Venezuela is a wonderful country with a diverse selection of pleasures - from its beautiful coastal beaches to the
Andes Mountains to the wildlife-rich area known as Los Llanos. Venezuela is also home to some fascinating flat-topped
mountains known as Tepuis. These very ancient mountains rise nearly straight up from the surrounding grasslands and
their flat-topped peaks are entirely isolated from their surroundings. Consequently, life has evolved completely
separately on the tops of these tepuis.
One of the tepuis is known as Roraima. It is
now accessible by a moderately difficult multi-day hike.
Roraima was first explored by an expedition financed by the National Geographic Society just after the beginning of
the twentieth century.
Explorers discovered an assortment of plant and animal life there that could be found nowhere else on earth. It became
the basis for a book entitled "The Lost World" written in the early 1900's by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The little mountain village of Los Nevados is a beautiful place worth a
visit. It can be reached by a beautiful hike after riding the longest cable car in the world high into the Andes.
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View From Roraima
Roraima is one of many unique mountains known as Tepuis.
Tepuis are tall flat-topped mountains that rise nearly straight
vertically from the grasslands where Venezuela, Brazil, and French Guiana meet. The tops of these mountains are so inaccessible
that none were explored until Roraima, when National Geographic sponsored an expedition there in the early 1900's.
Scientists learned that nearly half the life forms found there were unique and found nowhere else on earth.
Los Nevados is a beautiful village in the Andes Mountains of
Venezuela. A typical excursion there typically starts
from Merida, where the highest cable car in the world takes you high into the mountains. From there, a long,
beautiful hike will take you to this village.
This Anaconda was found in the wild in a swamp in the Los Llanos region of Venezuela.
It's sheer speculation what this anaconda had eaten. Perhaps it was a Capabara, perhaps a Caiman. In any case, the
curves and lumps in its enormously stretched belly was something that had been alive very shortly before we encountered
this snake. Excursions into swamps waist deep is an optional adventure when visiting Los Llanos - not for the faint of heart.
I waded swamps in Los Llanos, Venezuela for hours looking for the famous anaconda. We found two, coincidentally spaced only
perhaps fifty meters apart from each other. Thankfully, they both had very recently eaten, probably within hours. The largest
of the two - both of which were enormous - was perhaps 6-7 meters long.
This is a tree anteater that I photographed in the Los Llanos region of Venezuela.
Los Llanos, Venezuela is home to a highly diverse population of wild animals. The area is full of Caiman, Capabara,
Anteaters, Anaconda and monkeys. Birdwatchers from around the world come here because of the number of different
species of birds here.
The Tree Anteater moves very slowly, almost like a Slow Loris. This one was photographed in Los Llanos, Venezuela.
Top of Roraima #0846
There is a great deal of folklore surrounding Roraima, with stories of people vanishing never to
be found, and unseen prehistoric beasts whose wails can be heard from within the mists. It is
an eerie place. See more at Photos of Roraima Tepui.
Top of Roraima #0847
The top of Roraima is like a cloud forest. It is frequently
in mist, but the rocky landscape
has only a thin soil layer for the unusual plants and flowers that grow there. See more at
Photos of Roraima Tepui.
The Photography of:
Robert D. Stephens
TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery
All photographs are the property of Robert Stephens and TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery. Unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited by US