Kundalila Falls

Just an hour away from Serenje on the Great North road to Mpika lies the Kundalila falls. It is located 13km away from the main road and while the access road has a few rocky and rough patches it is fairly graded and gravel in most stretches.

After leaving my vehicle at the parking area, I walked a few meters down hill and crossed a bridge over the Kaombe river, which is the lifeline of the waterfall. The river couldn’t have been over 10ms wide so it almost seemed like a stream after heavy rains, but I was amazed to see how it eventually tumbles down several rocks and plummets into the valley below with such spectacular grace. A little down hill I could see the water gathering momentum but my gaze was drawn to the endless horizon of a valley, clear skies and hills in the distance. This was a sight to truly behold and it reminded me the Gods window experience in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa. The view 🙌🏽.

I soaked in the moment before walking along the pathway that forms a crest around the falls, to get a better view of the waterfall from the left side. I realised that the waterfall is surrounded by several impervious rocks on either side and the waterfall almost flows into a semi-circle of rocks with the greenery surrounding it. It was quite interesting to note and see as most of the other waterfalls I have seen fall off the cliff like a curtain.

Beautiful as it looked, I was not as thrilled with the view because I wanted to experience the full might of the falls, so my guide recommended that I would only experience that sensation from the viewing point in the valley below. The catch was that we needed to walk around the hill and hike our way down, I had no idea of what I had just signed up for 😅.

The makeshift path generally had some stones laid out to make the steep walk downhill much easier but a lot of the area was still in its natural form with a few streams of water trickling down the hill too. The vegetation begun to change as we got closer to the viewing point, it got much greener and a little dense.

When I finally got to the viewing point it was everything I expected and more. I could see the grandeur of this waterfall and experience the full power of the seemingly small stream that I just witnessed awhile before. It was not simple to reconcile how that stream had such power to create such a magnificent sight, alas! nature has its way.

There were so many layers to this waterfall as the water did not fall as a single curtain like other waterfalls I’ve visited. Even with the different layers and hinderance from the surrounding rocks, it still had so much power and magnificence to it. I definitely recommend taking the walk down hill to see the waterfall from this view there were so many more elements to appreciate from the bottom than from the top.

Seeing the Kundalila falls was just what I needed to be reminded of the power of consistency, even in small actions and decisions. Visiting this waterfall also taught me the importance of taking things in stride and not being afraid to take moments out to centre myself and just breathe. I especially learned this courtesy of the hike back uphill because I almost saw the light folks 😄. I made it back up and lived to tell this tale so you can also chase your own adventures and visit this beautiful gem.

Travel Tips

  • If you need a rest stop or place to perch as you travel to the Kundalila, you could consider Atha Executive Lodge in Serenje (0976077723 / 0976379166). They’re located right along the Great North road as you drive into Serenje from the Mkushi direction.
  • If you are not driving, there are several taxi’s that can take you to the waterfalls from Serenje. You can ask for recommended taxi’s from the Atha Lodge staff, I recommend you meet the taxis and negotiate transport rates with them.
  • Once you get into the dirt road from Great North Road, it is a one way street to the waterfalls, the road meanders two to three times but you need to just follow the road until you get to the waterfall facility.
  • There is a small lodge a few metres before the waterfall facility entrance, I would only recommend it for emergencies.
  • Carry the right shoes that will enable you to hike to and from the valley viewing point, I made the mistake of wearing flip flops because I thought the terrain was friendly.
  • Carry enough water to drink and hydrate, especially for the hike back uphill.
  • The Kaombe river did not have any marine life from my observation but I saw a few monkeys and birds. I still recommend that you remain aware of your surroundings as snakes are alive and well in the tropics 😅.
  • As with all other travels, when you get to these beautiful sites, be responsible and do your part to preserve them by not polluting the soil, air or water.

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