The 5 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Africa

Africa, the land of awe-inspiring natural wonders, is home to a fascinating range of waterfalls that captivate the imagination with their stunning beauty and raw power. The continent’s water spectacles range from the lofty heights of Tugela Falls, contending for the world’s tallest title, to the unmatched breadth of Victoria Falls, claimed as the planet’s largest curtain of falling water.

Here are the top five breathtaking waterfalls in Africa that demand a place on your travel itinerary:

1- Victoria Falls, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Standing as Africa’s most celebrated waterfall, Victoria Falls straddles the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. With a remarkable width of 5,604 feet and a height of 354 feet, it holds the title of the world’s largest falling water curtain. Named Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders) by locals, its misty spray is visible up to 30 miles away.

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From February to May, during the flood season, it becomes a truly awe-inspiring spectacle with over 500 million liters of water cascading every minute. Both Victoria Falls and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Parks provide astonishing viewpoints, with Zimbabwe’s park offering a view of two-thirds of the falls. Adventurous visitors in Zambia can experience the thrilling Devil’s Pool on the edge of the falls.

2- Lumangwe Falls, Zambia

Often mistaken for Victoria Falls due to its similar block-type form, Lumangwe Falls is the largest waterfall wholly within Zambia. Standing at a height of 115 feet and a width of 328 feet, it presents the stunning sight of the Kalungwishi River falling in a broad veil, creating a mist that nurtures a small neighboring rainforest.

Lumangwe, the Great Snake Spirit according to local legend, is said to inhabit the stretch between Lumangwe and Kabweluma Falls. The waterfall’s power peaks at the end of the rainy season, around April and May.

3- Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia

Blue Nile Falls, located about 19 miles downstream from Lake Tana in Ethiopia, boasts a height of 170 feet and creates a mesmerizing misty curtain known locally as Tis Abay (the Great Smoke). Despite a hydroelectric station installed in 2003 harnessing much of its power, it remains an impressive sight, particularly during the peak flood months of August and September.

Two hiking routes provide access to this spectacular scene, including one crossing a 17th-century stone bridge to the waterfall’s main viewpoints.

4- Murchison Falls, Uganda

Murchison Falls, nestled in Uganda’s popular wildlife-viewing destination Murchison Falls National Park, sees the Blue Nile (known as the Victoria Nile in Uganda) forcing its way through a narrow 23-foot gorge before dropping 141 feet into the Devil’s Cauldron. Shrouded in mist and featuring a constant rainbow, this waterfall handles nearly 187 million liters of water each minute.

The best way to witness this beauty up close is a boat trip from the village of Paraa, offering opportunities to spot a myriad of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, lions, the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, and the unique Shoebill storks.

5- Tugela Falls, South Africa

Tugela Falls in South Africa, consisting of five cascading drops, boasts a total plunge of 3,110 feet, thereby making it the world’s second-highest waterfall. Some even propose it could eclipse Venezuela’s Angel Falls for the top spot, given potential discrepancies in both waterfalls’ measurements.

Whether or not it claims the top spot, Tugela Falls is undoubtedly a spectacular sight, descending from the prominent Amphitheatre escarpment in KwaZulu-Natal’s Royal Natal National Park.

These remarkable waterfalls illustrate the untamed beauty that Africa offers. Each brings unique experiences and unforgettable views, making them a must-see for any passionate traveler. For those with a keen interest in natural wonders, these African waterfalls offer the perfect combination of travel and adventure.

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