At the end of the nineteenth century, Everard Im Thurn set off for the Gran Sabana on the Brazilian border, a strange, fascinating place of waterfalls and tepuys, bizarre tabletop mountains like islands lost in time. His expedition to the highest of these plateaus, Mount Roraima, inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write of a land inhabited by dinosaurs.
The largest of these plateaus is Auyan-tepui. From its 700-square-kilometre top springs Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, named after the American pilot Jimmy Angel, who discovered the falls in 1935 whilst trying to find a river of gold. Nearby is the Canaima lagoon, named by the Pemon indians after a mischievous spirit who was believed to dwell here. The national park is one of the largest in the world and protects a large part of the Guayana Highlands, including part of the Gran Sabana.