Roraima the rainmaker

This from the deep of the montane forest surrounding the sheer cliffs of Roraima. Without the mountain there would be no forest or streams! It might feel a bit inconvenient for a human to walk in this dripping, moist forest which is showered frequently year round, but it is abundantly clear from afar that the high plain called Gran Sabana is without trees except in narrow bands around the tepuis, or tablemountains, like the Roraima and alongside the rivers fed by the same water.

The native Pemon (Pyro) indians have a deep love for fire and they burn the land as often as they can, thus prohibiting any regrowth of the forest that is left. Some years the fires get out of control, and you can see the devastating trail of blackness almost all the way up to the walls of the tepuis in some places. But because the amount of water the mountains are producing is so large, there are countless streams like this one and lichens and mosses hanging off trees which are soaked in water – everything is basically wet like a bog, thus a narrow band of forest is protected from the Pyro’s incessant burning and the occasional lightning strike.

Last updated on 21 June 2015