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Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepuis (table-top mountain) or plateaux in South America. It is located at the junction of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. A characteristic large flat-topped mountain surrounded by cliffs 400 to 1,000 meters high. The highest point of Mount Roraima is located on the southern edge of the cliff at an altitude of 2,810 meters in Venezuela, and another protrusion at an altitude of 2,772 meters at the junction of the three countries in the north of the plateau is the highest point in Guyana. The name of Mount Roraima came from the native Pemon people. Roroi in the Pemon language means “blue-green”, and ma means “great”.

Leaching caused by intense rainfall has shaped the peculiar topography of the summit, and the geographical isolation of Mount Roraima has made it home to much endemic flora and fauna. Western exploration of Mount Roraima did not begin until the 19th century when it was first climbed by a British expedition in 1884. Yet despite subsequent expeditions, its flora and geology remain largely unknown. The privileged setting and relatively easy access and climbing conditions on the south side of the cliffs make Mount Roraima one of the most popular destinations for hikers.

Mount Roraima is located in the northern part of South America, the Pacarema Mountains in the eastern part of the Guyana Plateau, Brazil in the east accounting for 5% of its area, Guyana in the north accounting for 10%, and Venezuela in the south and west accounting for 85%. Access to Mount Roraima from the Venezuelan side is close to the road and relatively easy; however, for both Brazil and Guyana the area is completely isolated and can only be reached by a few days of forest hikes or small local airstrip.

Mount Roraima is a flat-topped mountain, typical of the Guyana Shield, with an elevation of about 1,200 meters in the southeast and only about 600 meters in the northwest. The south, southeast, east, northeast, and northwest faces are all formed by straight cliffs up to about 1,000 meters high. At the southern end of the mountain, part of the cliff has collapsed, forming a spectacular natural boulder. The base of the cliff is surrounded by steep slopes to the south and east, and the north and west sides form river valleys leading to the summit.

The top of Mount Roraima has a length of more than 10 kilometers, a maximum width of 5 kilometers, an area of ​​about 33 to 50 square kilometers, an altitude of more than 2200 meters, and an average altitude of 2600–2700 meters. The plateau is a pseudo-karst surface etched by heavy rainfall. The highest point is 2810 meters above sea level, located at the southern end of the plateau and the highest point in the state of Bolivar, 8.25 kilometers north of the summit is another high point with an altitude of 2,772 meters, which is the highest point in Guyana. In the northern part of the plateau is the landmark of the border between Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana, with an altitude of 2734 meters.

Due to its high altitude and proximity to the equator, Mount Roraima has a constant average annual temperature between 20 and 22 °C and annual rainfall of more than 1,500 mm, with 1,800 to 3,000 mm in parts of the rainy season from April to November. The climatic conditions at the top of the mountain differ significantly from its base, the high cloudiness in the region is associated with the prevailing northeasterly and southeasterly winds, and the relative humidity of the air remains between 75% and 85%.

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Mount Roraima

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