From the ice-capped mountains in Tanzania to the volcanic depths of the Rift Valley, the fascinating contrasts of dry brown vs. lush greens in the Okavango Delta, the continent of Africa has an extraordinary range of landscapes and habitats. most people visit the continent for its abundance of wild animals, but no one should ever miss out on its other natural endowments; waterfalls. Here is a shortlist of some of the best waterfalls Africa has to offer.
10. Kabalega Falls, Uganda
Located inside one of Uganda’s most popular national parks, Kabalega Falls is formed by water from the White Nile as it squeezes through a narrow rocky gap and cascades 140 feet down into “The Devil’s Cauldron.” When you are done with the falls, you can check out a plethora of wildlife, do some hiking or get on a hot air balloon ride.
9. Nyonye Falls (Sioma), Zambia
Called Sioma Falls because they are near the village of Sioma (very original 🤣). These falls mark the beginning of where the Zambezi splits into the waters feeding the Kalahari floodplains and the waters which will eventually become Vic Falls!
best time to visit: June – July
8. Tis Abay (Blue Nile) Falls, Ethiopia
Tis Abay translates to “great smoke” in Amharic. The falls start from Lake Tana, the waters flow from the Blue Nile river towards Sudan where it meets the White Nile, goes through Egypt and eventually spills into the Mediterranean Sea. There is a beautiful hiking trail across a 17th century bridge that leads to the falls.
best time to visit: June – early September
7. Nyahururu Falls, Kenya
The falls are located close to the town of Nyahururu, are about 240 feet tall, and mark the point where the Ewaso River flows north to join the Ewaso Nyiro and the Samburu ecosystem.
best time to visit: Jan – May , August – Dec
6. Thukela Falls, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
This waterfalls might not be as spectacular in terms of water volume, but it’s gorgeous in many other ways. Not only is it located in one of the most beautiful regions in the world, Thukela is the highest waterfall in Africa and the 2nd highest in the world. And it doesn’t just fall in one sheet, but FIVE!!
best time to visit: June – August (winter) – when it’s particularly cold, the upper part of the falls forms ice pillars
5. Kongou Falls, Gabon
Surrounded by the beautiful Ivindo National Park, it is one of the most powerful waterfall in the world. It’s one of the widest waterfalls, at 3.2km wide and up to 56 meters tall.
best time to visit: Anytime!
4. Lumangwe Falls, Zambia
It is the largest waterfall entirely in the country of Zambia. Remember, they have to share that “other one” with Zim 🤣. Looks like a mini Vic Falls but Lumangwe is no slouch in the waterfall department. Legend has it, it was the residence of a snake spirit which stretched itself to the nearby Kabweluma waterfall.
3. Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho
At around 630 ft, almost twice as high as Vic Falls, it is one of the highest waterfalls in Southern Africa. Makes sense since everything in Lesotho is so high. In fact, this tiny country is the only one in the world completely above 1000 meters.
best time to visit: March/April
2. Kalandula Falls, Angola
Coming in at almost 350 ft high and 1300 ft wide, Kalandula is the second largest falls in Africa. A bit of a hike from Luanda but well worth the effort.
best time to visit: Feb – April
1. Mosi-oa-thunya, Zimbabwe/Zambia
The crème de la crème of waterfalls! Nicknamed by the Kololo tribe as “the smoke that thunders,” this falls is also known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. At the height of the rainy season, as much as 500 million cubic meters of water over a width of 2 km plummets more than a 100 meters down. It is simply spectacular and should be on every single person’s bucket list!
best time to visit: April (after the rainy season), dry season if you want to swim in Devil’s pool