Major Waterfalls of Africa


A number of magnificent waterfalls that are found in Africa fascinate with their grandeur and unmatched natural beauty. These cascades offer breathtaking views, from the well-known Victoria Falls, the greatest sheet of water tumbling in the world, to lesser-known gems like Lumangwe Falls and Kalambo Falls. The largest waterfalls in Africa are amazing natural wonders that are well worth visiting, whether it's because of the rumbling roar of the water or the misty rainbows that adorn them.

Features of Major Waterfalls of Africa

Here are the features of major waterfalls of Africa −

Victoria Falls

  • It is situated where Zambia and Zimbabwe meet.

  • Africa's most well-known waterfall is Victoria Falls.

  • It is the largest sheet of falling water in the world, measuring 5,604 feet wide and 354 feet tall.

  • Although the falls were known to some early 19th-century European geographers, Scottish missionary David Livingstone first named them in 1855 and gave them the English colonial name of Victoria Falls in honour of Queen Victoria.

  • The Zambezi River's spray, which is visible from 30 miles away and gives it the local name Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders), is caused by the rushing waters' rapid descent.

Lumangwe Falls

  • Northern Zambia is home to Lumangwe Falls, which are found along the Kalungwishi River.

  • At 115 feet in height and 328 feet in breadth, it is the tallest waterfall that can be found entirely within the borders of Zambia.

  • The waterfall, which resembles a block, is situated between the Northern and Luapula Provinces.

  • On the Kawambwa road, the falls are located 80 kilometres from Mporokoso. Its water flow over the brink is comparable to that of the Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya) on the Zambezi.

Blue Nile Falls

  • About 19 kilometres downstream from Lake Tana, on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, are the Blue Nile Falls.

  • The waterfall is known as "Tis Abay," or "the Great Smoke," in Amharic due to its misty curtains and sparkling rainbows.

  • It is 138 feet tall and features the meeting of four streams, which when combined had a breadth of 1,312 feet before the wet season.

Murchison Falls

  • The waterfall known as Murchison Falls, or Kabalega Falls in Uganda, is located near the top of Lake Albert on the Victoria Nile.

  • The Nile plunges 43 meters (141 feet) through a narrow opening in the rocks at the summit of Murchison Falls before pouring into Lake Albert in the west.

  • Around 300 cubic meters (11,000 ft3/s) of water per second (11,000 ft3/s) of Lake Victoria's discharge is forced through a gorge that is only 10 meters (33 feet) wide to cascade over the falls.

Tugela Falls

  • The KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa, is home to the complex of seasonal waterfalls known as Tugela Falls, which is situated in the Drakensberg (Dragon's Mountains) of Royal Natal National Park.

  • The Tugela Falls in South Africa are the second-highest waterfall in the world with a 3,110-foot total drop.

  • However, recent measurements made in 2016 by a Czech scientific team put the height of the falls at 983 m (3,225 ft). The World Waterfall Database received the information for verification.

Kalandula Falls

  • Up until the country's independence in 1975, it was known as the Duque de Bragança Falls.

  • One of Angola's most well-known natural attractions is Kalandula Falls.

  • It measures 344 feet in height and 1,300 feet in width, and it is located on the Lucala River in Malanje Province.

  • It is one of the continent's greatest waterfalls in terms of volume.

  • It is a horseshoe-shaped waterfall near a lush forest that resembles its larger sister, Victoria Falls.

Ouzoud Falls

  • The Berber word "ouzoud" denotes "the act of grinding grain."

  • It is situated 150 kilometres northeast of Marrakesh, in the province of Azilal, close to the Middle Atlas settlement of Tanaghmeilt.

  • Several waterfalls that empty into the canyon of the El-Abid River (Arabic meaning "Slaves' River") are together known as Ouzoud Falls.

  • Wild Barbary macaques, an endangered species of monkey, are found in large groups in the olive trees that surround Ouzoud.

Maletsunyane Falls

  • It is adjacent to the Lesotho town of Semonkong, whose name translates to "The Place of Smoke."

  • The Maletsunyane River cascades down a 630-foot cliff at the point of a natural V in the sloping green cliffs above in an uninterrupted cascade at the waterfall.

  • It is one of Africa's tallest single-dropping falls.

  • At Maletsunyane Falls in December 2017, the Australian YouTube channel "How Ridiculous" beat the previous record for the highest basketball shot ever made. The current world record is this.

  • The first Guinness World Record for Maletsunyane Falls was for the "World's longest commercially operated abseil" with a height of 204 m (669 ft), which was run by Semonkong Lodge.

Wli Falls

  • The Wli Waterfalls are the tallest waterfalls in both Ghana and West Africa.

  • The name Agumatsa Waterfall, which means "allow me to flow," is used locally.

  • It is made up of upper and lower falls and is situated in the Volta Region.

  • The Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary lies all around it.

  • In Ghana's Volta Region, Wli Waterfalls are located 20 kilometres from Hohoe.

Kalambo Falls

  • The Northern Province's Kalambo Falls are situated along the Kalambo River not far from Mbala.

  • It drops in a single, continuous torrent down a 725-foot plunge into the canyon below, defining the border between Tanzania and Zambia.

  • Kalambo Falls, which is also one of the continents of Africa's tallest single-drop waterfalls, is also a location of significant archaeological value.

  • As one of the longest examples of human settlement in sub-Saharan Africa, the region has been occupied for over 250,000 years, according to the evidence, earning it a spot on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites maintained by UNESCO.

List of Major Waterfalls of Africa

Here's a table of major waterfalls in Africa, along with their locations and heights −

Waterfall

Location

Height

Victoria Falls

Zambia/Zimbabwe border

354 feet (108 m)

Lumangwe Falls

Northern Zambia

115 feet (35 m)

Blue Nile Falls

Ethiopia

138 feet (42 m)

Murchison Falls

Uganda

141 feet (43 m)

Tugela Falls

South Africa

3,110 feet (948 m)

Kalandula Falls

Angola

344 feet (105 m)

Ouzoud Falls

Morocco

Not specified

Maletsunyane Falls

Lesotho

630 feet (192 m)

Wli Falls

Ghana

Not specified

Kalambo Falls

Tanzania/Zambia border

725 feet (221 m)

Conclusion

There are numerous large waterfalls in Africa, each with distinctive qualities. These cascades display the might and beauty of nature, from the magnificent Victoria Falls, often known as the "Smoke That Thunders," to the lofty Tugela Falls and the archaeological wonder of Kalambo Falls. These waterfalls, whether they are in Zambia, Ethiopia, Angola, or somewhere else, create an indelible impression on tourists.

African waterfalls contribute to the region's ecological and cultural significance in addition to offering stunning scenery. A fantastic voyage that reveals the utter majesty of Africa's many landscapes is exploring these natural beauties.

Frequently Asked Question

Which one is the tallest waterfall in Africa?

The tallest waterfall in Africa is Tugela Falls, located in South Africa, with a total drop of 3,110 feet (948 meters).

Which waterfall is known as the "Smoke That Thunders"?

Victoria Falls, situated on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is known as the "Smoke That Thunders" due to the spray visible from a distance.

Where are the Blue Nile Falls located?

The Blue Nile Falls are located about 19 kilometres downstream from Lake Tana in Ethiopia.

How old is the human settlement near Kalambo Falls?

The region near Kalambo Falls has evidence of human settlement for over 250,000 years, making it one of the longest examples of human habitation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Are there any endangered species near Ouzoud Falls?

Yes, Ouzoud Falls in Morocco is surrounded by olive trees where endangered Barbary macaques can be found in large groups.

Updated on: 08-Nov-2023

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