The Villages of Tomorrow: Twelve Waterfalls

Waterfall rappelling opens a new chapter in the development of the Ajara highlands

November 2, 2021

Photo: Irakli Dzneladze/UNDP

As Georgia kicks off an ambitious rural development reform, the EU and UNDP are supporting local projects across the country, aiming to diversify rural economies, reduce poverty and make rural areas a better place for entrepreneurship, employment, education, health care, technology and climate action. 

Twelve Waterfalls     

The village of Uchkho is a hidden gem of the Ajara highlands. Stunning vistas open through majestic mountains. The village’s twelve waterfalls that cascade through the 1.5-kilometre canyon are a dream of thrill-seekers wishing to let loose, try something wild and have a real adventure.

The National Hiking Federation and the Department of Tourism and Resorts of the Ajara AR used GEL51,315 (US$16,000) support from the EU and UNDP to arrange a waterfall rappelling attraction in Uchkho Canyon. The support covered the construction of bases, holding points and ten well-equipped rappelling stations along the trail. It also supported the training of six local guides and helped ensure compliance with local health and safety rules.

As pandemic restrictions started to ease in the summer of 2021, tourists eager for fresh air and excitement came out for the canyon’s heights, awesome views and a three-hour breathtaking slide down the waterfalls.

After safely roping down a 30-metre waterfall, tour participant Rusudan Varshalomidze exclaimed, “canyoneering gives you a feeling of being part of nature, a kick of adrenalin and positive energy — I am overwhelmed with today’s adventure!”

“Thanks to this project, Uchkho is becoming a place to visit for people interested in sports and adventures,” says Lela Goguadze of Ajara’s Tourism Product Development Agency.

After welcoming the first tourists in August 2021, waterfall rappelling will open a new chapter in the development of the Ajara highlands and will create new opportunities for greener and more sustainable growth.