Earth is full of various stunning geographical features which make earth a beautiful place to live in. It has also helped in flourishing the tourism industry. With the discovery of various such geographical features the tourism industry is at its high. There are various such geographical features, waterfall being the common example. Waterfall is a geological formation, which have resulted from water. The waterfall generally flows in the form of stream over various rock formations that break in elevation at a certain point. Most of the waterfalls are found in the mountains due to the fact that water force is very high in mountains. In such cases, the waterfalls are not the product of several years; instead they can form anytime, anywhere. Whenever there is a landslide or any volcano erupts a waterfall can form. There are artificial waterfalls too, which are man-made and can be generally seen in gardens or parks.
Formation : There are various types of waterfalls and most of them are formed in a similar manner. A river flows over various steps that are formed in a rock due to the fault line. With the passage of time, the steps would break down and thus the waterfall would freely flow and fall at a place, where a gorge is formed. With the passage of time, the most resistant rock will break down and fall at the base of waterfall. Thus a large number of rocks get deposited at the base of the waterfall. These rocks further break down and erode the base thus creating a big pool.There are various types of waterfalls, which are listed below :
Types of Waterfalls :
- Block Waterfall – In this type of waterfall; water falls down from a much wider stream or river.
- Cataract Waterfall – All the large waterfalls come under this category.
- Cascade Waterfall – In this category; water falls in a series of various rock steps.
- Horsetail Waterfall – In this type of waterfall, the water while descending continues to have some contact with the bedrocks.
- Fan Waterfall – In this type, the water while descending spreads horizontally but still maintains the contact with the bedrock.
- Punchbowl Waterfall – Here, the water falls down in a restricted manner but after reaching the base spreads out in the pool.
In addition, there are various other types of waterfalls like tiered waterfall, segmented waterfall etc. At the waterfall, one can perform various activities like swimming, fishing etc. Waterfalls are turning out to be one of the major tourist’s destinations in the world.
Tugela Falls Tugela Falls are the world’s second highest waterfall. The total drop in five free-leaping falls is 3,110 feet (947 meters). They are located in the Drakensberg (Dragon’s Mountains) in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. They are easily viewed after a heavy rain from the main travel road into the park, glistening from the reflection of the late afternoon sun. The source of the Tugela River (Zulu for ‘sudden’) is at Mont-Aux-Sources several kilometers from the escarpment from which the falls drop. The water is pure and safe to drink above the falls. There are 2 stunning trails to the Tugela Falls. The most spectacular trail is to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources and starts at the Sentinel car park at Witsieshoek via Phuthadjhaba from where it is a relatively short climb to the top of the Amphiteare. (About 5 hours return) Via two chain ladders you can gain easy access to the summit. This is the only day hiking trail which will take you to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment and to the head of the Tugela Falls. Another trail to the foot of the Tugela Falls starts at Royal Natal National Park. The easy seven kilometre gradient up the Tugela Gorge winds though indigenous forests. The last part of the hike to the Tugela Falls is a boulder hop. A little chain ladder takes you over the final streach from where you have a stunning view of the falls rushing down the Amphitheater in a series of five spectacular cascades.
Howick Falls Howick Falls is a spectacular waterfall in Howick, KwaZulu-Nata Near the small town of Howick, 24kms north of Pietermaritzburg, the Umgeni river plunges 300ft over the Howick Falls. The Howick Falls were most likely first seen by European explorers in the early 1800s. Many people have been swept over the Howick Falls, especially in the pioneer days of the province, as some settlers thought the easiest place to cross the river was just above the water fall.
Mac Mac Falls
Mac Mac Falls The Mac Mac Falls is situated between Graskop and Sabie. The Mac Mac Falls is 13 km from Sabie on the R532 road towards Graskop. The turnoff and parking area is at the curio stalls and a nominal entrance fee is charged. A steep walk along a cement pathway (with many steps) takes you to the viewing platform above the falls. The 65 m high Mac Mac Falls in the Mac Mac River is a declared National Monument. This Mac Mac Falls was originally a single stream, but gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges. Toilet facilities are available at the Mac Mac Falls at the curio stalls. The path to the viewing platform is very wheelchair unfriendly.
Lisbon Falls The Lisbon falls are situated north of Graskop in Mpumalanga. The Lisbon falls are situated north of Graskop in Mpumalanga, where the R534 rejoins the R532 road, you turn left (back towards Graskop) for 800 m and then right onto a gravel road. The Lisbon Falls is a further 2.2 km. At 92 m the Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the area. There is no entry fee to visit this waterfall. Stay well clear of the edge, as the rocks are extremely slippery, especially when wet.
Few sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood. The Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge. Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region. Klipspringer and kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky, silent sentinels in a strangely unique environment where only those that are able to adapt ultimately survive. The 55 383 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the very smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok and giraffe.
Karkloof Falls The Karkloof Falls are situated in the North Eastern part of the Midlands. The Karkloof Falls are situated in the North Eastern part of the Midlands. To get to the Karkloof Falls, travel to Howick, then take the Karkloof/Rietvlei Road towards Karkloof. It is well signposted and you take the road to the right into the plantation. It is a gravel road of at least 5km, but the drive is well worth it, especially during the months December to April. The waterfall is a fantastic sight and for those who have time to spare, there are picnic sites where you can view the water plunging down into the valley.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls Visit one of the area’s most beautiful views, the cascading Bridal Veil Falls. Scenic and picturesque Bridal Falls Provincial Park provides a great place for picnics. The falls themselves are a short 15-minute walk on a well-modulated trail and will present you with a spectacular sight. The water tumbles down from the side of almost 7,000 foot Mount Cheam, which dominates the area. This is the epitome of rainforest grandeur.
Berlin Falls The Berlin Falls are situated near to the Lisbon Falls in Mpumalanga. The Berlin Falls are situated near to the Lisbon Falls from where you drive back to the tar road (R532) and turn left (north). Drive for 2 km (past the R534 turnoff) and then turn off left. Drive past the Berlin Sawmill and at 2 km from the main road, turn left and park at the parking area. A short walk takes you to a vantage point overlooking the 45 m high Berlin Falls. The Berlin Falls are situated in wooded, grasslands and rocky countrysides. They are likened to a candle in shape, in that the falls starts at the precipice as a narrow plunge and then broadens into a cascade that drops some 150m into a pool below.
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