Around the world there are countless beautiful waterfalls and they often attract visitors from all over the world. With over 30 million visitors each year, Niagara is considered the most visited waterfall in the world and straddles between Canada and the United States. Made up of three waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls) Niagara Falls is synonymous with romance, as such many couples visit Niagara Falls each year. Coined the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” Niagara receives it share of couple who become engaged, get married, and of course honeymoon in this popular tourist destination.
Although Niagara may be the most visited waterfall in the world, it is certainly not the biggest or largest waterfall in the world. The continent of Africa is home to four of the biggest and largest waterfalls in the world. In order of size the 10 biggest and largest waterfalls in the world are the following:
- Chutes de Khone
- Salto Para
- Chutes Kongou
- Cataratas del Iguazu
- Saltos del Mocono
- Vermilion Falls
- Victoria Falls
- Chutes Wagenia
- Niagara Falls
- Inga Falls
Chutes de Khone is located on the Mekong River in southern Laos and is considered the largest waterfall in southeast Asia. The Khone Falls at its highest point reaches 69 feet tall and the rapids stretch to 6 miles long. Home to the endangered species of catfish the plabuck is thought to be the largest freshwater fish in the world.
Salto Para is in Venezuela and breaks the natural course of the Caura River. The Salto Para is estimated at 210 feet tall and has a width of over 18,000 feet. The Salto Para is divided and descends into seven vast gushes of water.
Chutes Kongou is in the Ivindo National Park in eastern Gabon on the Ivindo River. It is over 183 feet tall and over 10,000 feet wide. In addition to being one of the biggest and largest waterfalls in the world, it is also one of the strongest flowing waterfalls in the world with a 900 cubic meter flow per second.
Cataratas del Iguazu lies mainly in Argentina and partially in Brazil on the San Antonio River and Iguaza River. It is an estimated 197 feet tall and 1.7 miles in width. Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi, who fled with her mortal lover Taroba in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
Saltos del Mocono is in Argentina and lies on the Uruguay River. In the Guarani language Mocona means “everything swallows,” and is 32 feet tall and 9,900 feet wide. Located near the Yaboti biosphere reserve, you can observe the flora and fauna and discover all the different species of trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytic plants with birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians.
Vermilion Falls has a height of approximately 20 feet tall, spans 6,000 feet across, and the crest is over a mile in length. The falls lie in Northern Alberta
Victoria Falls has a width of 5,604 feet, height of 354 feet, and is the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its official name is Mosi-oa-Tunya and nurtures a near by rainforest containing rare plants (for the area) such as pod mahogany, ebony, ivory palm, wild date palm, and batoko plum. The national parks contain wildlife such as elephant, cape buffalo, giraffe, zebra, antelope, lions, leopards, cheetahs, vervet monkeys, and baboons. The river above the falls contains hippos and crocodiles. In the gorges you can find klipspringers, honey badgers, lizards, and otters. There are 35 species of raptors, falcons, black eagles, and buzzards. Above the falls you will see heron, fish eagles, and waterfowl. The Zambezi is home to 39 species of fish below the falls and 84 species above it.
Chutes Wagenia consists of seven cataracts and has a height of 16 feet tall and extends over more then 62 miles along a curve of the Lualaba River. It is in the Democratic Republic of Congo Boyoma Falls is the largest waterfall by volume of annual flow rate in the world exceeding both Niagara Falls and Iguazu Falls. The locals have created an ingenious method of fishing by entrapping large fish in wooden tripods across the rapids fixed in holes carved in the rock by the water current.
Niagara Falls has a vertical drop of more than 160 feet. The oldest and best-known tourist attract is the Maid of mist boat cruise named for the ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, which carried passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls. Throughout the years, Niagara Falls has seen many daredevils who have plunged over the falls. The Yankee Leapster jumped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived. Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over the falls in a barrel and survived. Other stunts such as walking the tightrope have been attempted with most surviving the dangerous feat.
Inga Falls has a drop of 315 ft over the course of 9 miles. The falls are in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Congo River.
As you can see waterfalls can be a powerful enchanting experience. There are plenty of waterfalls around to choose from and many with flora and fauna to view.
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