Angel Falls, Tallest in the World
Beauty of Angel Falls, Venezuela
The Tallest Falls in the World, Venezuela
Undisputed as the tallest falls in the world, Angel Falls measures 3212 feet and 500 feet at the base. They are 2.5 times as tall as the Empire State Building and 15 times taller than Niagra Falls. Almost inaccessible because of the terrain, isolation, and lack of roads.
The Auyan-tepui is believed to be a remnant of the mountains of ancient Gondwana before the continents broke away becoming continents. Some of the tepuis are believed to be over two billion years old.
The indigenous people, the Pemons revere the tepuis as protectors of their homeland.
Not until 1933 when Jimmie Angel flew over the falls searching for mining sites. In 1937, Angel returned to the site in his Flamingo airplane, El Rio Caroni, attempting to land on top of the tepui (flat part on top of a mountain). Unfortunately, the wheels of the plane sunk in the marshy soil.
Onboard with Angel was his wife, Marie, Gustavo Henry, and Miguel Delgado. They realized the only way down was to hike on foot. This arduous trek took eleven days. It would then be thirty-three days before the plane would be rescued off the plateau.
Today, the plane, restored by Aviation Museum, sits in front of the Cuidad Bolivar Airport.
Indeginous Pemont Natives
Jimmy Angel Discovered Angel Falls
Jimmie Angel was born in Cedar Valley, Missouri, in 1899. Early on, it is said he taught himself to fly by the age of 15. He became a test pilot, movie stunt pilot, flight instructor, and wanted nothing to do but fly and explore. He especially loved Central and South America.
He explored the Gran Sabana from 1933-1942, and because of Angel, the area was explored, mapped, and opened to scientific exploration.
One day in a bar in Panama, he met an American geologist, McCracken. The story goes that McCracken offered Angel $5,000. to fly him over southeast Venezuela. Angel agreed, and the two set off, landing on a tepui in Gran Sabana. Here, they removed many pounds of gold from the river on top of the plateau. McCracken later died in the U.S.
For the rest of his life, Angel was obsessed with Auyantopui, a 348 sq. mile tepui that he believed was where the river of gold was located. It is not known if he ever located the river of gold again.
Jimmie died in 1956, Panama. On 2 July 1960, his ashes were scattered over Angel Falls as he wished.
1939 Expedition to Angel Falls
Angel's plane, El Rio Caroni
Wildlife Near Angel Falls, Venezuela
Some of the wildlife is listed as endangered, even though the area is so isolated. Among the wildlife are:
Jaguar, Panthera Onca
Giant Anteater, Mymecophaga Tridactyia
Giant Armadillo, Priodontes Maximus
There are over 500 species of orchids, hundreds of birds, and flowers.
Birds and Flora of Angel Falls
Canaima National Park, Venezuela
Visiting Canaima National Forest and Angel Falls
It is a trip of a lifetime to see the forest and Angel Falls. It is suggested to sign up for a tour at the Cuidad Bolivar Airport. They can arrange all the necessary details for a two-night, three-day tour. It will save you money to book the tour at the airport. If you do not have proof of a required yellow fever vaccination, it can be gotten at the airport for free.
A plaque honoring Jimmie Angel is found here in the park.
Ruth Robertson, Photojournalist
Born in 1905 in Illinois, Ruth was a correspondent during WW II. Looking for more diversification, Ruth led an expedition in 1949 to Angel Falls. It would be the first successful overland expedition to reach Angel Falls. Four other expeditions failed in their quest, all by men.
She published her photos and notes in Jungle Journey to the World's Highest Waterfall published in the National Geographic, November 1949.
Ruth died in 1998 in Texas.
She then published her book, Churun Meru-The Tallest Angel, published in 1975.