Mount Roraima





Location: Bolívar State Map


Description of Roraima

Mount Roraima is geological formation with a flat top located in Bolívar State of Venezuela. The mountain was first climbed in 1884 by Everard F. im Thun and Harry Inniss Perkins along with several local Native Americans. This unique mountain has its own unique biosphere. The description of its flora and fauna influenced famous author Arthur Conan Doyle to write his book "The Lost World" in 1912.
Roraima is a massive sandstone geological formation in a shape of a huge mesa that towers over surrounding Venezuelan savannah. It is considered to be one of the oldest geological formations on the planet, dating back to the Precambrian period or two billion years ago. Today it is a popular destinations for backpackers and climbers. You can also take a view at the mountain from the height of a bird flight by taking a helicopter that you can rent in Santa Elena de Uairen in Bolivar State of Venezuela.
The name Roraima comes from Pemon Native American language of Pemon. "Roroi" is translated as "blue- green", while "ma" means "great". Although many Pemon natives also referred to Roraima as "the mother of all waters" since its summit contains numerous waterfalls that feed waters of Orinoco river, Essequibo river and Amazon rivers. Local Pemon and Kapon indigenous tribes believed that this geologic formation was remains of the huge tree that once grew here. In the Golden Age when people behaved virtuously they came here and took fruits from the tree. However their hearts turned cold and evil. Legends of local tribes claim that the tree fell to the ground after god Makunaima tipped it. Tree's fall caused massive flood that wiped much of life around the World. Eventually the waters receded, the tree trunk disappeared, but the stomp of the magic great tree remained and turned to stone.
Most of hikers and climbers travel to a small village of Paraitepui. A dirt road (about 50 kilometres) leads here from the Gran Sabana road. The turn is situated around kilometre 88. Once you get to the Paraitepui you can walk up a marked trail or hire one of the Pemon Indian guides. The path to Roraima is the same that Sir Everard im Thurn followed on the first recorded visit of a Westerner. The first camp Tek along the path is situated approximately 3 hours from Paritepuy. Camp Kukenan is the second camp site that is situated on the banks of Kukenan river. Many tourists spend their first night here. And finally Base Camp is a situated at the beginning of the final and hardest ascent to the top of Roraima plateau.
It takes about two days to get to the base of Roraima and another day to climb to the top. Rains can significantly extend your ascend, but creating floods and pounding tourists. Keep this in mind and dress appropriately. Geologic formation known as "La Rampa" is a natural staircase that leads hikers to the top of Roraima. This is the only ascent to the top of the mountain that doesn't require climbing skills or gear. However other routes do exist from Venezuela and Guyana that needs physical fitness and good climbing skills. The difficulty exists in the weather conditions rather than the mount itself. Low clouds and common precipitations make the trip fairly hard.


Once you get to the top of the Roraima plateau you will see unusual, barren landscape. Landscape as well as flora and fauna here has nothing to do with the famous "The Lost World" by Arthur Conan Doyle those plot were set here. There are not dinosaurs or other extinct prehistoric animals. However it is unique for numerous endemic species of plants that grow here. The highest point on Roraima plateau is Maverick Rock at an elevation of 2810 meters above sea level while the plateau lies at an average height of 2500 meters. Keep in mind that once you get to the top you can get lost easily. Low cloud coverage make orientation for backpackers particularly difficult.