• Megan Gieske

The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in South Africa

Updated: Feb 25


Tugela Falls, KwaZulu-Natal Photo by Ilyas Kalimullin


I had to live two years in South Africa before I had any idea any of these waterfalls even existed, seriously. I don't want that to be you, so here are some of the most stunning cascades in the country, waterfalls that will make you forget all about the Niagara.


They say don't go chasing waterfalls, but in South Africa, here's why you should.


Psst…Want more South Africa travel tips? Check out these other posts:


Read on for a list of my favorite waterfalls in the Rainbow Nation.


Table of Contents

Magwa Falls, Eastern Cape

Augrabies Falls, Northern Cape

Tugela Falls, KwaZulu-Natal

 



magwa falls, eastern cape


It took us about 2 hours to reach the area of Magwa Falls from the nearest town, Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape. We drove over potholes and down dirt roads past cattle, sheep, goat, and horses. But it was so worth it!


If you’re planning to visit and you have a small car like us, we suggest staying overnight at Louis at Magwa Falls. You can learn about organic gardening, wake up to incredible panoramic views of lush green mountains stretching into the sea, and visit Magwa Falls in Louis’ open air 4x4!



augrabies falls, northern cape


Niagara who? Meet Augrabies Falls. This stunner spans almost 20 falls on a deep gorge beneath a wide blue sky. High in South Africa near the border with Namibia along the Orange River, 19 separate waterfalls plunge from a height of 56m into a steep ravine18km long. The Khoi people called the Augrabies Falls "Aukoerebis", the place of the Great Noise, and it’s easy to see why.


This was my partner's (Arlton's) favorite stop on our South Africa road trip! Before our trip, neither of us had heard of this incredible place that’s truly awe inspiring.


If you’re visiting Augrabies Falls, prepare to get wet. Standing on some of the viewing decks isn’t much different than standing in a shower.


Photo by Ilyas Kalimullin


tugela falls, kwazulu-natal


Tugela Falls, meaning “sudden,” plummets from almost 3,000 meters high above in the Drakensberg (Dragons’) Mountains. Surpassing Angel Falls’ 979 meters, Tugela Falls at 983 meters was declared the tallest waterfall in the world in November 2021.


It took Arlton and I prayer, togetherness, and some tears (from me) to reach the top. We hiked 7 hours roundtrip over 8 miles and a 760m elevation gain through mist, over cliffside narrow paths, and over rock gulleys. I’ve never felt so nearly physically defeated in my life. Not only was the trail slippery, but we were both still recovering our fitness levels after COVID-19. But let me tell you, this waterfall is worth it!







DID I MISS YOUR FAVORITE WATERFALL? hit me up and let me know in the comments.


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