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mount Roraima
Written by Jerem   
Monday, 01 July 2019

The area between Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana is know for its landscape of savanna, and beautiful wild table-mountains. Few of them are accessible in some days walk. I did not think of going there because of the proximity to Venezuela, but a lucky coincidence gave me that chance.

roraima day 2 roraima day 2

On the road north of Manaus, i meet Mickael, who is cycling around south America and did the hike to mount Roraima (one of these table mountains) some days ago. He convinces me to give it a try.

So 2 days later, I am at the border try to find a place to park the car for a few days. I meet a former legionnaire, now policeman in Brazil, who helps me to park in the military compound. I rapidly pack my backpack for the hike, and walk to the border. As seen before in Colombia and Ecuador, there are a lot of refugees from Venezuela. There is a single long queue at the immigration, that doesn't seem to move forward at all for about an hour. I was almost ready to leave when i see a group of 3 people, who don't fit more than me in the crowd. Diego, David and Piotr are crossing the border too, and planning to hike to the mount Roraima too. I wait a bit more and the queue starts to move on (as if there was only one officer stamping passports at its end, and that he has been out for lunch). The other side of the border looks comparatively deserted and is much faster. We take a taxi to the next city where my new mates have to buy food for the hike, and drive the next 80km on the main road in a public bus. During the evening, I get the proof that i packed to fast in the morning, having left in the car walking poles, head light and camera.

bus bus savanna savanna

The next morning, we all 4 walk the village in search for a 4WD that could drive us the start of the trail, some 25 km from here. There are a few of them here, but no one has fuel (or wishes to use it) to drive us. After 2 hours, we decide to walk. The track is indeed very rough for a normal car, but boring to walk, and the sun and the heat make that long hike not so enjoyable. On the way, we pass near a small gold mine, where we meet Armando who will guide us to the top of the mountain the next day.

san francisco san francisco premier jour premier jour

The second day is quite similar to the first one, walking in the flat savanna, but the view to the mountains becomes very impressive. In the evening, we cross 2 rivers with knee-deep water and sleep in a hut at the foot of the mountain.

canaima 1 canaima 1 canaima 2 canaima 2

river 1 river 1 river 2 river 2

After some hours of moderate slope, The third day is the final ascent to the top of the mountain. The trail passes through a small breach in the cliff, under the waterfalls that come from the top of the plateau. We arrive at the top late afternoon, not long before dark, in a drizzle that will stay with us most of the time that we we'll spend on the top.

3eme jour 1 3eme jour 1 3eme jour 2 3eme jour 2

The landscape at the top is incredible, made of pink sandstone (the river beds are of pink sand, but the stones are actually cover by a thin layer of black moss) , quartz lodes, and a few endemic plants. We spend the day here, enjoying the plateau and the view to the savanna some 1500m below.

river 1 river 1 tepuy 1 tepuy 1

tepuy 4 tepuy 4 tepuy 3 tepuy 3

tepuy 5 tepuy 5 tepuy 6 tepuy 6

On the next day we start our way back. The last days of rain have made the rivers higher, and we have to wait some hours before attempting to cross the first one.

Piotr will stay a few more days in the area, but David and Diego are going to Guyana too, so we decide to continue together for the next few days.

descente 1 descente 1 descente 2 descente 2



#1 fox 2019-07-23 20:28
The landscape at the top is awesome, the stalagmite-like black rock formations and the yellow colored water in ponds make me think you are actually visiting another world…