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Oshi Falls (King George VI Falls)

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 5.688673 N 61.1128 W
No:305        (list of all attractions)
Values:Geology, Visual
Address:South America, Guyana, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, the fall of Oshi River over Pacaraima escarpment
Alternate names:Salto Oshi, King George VI Falls, Ushi Falls, Utshi Falls, Uitshi Falls, Cataratas del Rey Jorge VI (in Spanish)
Height:˜ 214 m
Width:˜ 30 m
Average volume:˜ 6 m³ / s
Oshi Falls, Guyana
Oshi Falls. / © P.Greaves, May 2014, published with kind permission.

Oshi Falls belong to the most spectacular falls in the world - but few people manage to see them.

This waterfall represents a single, 214 m tall, vertical plunge adorning a broad cliff amphitheatre. The landscape here still is covered with pristine rainforest.

Paul A. Zahl

Most likely the first white man to reach this (and the nearby Kamarang Falls which have similar size) waterfall was the young American entomologist and physician Paul A. Zahl in 1938.

Zahl wrote a book "To The Lost World", describing his adventures in the spectacular highlands of Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil. Later he became a prominent author, writing many articles to geography magazines and taking great pictures of the natural world.

Erroneous height estimate

Zahl made a mistake when estimating the height of Oshi Falls (he wrote - "Utshi Falls"). He dropped large stones and counted seconds while these stones were falling - and calculated that falls are some 1600 feet (some 490 m) tall.(2) Thus Oshi Falls were listed among the tallest waterfalls of the world and often mentioned in different almanacs and books of records.

Oshi Falls, Guyana
Oshi Falls and members of "Lost Worlds" expedition (from the left): Monty Halls, Bosie Vincent and Patrick Greaves. / © P.Greaves, May 2014, published with kind permission.

"Lost Worlds" expedition

In May 2014 an expedition reached the falls. It was organized by a team of explorers and companies, including Bosie Vincent, Patrick Greaves and broadcast production company "Electric Sky Productions", with the participation of Monty Halls and Leo Houlding. The aim of expedition was to produce a new "Discovery" channel series named "Lost Worlds" depicting some of the least explored areas of the world. Vicinities of Oshi Falls definitely fall into this category.

Patrick Greaves writes: "The area was absolutely incredible, truly untouched. However, the falls were far more challenging than we initially predicted. The area around the base simulated conditions close to a hurricane and were truly ferocious and the rock which formed the waterfall was new to even the climbers, like shale rock it was thin and broke away easily. This made climbing extremely dangerous and eventually we abandoned this attempt and instead descended down from the top in order to see what life lived around the cliff."

"We measured the falls at being 214 meters in height. The initial view of the falls is slightly misleading and almost forms a natural illusion due to the rock contour lines which create an overhanging cliff face. Our estimated were based on rope lengths, calculations by clinometers and the use of an altimeter which was calibrated before use."

Wondermondo expresses sincere gratitude to Patrick Greeves about the information and images!


See Oshi Falls (King George VI Falls) on the map of Guyana!


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