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La Gran Sabana also known as Guianan savanna, is a region located in southeastern Venezuela, in the Guiana Highlands, also south-east in Bolívar State, and extending until the border with Brazil and Guyana. The Gran Sabana has 10,820 km ² and is part of one of the largest National Parks in Venezuela, the Canaima National Park. The average temperature is around 20 º C, but at night can drop to 13 ° C, and in some of the most elevated sites, depending on weather, may fall a bit more.
The location offers unique landscapes around the World, has rivers, waterfalls and gorges, deep and vast valleys, impenetrable jungles, and savannahs that host a large number and variety of plant species, a diverse fauna, and the plateaus better known as tepuis.
La Gran Sabana, and the rest as Venezuela in general, is rich in river networks. The main drainage sub-basins are formed by the rivers Yuruaní, Aponwao, Kukenán, Suruku, Ikabarú, Karuay, Urimán and Antabare.
Note that the Caroní River, of 925 km in length, and flow rate equal to 5000 m³/s, from which Venezuela gets most of its electricity by hydropower exploitation with, originates from several tributaries coming from tepuis and mountains of the Gran Sabana, as the Aponwao, the Yuruaní and the Kukenan. As to tourist interest, the rivers are of great importance, as visitors who travel the roads of the Gran Sabana usually use for recreation, swimming, and camping. These are usually easily accessible and that the entries are found throughout the main road, and many are arranged with steps for easy access.
Flora and vegetation:
The savannas occupy undisputed first place in the diverse range of ecosystems that developed in the region. But the Gran Sabana includes a variety of scenarios. These are subject to a complex mix of climatic and ecological conditions ranging from hot lowlands to the high cold mountains. Because of this, it have developed a considerable number of plant species adapted to its ecosystems. The vegetation is characterized by be particular in the region and builds on very acid soils, derived from the decomposition of the sandstones.
The savannas and gallery forests, are situated along the courses of rivers and streams that traverse the savannahs. These forests have a very varied vegetation where there are trees, shrubs, guacos, epiphytes and the Moriche Palm Mauritia flexuosa. Shrubs rarely exceed 2–3 meters high. Its leaves are mostly thick, probably due to lack of nutrients in the soil, and its acidity. La Gran Sabana has variety of grasses. Because the ground has many rocks and is sandy, means that the grasses are not suitable to feed any livestock, whether goat, sheep or bovine. The most important plant families are Theaceae, Humiriaceae, Ericaceae, Compositae, Aquifoliaceae, Burseraceae, Sapotaceae. Among the most high, it should be emphasized Rutaceae the Spathelia Fruticosa with unbranched stems up to four meters, and a tuft of compound leafs at the apex.
Access and movement in la Gran Sabana:
To reach the Gran Sabana is necessary to pass the paved road (called Troncal 10) passing through Ciudad Guayana and reaches the Brazilian border. Just before arriving at the Gran Sabana is to pass the said place called La Escalera, an uphill road with several curves and immersed in a typically rainy and foggy forest. Once past that section there is a paved road that runs through the Gran Sabana. There are other ways to access other sites, but are not paved.
Tourists can also take a plane to Santa Elena de Uairén. They can reach this town by paved road from Caracas, or from Brazil through Pacaraima, traveling along the highway BR174, which connects Manaus (some 1,000 km away from Santa Helena) and Boa Vista (approximately 225 km) with the Venezuela-Brazil border. Currently bus service exists between Ciudad Guayana and Santa Elena de Uairén, but car travel is recommended in order to allow for frequent stops in interesting places. The journey from Caracas is usually done in two days.
Sites of Interest
- Falls Aponwao (Chinak-meru)
- Falls Kamá (Kamá Meru)
- Falls Kamá (Kamá Mesalto)
- Falls Kawi (Kawí merú)
- Falls Kukenan
- Falls Yuruaní
- Falls Karuay
- La Laja
- El Paují
- El Abismo
- Santa Elena de Uairén
- Mission of Kavanayen
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