10 Highest Waterfalls in the World


Tugela Falls, South Africa

Tugela Falls in South Africa.
Tugela Falls in South Africa.
Hein Pieterse/Flickr Creative Commons

With a total height of 3,110 feet (948 meters), the five-tiered Tugela Falls in South Africa's Kwazulu Natal region is the second-highest waterfall in the world. Its tallest single drop in the five tiers is 1,350 feet (411 meters).

Tugela Falls begins at the top of an amphitheater-like mountain known as Mont Aux Sources. Except for times when rainfall is higher than normal, the flow of water over the falls is thin: The cascade averages 50 feet (15 meters) wide and has a typical volume of 50 cubic feet (1.41 cubic meters) per second.

Tugela Falls is much easier to access than many of the other waterfalls on our list. It's a well-known tourist stop, and there are marked trails originating from a nearby parking lot. There are two trails to the falls that offer impressive views: One is a challenging 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) hike to the top of the mountain -- the elevation and thinner air make this a contest for the physically fit. The other path is a more level 4.3-mile walk through the Royal Natal National Park of South Africa to view the bottom of the falls [source: World Waterfall Database].