Kaieteur Falls is a high-volume waterfall on the Potaro River in central Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni region. It is 226 meters (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 meters (822 ft). 

On 24 April 1870, Charles Barrington Brown, one of two British geologists appointed government surveyors to the colony of British Guiana (now known as Guyana), became the first European to see Kaieteur Falls. The other surveyor was James Sawkins. Brown and James Sawkins arrived in Georgetown in 1867 and did some of their mapping and preparation of geological reports together, some in separate expeditions, but Sawkins had taken a break from his work when Brown came upon Kaieteur.


Kaieteur falls

This waterfall is Kaieteur Falls, found in the nation of Guyana within Kaieteur Falls National Park. 

This waterfall sits on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo River that drains a large portion of South America north of the Amazon Basin. 

The falls cascade over cliffs made of conglomerate and sandstone, dropping over 225 meters in the initial fall. These falls aren’t either the biggest or tallest in the world, but the drop is 4 times the height of the well-known Niagara Falls and twice the height of Victoria falls. These falls are therefore one of a few found globally that have both a very large drop, a high flow rate, and a narrow focus in its canyon, giving the waters pouring over the cliff immense power by the time they reach the base.


Image credit: Cody H (creative Commons):

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Kaieteur | ©Michael Lam (Guyana)

Kaieteur Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls on the planet. The falls occur where the Potaro River plunges 741 feet (226 m) off the edge of the Mazaruni-Potaro Shield into a long, broad isolated gorge. The volume of the Potaro River can vary substantially depending on the season, but the average volume of water flowing over the falls is somewhere around 23,000 cubic feet per second, making this a rare combination of a very tall waterfall on a high volume river [1].

Kaieteur Falls is about five times higher than the more well known Niagara Falls, located on the border between Canada and the United States and about two times the height of the Victoria Falls located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. It is a single drop waterfall which is the 122nd tallest (single and multi-drop waterfall) in the world according to the World Waterfalls Database [2].