South Africa is famous for its lush and impressive natural beauty, which stretches from coast to coast. With fantastic mountain ranges across the country, it should come as no surprise that you will be able to visit and see some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. 

During the hot summer months, a visit to any of these impressive waterfalls offers the perfect opportunity to get back into nature with a refreshing dip to reward yourself with at the end of the day. So be sure to pack your favorite women’s bikini top and matching bottoms before setting off. 

Tugela Falls

Tugela Falls, Kwa Zulu-Natal, is considered by many to be the most impressive waterfall site in South Africa. The combined total drop of the five distinct falls is 948 meters, the largest being 411 meters of undisturbed cascading water, making it the second tallest waterfall in the world, behind Angel Falls in Venezuela. 

The Amphitheatre escarpment, from which the falls drop, offers the most impressive panoramic views of the surrounding area and can be accessed via a five-to-eight-hour round-trip hike that begins and ends at The Sentinel car park. Alternatively, visitors can take a trail to the foot of the falls that starts in the Royal Natal National Park. 

Howick Falls

The Howick Falls are one of the most famous waterfalls in South Africa, with a history of mythology and local legends surrounding it. The Zulu people call the falls ‘KwaNogqaza,’ which translates into the ‘Place of the Tall One.’ According to legend, the pool at the bottom of the falls is home to the Inkanyamba, a giant serpent-like creature. Believers follow the theory that only sangomas can safely approach the falls to offer prayers and other acts of worship. 

Visitors can appreciate the tumbling water from a viewing platform in the center of Howick town or via a trail through Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve that will take them to the bottom of the falls. 

Waterfall Bluff

Throughout the world, there are less than 50 waterfalls that cascade directly into the ocean. However, in Pondoland, located between Port St Johns and the Msikaba Nature Reserve, you will be able to see not one but three in close proximity to each other. 

Locally referred to as the Mlambomkhulu Waterfall but more commonly known as Waterfall Bluff, each tumbles 40 meters down into the ocean below and is one of the best picnic venues in the entire country. The falls are best reached via a multi-day hike through the region. 

Beautiful African Waterfalls. Photo by Sean Brookes-oMYRsvFodb4-Unsplash

Magwa Falls

The Magwa Waterfall is the stand-out central feature of the Magwa tea plantation, located just outside Lusikisiki. This 1800-hectare property is the last remaining tea estate in South Africa. Standing at an impressive 142 meters high, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the country and is a simple 30-minute trip from the Eastern Cape town. 

One of the most impressive and alluring features of the falls is the ability to hike along the waterfall’s edge, offering unbelievable photo opportunities for those without a fear of heights. Visit at sunrise or sunset for jaw-dropping views of the area basking in natural light. 

Lone Creek Falls

Lone Creek Falls, in Sabie Mpumalanga, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the region, tumbling toward the ground from roughly 70 meters high. Its surrounding area boasts lush wood and thriving vegetation, perfectly framing this impressive spectacle. 

The natural wonder is a classified National Monument and is open to the public completely free of charge.  

Augrabies Falls

The largest waterfall along the famous Orange River has been framed by the Augrabies Falls National Park since 1966. Although the falls are only 56m high, it is the impressive and captivating sound they produce that impresses visitors the most.

The last leader of the original Khoikhoi residents was Klaas Pofadder, who lived on an island upstream, now known as Klaas Island. In 1988 and 2006, during seasonal floods, the falls recorded 7,800 cubic meters of water every second. This was greater than the highest flow rate ever recorded at the Niagra Falls. 

Mac Mac Falls

Mac Mac Falls, located 14km north of Sabie, Mpumalanga, derived its name from the Scottish gold prospects that descended on the region during the gold rushes in the late 1800s. The falls themselves exist because gold miners blasted the once single-stream river with dynamite to excavate the gold-bearing reef. 

There are three main ways to see and appreciate the 70m tall waterfalls, depending on how adventurous you are willing to be. Firstly, you can take a short paved path and steps that lead to a viewing platform that extends slightly over the cliff. Secondly, you can walk to the top of the falls via a 100m tarred road before following the stream to the falls. And finally, for those who want a proper adventure with fewer people around, visiting the base of the falls will bring you up close and personal with this natural feature. 

People walking along a Waterfall in Africa. Photo by Arthur Hickinbotham-Czi7__EmUXE-Unsplash

Lisbon Falls

Standing at 92 meters tall, the Lisbon Falls is the highest and most dramatic waterfall along the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga. It is named after the capital city of Portugal and shares a name with a large farm found in the area. 

Other waterfalls included along this impressive route include Horseshoes Falls, Bridal Falls, Maria Shires Falls, and the Berlin Falls.