All this led to theories about aliens who used the surface of Roraima as a landing pad.

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