Welcome to Roraima, the oldest and most mysterious mountain in the world.
Part of Canaima National Park, Roraima is found in south-eastern Venezuela on the border with Brazil and Guyana. Abundant in strange and beautiful plants and birdlife, it's a massive tabletop mountain covering an area of 12 square miles (31 square kilometers). There are around 100 tabletop mountains that rise above the humid South American jungles.
While around a quarter of Roraima's hulking mass falls into Brazil and Guyana, the majority is in Venezuela and it is from this side that most explorers approach. This trail—the Paratepui route—necessitates a grueling days long trek crossing treacherous rivers on foot, before a slippery, rocky scramble to the summit. If that weren’t tough enough, a handful of expert climbers have been known to tackle the sheer rock face on the other, Guyana side.
This singular environment is home to a number of animal and bird species that exist nowhere else on the planet, one of the most curious being the pebble toad. This tiny black creature is unable to swim or hop, instead curling itself up into a ball and rolling away when it feels threatened, tricking predators into thinking it’s a little pebble.
Amongst other peculiar discoveries are a variety of flesh-eating plants, including the Marsh Pitcher Plant, its tubular-shaped leaves appearing straight out of a science-fiction film.
Standing at the base of the Paratepui route, hikers are greeted by the immense sight of several waterfalls spilling off the top of Roraima. Once they struggle to the summit, they enter an alien landscape of bizarre rock formations, natural gorges, wildflower gardens, and crystalline pools.