Oshi Falls

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Oshi Falls, Guyana
Oshi Falls / © P.Greaves, May 2014, published with kind permission.
Oshi Falls are some of 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 and members of "Lost Worlds" expedition, 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 Greaves about the information and images!

Osh Falls are included in the following lists:

Map of 10 major waterfalls in Guyana
Waterfalls of Guyana, map
Waterfalls of Guyana

References

  1. World Waterfall Database. Oshi, Salto Accessed on 23 March 2012
  2. Paul Zahl. Two Waterfalls in British Guiana. The Geographical Journal, Vol 93, No 6, 1939.

Images

  1. Living Sculpture by Bruce J. Morgan. Utchi Falls, Accessed on 1 April 2012

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Oshi Falls 5.688673, -61.112807 Oshi Falls
Coordinates: 5.688673 N 61.1128 W
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: (3.5 / 5)
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

Landmarks of Guyana

Georgetown Cathedral in Guyana, interior
Georgetown Cathedral, interior / Ian Mackenzie, / CC BY 2.0
In future Guyana may bring many positive surprises – this country is little explored and may hide unique natural monuments unknown to the people. For most part Guyana consists of unspoilt nature – wast expanses of tropical forests, savannah, mountains.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Recommended books

Navigators Travel to Guyana


Navigators Travel to Guyana is the follow up to Navigators Travel to Barbados written by Howard Liverpool. This time our intrepid explorers travel to Guyana and learn about the history and geography of the country. They also sample some of the local cuisine and have a scary encounter with a ram sheep.

Natural Wonders of the World


From the Rocky Mountains to the Great barrier Reef and everything in between, Natural Wonders of the World combines breathtaking landscape photography and illustrations with 3-D terrain models and other explanatory artworks to reveal what lies beneath the surface and explain the geological processes to show how the features were formed. Plants and animals that inhabit each environment are also included, making Natural Wonders of the World a complete celebration of our world.

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