5 Gorgeous Gorges and Wonderful Waterfalls in Africa

posted 22nd June 2018 by Danica Wilson in Travel guides

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Our five highlights

Southern Africa is home to a number of stunning natural waterfalls and gorges, from the world-renown Victoria Falls to lesser known Oribi Gorge and Augrabies Falls. Each falls and gorge carves magnificent panoramas through a diversity of landscapes, so it’s a wonderful way to explore beautiful national parks and reserves.

Let’s take a closer look at our five highlights Gorges Waterfalls Africa.

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Augrabies Falls

Arriving at Augrabies Falls in South Africa, it is easy to understand why the Khoisan people referred to it as ‘the place of great noise’. After the rains have come and the Orange River is pulsating, you will see the full power of the water as it tumbles down the 56m high falls; the thunderous natural wonder of the falls will stay with you long after you have left. These spectacular falls are located 120km west of Upington in the Northern Cape, and are nestled in the boundaries of the Augrabies Falls National Park.

The Augrabies Falls National Park boasts an ancient landscape which transports you back to the time of the hunter-gatherers, where the land is rich with indigenous plants and many species of animal. Take a scenic drive through the park and see the Kokerboom, or Quiver Tree, which Khoisan hunters used to make their quivers. In May and June, this enigmatic tree produces intense yellow flowers that make for the perfect photograph.

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If you sit quietly, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous klipspringers as they graze, ever alert for any sign of danger from predators, such as jackals, leopards, and the African wild cat. The grasslands are rife with various antelope species, and you may be lucky enough to spot steenbok, springbok, kudu, eland, and gemsbok.

No trip to Augrabies would be complete without a bird’s eye view of the park from Moon Rock. This whaleback dome is a prominent landmark at Augrabies Falls, and the view from the summit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Oribi Gorge – South Africa

The spectacular Oribi Gorge Area invites you to experience the amazing natural wonders of the cliffs, forests, rivers, and ravines that it has to offer. The area is well-known as a photographer’s paradise, and features some of the most amazing bird and wild life in Africa. Despite being named for the Oribi antelope, the Oribi Gorge area has only rare sightings of it, but boasts many other antelope species.

The Oribi Gorge is an outstanding 24km long gorge carved out by the Umzimkulwana River, and is framed by the high sandstone cliffs. Many animals inhabit this reserve, and you can enjoy exploring the lands for baboons, leopards, several types of antelope, eagles, kingfisher, and many other raptors and birdlife.

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There are various nature trails for hikers throughout the reserve, as well as many other activities. Abseiling is one of the most popular activities, and you can get your heart pumping as you abseil down the 110 meter rock face next to the Lehr’s waterfall, offering a unique perspective of the reserve. This is one of the highest abseils in the world, and an exhilarating one-of-a-kind way of experiencing the gorge.

Wind down after a busy day of sightseeing and adventures at one of the lodges within the reserve, where you can wake up to the sounds of the prolific birdlife. The Oribi Gorge lodges include self-catering lodges and fully catered luxury lodges.

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is the culmination of the breathtaking and magnificent Zambezi River as it forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Kololo tribe that lived in the area in the 1800’s called the falls ‘Mosi au Tunya’ or ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, and it is easy to see why. As you approach the vast curtain of cascading water, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the falls.

The falls are over one and a half kilometers wide, and the water falls over one hundred meters before meeting the gorge below. As you face the falls, you will be greeted by another sheer wall of basalt rising to the same height as the falls, and is covered by gorgeous mist-soaked rainforest. Those who would like to experience an unrivaled view of the falls can take a walk along the edge of the forest – but be prepared to endure the immense spray and getting soaking wet.

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The most amazing vantage point is the across the knife-end bridge, where you will have the most spectacular view of the eastern Cataract, the Victoria Falls, and the Boiling Pot, which is where the river turns and makes its way down the Batoka Gorge. There are other exquisite vantage points, including Falls Bridge, Devils Pool, and the Lookout Tree, all of which offer the most incredible panoramic views across Victoria Falls.

There are so many activities to do within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, including kayaking, bungee jumping, and horseback trails. Victoria Falls offers something for everyone’s taste. There is a large variety of accommodation on both the Zambian and Zimbabwe sides of the Falls, from comfortable B&B style lodges, resorts and luxury safari lodges, to the immense grandeur of The Victoria Falls Hotel. Victoria Falls offers something for all styles and budgets.

See our Victoria Falls guide and accommodation blogs listed on this page for more information.

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Batoka Gorge

This is one of the most spectacular gorges and best enjoyed from the comfort of your beautiful tented accommodation at Gorges or Little Gorges. Both of these properties overlook the gorge that is carved by the Zambezi River. With easy access to the falls. both camps offer you the opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Falls town.

This is one of our favourite itineraries created for guests earlier in the year who loved every moment – they saw and heard Victoria Falls at full waters, staying on Batoka Gorge before moving into Hwange National Park for a wildlife safari and onwards to Cape Town and the Winelands for a cosmopolitan vibe to end their holiday. 12 night Waterfalls, Wildlife & Winelands

Gorges Waterfalls Africa

Epupa Falls

Nestled into Namibia’s remote area known as Kaokoland and right on the border of Angola and Namibia you will find the incredible Epupa Falls on the Kunene River. Made up of a series of cascading falls that drop 60m over 1.5 kilometers, the Epupa Falls, also known as the Monte Negro Falls in Angola, reaches a width of 500m at a point. Epupa is the Herero word for clouds of spray that are created when water falls.

It is an easy, albeit long drive to reach Epupa Falls, and although you don’t have to drive a 4×4, a higher clearance vehicle is absolutely recommended. Part of the magic of the Epupa Falls is the journey through the untouched environment that surrounds the falls, where you can see large baobabs, lush wild fig trees, and swaying Makalani palms. Making your way around the area surrounding the falls you will be captivated by the rich russet colored rock walls.

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The constantly flowing waters of the river offer many activities that you can enjoy. The Epupa area is a favorite among bird watchers, where over 240 species of Namibian bird, including the African fish eagle, Rufus-tailed palm thrush, and the African paradise-flycatcher can be found. Bird watching can be done on hikes or boat trips.

You can spend the day in the Himba settlement, where you can learn about these nomadic people and their interesting way of life. End off your day with a sundowner trip to the lookout point, where you can watch the sun set over the African savannah.

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