Located in a jungle in Bolívar State of Venezuela, the angel falls is clearly one of the most fascinating sights to watch. The height of angel falls makes it the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. The angel falls gets its name in the 20th century. The waterfall is named after an American aviator called Jimmie Angel. He was the first person who saw this waterfall by flying over it on November 18, 1933. When Jimmie Angel died in 1956, the ashes of his dead body were spread out all over the angel falls as per his wishes. Today, Venezuela has become one of the leading countries for tourism across the world thanks to angel falls. However, it is not a piecemeal to get there. Let’s explore more about this waterfall in detail!
Name of Discoverer: Jimmie Angel
Height: 979 metres (3,212 feet)
Plunge: 807 metres (2,648 feet)
- In Spanish, the angel falls is known as Salto Ángel which also bears the name of its discoverer.
- The name of this waterfall was changed in 2009. The government of Venezuela decided to give it the indigenous name in Pemon language called Kerepakupai Vená. This word means ‘waterfall of the deepest place’.
- It is also called Parakupá Vená which means ‘the fall from the highest point’.
- The mountain from where it drops is called Auyán-tepui. This tepui (table top mountain) is one of the largest and most visited tepuis of the world.
- The angel falls drops into Canaima National Park which is Venezuela’s second biggest park.
- The tepui of angel falls is located in a region called La Gran Sabana in southeastern Venezuela. In English this region is known as ‘The Great Savanna’.
- In 1933, an American aviator named Jimmie Angel flew over this waterfall for the first time.
- On October 9, 1937, Jimmie Angel went to this waterfall for the second time but the wheels of his plane got stuck in the mud during landing. He was accompanied by his wife and two others. They had to come down from the tepui on their feet and reached the city in about 11 days. The plane remained at the top of the tepui for about 33 years when in 1970 military helicopters finally brought it back.
- The first European who saw this waterfall is thought to be Sir Walter Raleigh. However, some historians claim that the first European to spot it was a Spanish discoverer named Fernando de Berrío.
- The records of the Venezuelan discoverer named Ernesto Sánchez La Cruz reveals that he saw this waterfall back in 1912. However, he did not advertize it.
- Alexander Laime is the first individual to reach angel falls on his feet. He was born in Latvia and in 1946, he was able to reach angel falls on his own. He is also the first person to make it to the upper side of this waterfall.
- A trail that goes from Churun River to the base of angel falls is also straightened for the first time by Laime. There is also a viewpoint on this trail from where tourists take photographs of this waterfall. In honor of its explorer, this viewpoint is named after him i.e. Mirador Laime which means ‘Laime’s Viewpoint’.
- On 13 May, 1949, the height of angel falls was officially determined through an expedition supervised by American journalist named Ruth Robertson.
- The first attempt to mount the tepui from its face was made in 1968. However, since it was a wet season and the rocks were slippery, the attempt went in vain.
- On 13 January, 1971, the first successful ascend was made from the face of the cliff. It took the climbers 9 days plus a half day more to climb to the top of angel falls.