I have travelled Africa for adventure and passion for many years and I guarantee you, Kalambo Falls are one of the most spectacular waterfalls I ever visited. These spectacular falls are remarkably different from other “major river” waterfalls around Africa. The falls are located in a dramatic landscape: rift full of long ridges covered in miombo woodlands. The splendid creation is a result of the rift dropping to nearby Lake Tanganyika – Kalambo river flows through this epic gorge.
Thus, it is not a volume of water but the setting and height as its said highest waterfall in Africa which makes this place unique. However, when visiting in the peak rainy season or early dry season – the water levels are high and one can experience raging waters falling down to the cliff. In the dry season, apparently, one can walk safely through the water from Zambia to the other Tanzania.
Just like finding a great treasure, the road is never smooth. The access to the waterfall is not for everyone, it’s a treasure hunting road: these 20+ km were probably one of the worst roads I went through. We visited in March during the rainy season which created a couple of small “creeks” on the way to cross – which our off-road handled easily.
We arrived to the Great Kalambo Falls lodge in the dark seeing a nice sunset while driving along the ridge. The last descent to the lodge was tricky as it was so dark and the descent just was very steep. It is almost a surprise to see such a lodge next to the falls given the location. We could hear the falls nearby but could not see them, and enjoyed that night wonderful meal of village chicken + rice.
In the morning, we were pleasantly surprised: we literally slept just one minute away from the spectacular view of the Kalambo Falls and river gorge. Kudos to Zambian Park Service for building very wonderful viewpoints and walk paths along the ridge and falls. One can walk all the way to the edge of the fall for a very up close experience standing next to the fast flowing water, and for those not afraid of heights – you can also lie down on a rock and glance down the waterfall.
In the dry season, one can easily walk across the river to experience the waterfall from the Tanzanian side. We could also walk across by crossing further up river, and then descend to the bottom of the waterfall on the Tanzania side – but we did not do it as we had to proceed with our trip – nonetheless spending 1 night/1 day there suffices. One of my friends also hiked to the falls from the shore of Lake Tanganyika up the gorge which must be really an awesome experience.