The web's most comprehensive site for the Lost World of the Gran Sabana, Roraima, Canaima National Park and Angel Falls

Canaima Park

Angel Falls
Map 1
Map 2

El Pauji

Further information
Travel book
Información en Español

Find out more about the ascent of these two amazing mountains


A stretch of 'road' on the way to El Pauji

Practicals :

-- Waterproofs and sealable waterproof bags. "Canoe" bags for inside rucksacks
-- Sunhat and suncream, moisturiser
-- Decent waterbottles, if possible with insulation: DRINK LOTS!
-- Good torch, plus back-up, plus spare batteries
-- Ankle high boots. Shin-high if you're trekking a lot and worried about snakes. Gaiters useful.
-- Insect repellent for mosies. Full-length shirts. Dictionary of curses in 26 languages for puri-puri midges...
-- Sweater, or "fleece" for cold evenings and nights
-- Warm sleeping bag if camping or staying in basic accommodation
-- Bags of silica gel to combat humidity in optical/ photographic equipment.
-- Compass if you're trekking.

Medical :

-- Malaria tablets (Chloroquine or Paludrine, Lariam, etc.)
-- Snake antidotes if possible
-- "Fake skin" pads for blisters while trekking
-- Pemon claim: rub garlic on your legs to ward off snakes. As yet to be proven by me...but give it a go anyway
-- Ask locals for aloe vera (savila) plants which disinfect wounds quickly. Also bee's propolio is an excellent antiseptic and healer.

When to go :

-- Driest months are November to April. Probably best time for views and full waterfalls is January and February.
-- Busiest times are Easter and then Christmas.

Photographic :

-- Be wary of temperature changes. Leave equipment to dry naturally is my advice.
-- Macro lens (for orquids and tepuy plant life)
-- Fuji Sensia 100 or Velvia 50 give excellent colours. Kodachrome (especially 100VS) tends to exaggerate greens (though blues are amazing), but is still good allround.

Independent travellers :

-- Be wary of army alcabala checkpoints (at San Ignacio de Yuruani and at Luepa): make sure all your papers are in order and be courteous and cooperative at all times.
-- Crime is virtually unheard of anywhere in the Sabana, and camping is very safe, but be on the safe side and try not to leave valuables in your tent around very visited areas (Jaspe, Kama).

Roraima :

Stock up on high-energy food such as peanuts (or peanut butter) and chocolate/sweets/candy before you go. Most supermarkets sell white wafer bread made from manioc (casabe). It's light and fills your stomach in no time at all -- despite being about as tasty as sawdust.

Waterproof the inside of your rucksack, put everything into bags. There is a shop opposite the CANTV station in Santa Elena which sells bags for carrying ice. These are perfect for a trek and far more effective than normal plastic bags. Buy some tape in a ferreteria to seal them.

Take repellent since the 'plaga'/puri puri midges near the rivers Kukenan and Tek are VORACIOUS. Long-sleeved shirts advisable.

Keep weight as close to your back as possible. Keep straps tight, but do not cut your blood's circulation. DRINK LOTS!

Don't litter ANYWHERE. Bring a small shovel for making a hole to defecate in. Don't shit anywhere near a river.

For equipment, your best bet is asking around in Santa Elena. (Try La Casa de Gladys, Ruta Salvaje, Last Frontiers, Kamadac). Most tour operators will rent you sleeping bags and tents (you may have to leave a deposit). If going independently, you will need a decent sleeping bag, a good tent, a gas stove, a compass and all mentioned in first section.

See above for more...

Other :

Pens and paper or school materials for missions and Pemon settlements.
Photos of home.
Teddybears or comfort blankets...


All of the material on this site is  © Dominic Hamilton1998-2007, unless otherwise stated. Unauthorised copying or downloading prohibited.
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