It is not quite clear how high are Karkloof Falls – some sources mention 88 meters but some – 105 meters and many – something in between.
Nevertheless, this is a true, grand waterfall The Karkloof stream here falls into a free fall until it hits a narrow ledge close to the base of the falls. During the winter falls become weaker but after a thunderstorm, in summer the waterfall becomes very impressive.
Falls have formed on the sandstone of Vryheid Formation (the Permian period).
If compared to the nearby Howick Falls, Karkloof Falls seem to be taller, more spectacular and more pristine. And, the best: the stream is quite clean!
The name of the stream originates from Afrikaans and means “ravine of the cart”. According to a local story, a heavily laden cart overturned in this stream sometime around 1845. The cart stayed there for a long time and thus the stream (and waterfall) got its name.
Early settlers in this area considered this to be the most beautiful waterfall “in the land”. This is quite an achievement: there are many beautiful waterfalls in the Midlands indeed!
Some 500 meters above is another waterfall in the river – the 9 – 10 m tall Woodhouse Falls.
- Gavin Whitfield, 50 Must-See Geological Sites. 2016. ASIN: B01AGLRH8K.
Karkloof Falls on the map
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||29.4002 S 30.2788 E|
|Where is located?||Africa, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Midlands, some 15 km north from the Howick town, near Shafton Grange|
|Alternate names:||KwaNogqaza (Zulu name, meaning: “Place of the Tall One”|
|Height:||88 – 105 m|
Video of Karkloof Falls
Gerhard Britz, November 2017
South Africa is extremely rich with unusual archaeological and natural monuments. Highlights are the rich finds of rare minerals, unique ecosystems, finds of the first humans and some great waterfalls.
How often have we wondered about the jaunty tilt of a mountain ahead, the unusual patterns of a road cutting, the colour and texture of the roadside soil, or the purpose of a distant minehead? This handy volume offers answers and explanations about features along all the major routes across South Africa, and some of the lesser, but geologically interesting, routes too.