Kalambo Falls

Southern Circuit

Kalambo Falls

Lakes and Rivers, Protected Areas 250 m Southern Circuit, Rukwa

Kalambo Nature Forest Reserve is in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region and has an area of 43,334ha. The iconic tourist attraction of the reserve is the Kalambo Waterfalls, which also serves as the border between Tanzania and Zambia. The Kalambo waterfalls is the 2nd highest fall in Africa with a single drop of 250m. (second to one of the tiers of Tugela Falls in South Africa) 

Besides the Kalambo waterfalls, there are attractions like the Kalambo Gorge at downstream of the waterfalls, a beautiful beach around Lake Tanganyika, a hot water spring at Kizombwe village, cultural attractions like Rungu Drama from Kalambo village and several archaeological resources.

As a matter of fact, the Kalambo River defines the Tanzania-Zambia border all the way into the vast Lake Tanganyika, which itself is shared by a foursome of countries (i.e. Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Zambia, and Tanzania).

The waterfall is in high flow in the May/June timeframe. But this depends on how much rainfall the region gets during its rainy season from January through April. The flow diminishes as the year progresses. Some of the locals we’ve spoken to said that around October or November, the falls probably won’t look impressive. 

Though few visitors realise it, the Kalambo Falls are also one of the most important archaeological sites in southern Africa. Just above the falls, by the side of the river, is a site that appears to have been occupied throughout much of the Stone Age and early Iron Age. The earliest tools and other remains discovered there may be over 300,000 years old, including evidence for the use of fire.

For years Kalambo provided the earliest evidence of fire in sub-Saharan Africa – charred logs, ash and charcoal have been discovered amongst the lowest levels of remains. This was a tremendously important step for Stone-Age man as it enabled him to keep warm and cook food, as well as use fire to scare off aggressive animals. Burning areas of grass may even have helped him to hunt. However, more recent excavations of older sites in Africa have discovered evidence of the use of fire before the time when we believe that this site at Kalambo was occupied.

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