The Mighty Orinduik Falls: A natural wonder to behold
While many of the local waterfalls carry its own mesmerising beauty, the natural exquisiteness of the Orinduik Falls is certainly a wonder to behold.
Stretched out beautifully on the border of Guyana and Brazil, this falls lie on the Ireng River, which is an important highland tributary that thunders over naturally formed steps and terraces made of red jasper before meeting with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River.
In fact, the name of the falls is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name given to an aquatic plant found in theses falls.
This natural landmark is also sheltered by the undulating, grass-covered hills of the enormous Pakaraima Mountains. The magnificent Orinduik Falls is a wide, multi-tiered series of cascades which makes it an ideal waterfall for swimming, unlike many others. What makes it absolutely conducive for this exercise too, is that the falls gives way to numerous, natural jacuzzis that are showered by the tumbling falls. The Orinduik Falls in all its glory is approximately 25 m tall and more than 150 m wide.
There are, of course, other waterfalls along the Ireng River, such as the stunning Kurutuik Falls which is approximately 100m tall and is located more than 40 km to the north. But due to how difficult it can be to access these falls, they are rarely visited.
But the unique wide structure of the Orinduik falls is what always manages to captivate its visitors and as a result of its enchanting characteristics, it has been deemed to be one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana’s hinterland.
The Ireng River (or Maú River) upon which it lies comfortably is also another interesting component of the falls. This tributary forms part ofGuyana’s western border with Brazil. It flows through the valleys of the Pakaraima Mountains for most of its length. It is the only major river in Guyana which flows from North to South and it is one of the northernmost tributaries of the Amazon river system.
The larger part of the Ireng River basin forms as the frontier between Brazil and Guyana. The Ireng’s main branches are the Uailan andCanã rivers on the Brazilian side and the Cacó, Dacã and Socobi rivers on the Guyanese side.
These rivers merge with the upper and middle sections of the Ireng which gives the Orinduik falls a gorgeous enclosing effect by these tributaries snaking around it. Their courses are through magnificent formations of sedimentary rocks formed by tectonic movements in ancient times. The Ireng River’s waters are dark, bearing a striking resemblance to that of Rio Negronear Manaus, in Brazilian state of Amazonas. As such, it is considered to be the most picturesque of Guyana’s many rivers.
The Ireng River brings much interesting wildlife to the Orinduik falls as the region is teeming with wildlife. The area is home to such reptile species as the Antilles Leaf-toed Gecko(Hemidactylus palaichthus)and Rainbow Whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus); amphibians such as the The Sapo Dorado(Bufo guttatus)and Leptodactylus bolivianus; birds including the The Muscovy Duck(Cairina moschata), The Black Vulture(Coragyps atratus), The Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), The Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)and numerous other; mammals include The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris),jaguar (Panthera onca) and the red-rumped agouti(Dasyprocta leporina).
But the journey to this falls can prove to be a tricky one and is often advised that first time travelers be guided by one of the country’s most popular day trip, explorers, –The Wilderness Explorers.
The trip to the exotic falls starts with a flight from the Ogle Airstrip followed by two hours of trekking.
The Wilderness Explorers has been one of the most active facilitator of trips to this falls and for nearly 20 years, it has been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism locally.
The agency enjoys organising the journey, specifically as it relates to getting patrons the best local lodges, prioritising the activity list, and setting the stage for an unforgettable getaway to the splendid Orinduik Falls.