Kalambo Falls

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Habitation site
-8.58, 31.23
Tanzania, United Republic of

The Kalambo Falls on the Kalambo River is a 772-foot (235 m) single-drop waterfall on the border of Zambia and Rukwa Region, Tanzania at the southeast end of Lake Tanganyika. The falls are some of the tallest uninterrupted falls in Africa (after South Africa's Tugela Falls, Ethiopia's Jin Bahir Falls and others). Downstream of the falls is the Kalambo Gorge, which has a width of about 1 km and a depth of up to 300 m, running for about 5 km before opening out into the Lake Tanganyika rift valley. The Kalambo waterfall is the tallest waterfall in both Tanzania and Zambia. The expedition which mapped the falls and the area around it was in 1928 and led by Enid Gordon-Gallien. Initially it was assumed that the height of falls exceeded 300 m, but measurements in the 1920s gave a more modest result, above 200 m. Later measurements, in 1956, gave a result of 221 m. After this several more measurements have been made, each with slightly different results. The width of the falls is 3.6–18 m.

Kalambo Falls is also considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa, with occupation spanning over 447,000 years.

Late Acheulean stone tools, along with hearths and well-preserved organic objects were found at Kalambo Falls and documented by JD Clark. These organic artifacts collected included a wooden club and digging sticks as well as the dietary evidence for fruit consumption. Tools excavated from Kalambo Gorge have been analyzed and OSL dating of quartzite within the soil context to between 500,000 and 50,000 years ago, with amino acid racemization dating some contexts to 100,000 years ago. In 2023, archaeologists announced the discovery of wooden structures and other wooden artifacts dating to at least 476,000 years ago.