Falling for the falls
Top 6 waterfalls around the world
Falling for the falls
Top 6 waterfalls around the world
There are many thousands of waterfalls all over the world – roaring, trickling and flowing through a variety of natural environments. Like forests, waterfalls are critical in so many ways. They are a good indication of the health of an ecosystem, closely by environmentalists, geologists and hydrologists.
According to scientists, visiting waterfalls is good for your health. They promote biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin which alleviates stress. Whether you agree or not, there is no denying that, returning back to the theme behind this issue, seeing waterfalls from above gives you a real sense of perspective.
Although they are measured in different ways (for example by width, height, and volume of water), the largest waterfalls in the world are truly awe-inspiring. These include Niagara Falls (Canada and USA), Angel Falls (Venezuela), Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil), Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe), and the Olo’upena Falls (Hawaii).
We have put together a list of our top six most iconic waterfalls in the world. Covering North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, we feel that these waterfalls deserve a mention. According to scientists, visiting a waterfall is good for your health. They promote biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin and alleviates stress. Whether you agree or not, there is no denying that, returning back to the theme behind this issue, seeing waterfalls from above gives you a real sense of perspective.
1 – Niagara Falls. USA/ Canada
Along with the bluest lakes, grizzly bears, and world-beating ice-hockey, nothing epitomises the image of Canada quite like its forests and falls. Niagara Falls (image to the left) – which lies on the border between Ontario, Canada and the American state of New York – is one of the most iconic spectacles in North America. Like other mighty waterfalls, Niagara is actually made up of three individual falls. These include the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. One of the best vantage points is at Queen Victoria Park on the Canadian side. Here you can start the famous boat cruise named Maid of the Mist – be prepared to come away very wet!
2 – Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Located between Croatia’s historic cities of Zagreb and Zadar, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a beautiful reserve attracting thousands of visitors each year. Boasting a network of 16 interconnected terraced lakes, 90 cascading waterfalls and lush forests, Plitvice is unique in every sense. The largest of the waterfalls in Plitvice is named Veliki Slap, standing at an impressive height of 78 metres. Plitvice Lakes (image below) is the largest national park in Croatia and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1949. We would recommend allocating some time to enjoy the colours, smells and sounds of Plitvice Lakes. While it is not an unfamiliar sequence that goes from waterfall to lake to waterfall to lake, Croatia’s Plitvice encompasses the essence of this issue – forests and falls.
3 – Iceland
Iceland – a Scandinavian island located between Norway and Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean – is definitely up there with the world’s most dramatic islands in terms of scenery and landscape. As well as mountains, lakes and cliffs, Iceland has an abundance of waterfalls which will leave you absolutely entranced. Some of the most visited waterfalls include Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Gullfoss, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, which replicates Niagara with an iconic horseshoe shape and Glymur – the highest waterfall in Iceland (at 198 metres), Goðafoss. The photograph is of Skógafoss waterfall in the winter months (November – February).
4 – Vietnam
We wanted to draw your attention to one of Vietnam’s waterfalls in particular – Ban Gioc Waterfall. Located in northern Vietnam, Bon Gioc is regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s natural treasures. The falls actually sit on the border between northern Vietnam and China, and is fed by the Quay Son River. However, with so many stunning waterfalls in Vietnam, the surrounding landscapes of dense forest valleys, combined with the multiple levels of lake terraces give the Bon Gioc falls the ultimate wow-factor for a compelling visit.
5 – Bali
Bali is a traveller’s dream. The island is home to a wealth of captivating waterfalls – some well-known, some hidden. Because of their proximity to the town of Ubud, Tegenungan and Kanto Lampo waterfalls are regularly visited. Of course, there is a reason they are so visited. In both of these waterfalls, you can swim in the lake below and walk right up to the falling water, which makes for a great photograph. The image below is one of the lesser visited falls named Sekumpul, located in the northern mountains of Bali.
6 – Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and one of the jewels in Africa’s crown. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the falls can be seen from multiple viewpoints and trails in both countries. Mosi-oa-Tunya is the local name for the falls and translates to ‘the smoke that thunders’. It definitely smokes. And it definitely thunders. A visit to Victoria Falls will be wet, loud and simply unforgettable. We would recommend spending at least two nights in Livingstone and if you are an adrenaline junkie, then you could easily stay longer and not run out of things to do.
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This article was first published in issue one of the Unforgettable Travel Magazine.
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