Best Waterfalls in South Africa | 2024 Travel Guide

Best Waterfalls in South Africa | 2024 Travel Guide

South Africa is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls on the African continent. From the world’s tallest waterfall to hidden gems nestled in lush forests, these magnificent waterfalls are a testament to the natural beauty of this region.

Let’s explore some of South Africa’s most famous waterfalls, each offering unique perspectives and breathtaking views.

waterfalls in south africa

Howick Falls

In the small town of Howick, the Howick Falls plunge dramatically into the Umgeni River. This waterfall, which holds a local legend, is a favorite waterfall among locals and tourists. The best way to experience Howick Falls is through the easy walk from the parking area to the viewing platform at the foot of the waterfall.

waterfalls in south africa

Magwa Falls

The magnificent Magwa Falls, with its sheer volume and height, is a must-visit for waterfall enthusiasts. Located in the Eastern Cape, this waterfall is a testament to the natural wonders of the region.

Magwa Falls is a dramatic waterfall with a sheer drop of approximately 142 meters (466 feet) into a narrow gorge, offering a breathtaking view. Surrounded by lush tea plantations, the falls are particularly striking for their vertical plunge and the scenic landscape that frames them.

Magwa Falls is a lesser-known gem, making it a peaceful and less crowded destination for visitors seeking natural beauty and tranquility.

waterfalls in south africa

Maletsunyane Falls

Maletsunyane Falls is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Southern Africa, plunging 192 meters (630 feet) into a spectacular gorge. The falls are a major attraction in Lesotho, known for their breathtaking beauty and the mist that often surrounds the base, creating a magical atmosphere.

The area around the falls offers opportunities for hiking, abseiling, and exploring the natural landscape. Maletsunyane Falls is not only a stunning natural wonder but also a significant site for adventure tourism in the region.

waterfalls in south africa

Tugela Falls

Located in the Drakensberg Mountains, Tugela Falls is often considered the world’s second-tallest waterfall, with a total drop of 948 meters. This magnificent waterfall is part of the Tugela River and is best viewed from the Royal Natal National Park.

The best time to visit is during the rainy season when the falls are in full flow. Hiking trails in the park provide nature lovers with a chance to experience the surrounding landscape and view the falls from different angles.

waterfalls in south africa

Augrabies Falls

South Africa’s largest river, the Orange River, is home to the Augrabies Falls, a stunning waterfall located within the Augrabies Falls National Park.

The falls, also known as the “place of great noise,” are especially powerful during the winter months.

Viewing platforms and picnic areas make this a perfect spot for cultural trips and road trips alike.

south africa waterfall

Cape Town’s Hidden Waterfalls

Cape Town, known for its breathtaking landscapes, is also home to hidden waterfalls such as those in Du Toitskloof and the surrounding areas. These falls offer beautiful scenes and are perfect for a day trip or a culture trip.

Here are some waterfalls that are located close to Cape Town:

  • Crystal Pools: A series of cascading rock pools and small waterfalls, ideal for hiking and swimming in the Steenbras Nature Reserve.
  • Cecilia Forest Waterfall: A picturesque waterfall accessible via a moderate hike through the lush indigenous forest of Cecilia Forest.
  • Skeleton Gorge Waterfall: A scenic waterfall along the Skeleton Gorge hiking trail in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
  • Du Toitskloof Waterfall: A tall, seasonal waterfall visible from Du Toitskloof Pass, especially impressive after heavy rains.
  • Meiringspoort Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall with a pool at the base, located along the scenic Meiringspoort pass in the Swartberg Mountains.

waterfalls in south africa


Mpumalanga, a province in eastern South Africa, is renowned for its stunning landscapes and an abundance of magnificent waterfalls. Nestled in the scenic regions of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the Lowveld, these waterfalls offer breathtaking views and are popular attractions for tourists and nature enthusiasts.

How To Get Around: The Panorama Route -Graskop to Blyde River Canyon

The Panorama Route is a stunning road trip that is renowned for its breathtaking views and an array of stunning waterfalls, including Lisbon, Berlin, and Mac Mac Falls and spectacular viewpoints like God’s Window and the Three Rondavels. This scenic drive offers numerous stops at waterfalls, viewing points, and other natural attractions.

Here’s a look at some of the most notable waterfalls in Mpumalanga:

waterfalls in south africa

Mac Mac Falls

Mac Mac Falls is a twin waterfall that plunges 65 meters into a deep gorge. It is named after the Scottish miners who came to the area during the gold rush in the 1870s. The waterfall is part of the Sabie Waterfalls Route and is easily accessible with a short walk from the parking area to the viewing platform.

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Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls is aptly named for its horseshoe-shaped cascade. It’s a smaller, yet equally enchanting waterfall, nestled in a secluded area. The falls provide a tranquil spot for relaxation and nature appreciation.

waterfalls in south africa

Lisbon Falls

Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in Mpumalanga, with a dramatic drop of 94 meters. Named after the Portuguese capital, these falls are located in a picturesque setting along the Lisbon Creek.

waterfalls in south africa

Berlin Falls

Berlin Falls is another spectacular waterfall on the Panorama Route, dropping 80 meters in a single, powerful stream.

The waterfall is named after Berlin, Germany, reflecting the heritage of some of the area’s early settlers.

waterfalls in south africa

Lone Creek Falls

Lone Creek Falls is a national monument due to its exceptional beauty. The waterfall drops 68 meters into a picturesque pool and is surrounded by dense forest.

It’s easily accessible with a short drive and a brief walk from the parking lot.

waterfalls in south africa

Sabie Falls

Sabie Falls, although smaller compared to others, is conveniently located within the town of Sabie. The falls are easily accessible and offer a charming view of water cascading down rocky steps.

south africa waterfall

Forest Falls

Forest Falls is one of the few waterfalls in Mpumalanga where water fans out across a wide rock face, creating a unique and picturesque sight. The walk to the falls takes you through lush indigenous forest, enhancing the experience.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is named for its delicate, veil-like appearance. The waterfall descends gracefully from a height of 70 meters, creating a misty and ethereal ambiance. It’s a favorite spot for those who enjoy peaceful, easy walks through nature.

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South Africa’s waterfalls are teeming with natural beauty, each offering a unique experience. From Cape Town’s hidden gems to the town of Sabie, these magnificent waterfalls are a testament to the country’s diverse and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re visiting the world’s tallest waterfall or exploring hidden gems, the waterfalls of South Africa are sure to leave you in awe. Pack your hiking boots and embark on a journey to discover the most famous and beautiful waterfalls in South Africa!


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