Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool located on the edge of Victoria Falls, along the Zambezi River bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world and an exhilarating attraction for adventurous visitors seeking a unique experience at the falls.
Devil’s Pool is one of the highlights of Victoria Falls, as it allows visitors to witness a breathtaking view you cannot safely see pretty much anywhere else in the world. However, the excursion is not without its risks and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Here is everything you need to know about taking the plunge in Devil’s Pool, from how safe it is to what the experience is like.
What is Devil’s Pool?
Devil’s Pool is formed by a natural rock wall that blocks off a portion of the falls, allowing visitors to swim right up to the edge of the precipice during the dry season when water levels are lower. The pool sits at the very edge of Victoria Falls, with incredible views of the powerful waterfall known as “The Smoke That Thunders.” However, swimming in the pool is only safely possible during the dry season (mid-August to mid-December).
Devil’s Pool is a popular thrill-seeking and photography destination for adventure travelers visiting Victoria Falls. It provides an adrenaline-pumping experience of being right on the knife’s edge of one of the world’s largest waterfalls.
How to Get to Devil’s Pool
To access Devil’s Pool, visitors must take a guided hike and swim across a channel through Green Safaris’ guided tours. One official tour available is called The Livingstone Island tour. The Livingstone Island tour is still worth it for those who want to see this natural wonder but are not necessarily willing to take the plunge, as Devil’s Pool is only one part of the experience.
The tour often begins with a boat transfer from the mainland to Livingstone Island. Visitors embark on a short boat ride, enjoying scenic views of the Zambezi River and the surrounding landscape. Upon reaching Livingstone Island, participants have the opportunity to explore the island and learn about its history. Livingstone Island is named after the famous Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone, who was the first European to see Victoria Falls.
One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to visit Devil’s Pool. During the dry season when the water levels are lower (the driest months are typically October and November), a natural rock barrier creates a lip just before the waterfall’s edge. Visitors can swim to the pool, guided by experienced staff, and enjoy the thrilling experience of being right on the brink of Victoria Falls. After the thrill of Devil’s Pool, the tour heads back to Livingstone Island where breakfast, lunch, or snacks are given depending on what time your tour is. Visitors are taken back to the mainland by boat After the adventure on Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool.
Is Devil’s Pool Safe?
Making a trek to a naturally formed infinity pool right off the side of a waterfall is bound to be scary and not completely, 100% safe. That is what makes it so thrilling to many people. However, the main risk of falling off the edge of Devil’s Pool that most are concerned with is highly unlikely.
John Widmer for the blog “Roaming Around The World” shared his experience with the Livingstone Island tour. He wrote, “In Devil’s Pool itself, there is a rock lip that protrudes upward which keeps you from falling over the edge. Under the low water conditions that you’re permitted to enter Devil’s Pool, you would have to make a concerted effort to actually go up and over that rock that’s naturally keeping you in.”
You would have to make an effort to actually fall over the lip of Devil’s Pool. Additionally, there have been no deaths at Devil’s Pool in Victoria Falls. A commonly known death of a guide attempting to rescue a tourist and falling to his death did unfortunately happen but it was not at Devil’s Pool and was before the Green Safaris’ guided tours were the only way to access the pool. Minor injuries from slipping on rocks are possible.
Additionally, strong swimming skills and being in very fit shape are not required for the Livingstone Island tour. According to Victoria Falls Guide, “You swim slightly upstream in a very slow current, being a strong swimmer is not a prerequisite. A safety rope is also in place as an added precaution.”
Widmer also wrote that people of varying body sizes, ages, and swimming skills were able to make it across the Zambezi River without any incidents. Up until Devil’s Pool, the water should be shallow enough to stand in, but guides are always there for assistance.
The excursion is only permitted when conditions are the safest and it is permitted. Crocodiles and hippos call this river home, so there is a chance to encounter them. However, guides always look out for these creatures and they know to stray away from the Victoria Falls’ edge at Devil’s Pool.
How Much Does The Livingstone Island Tour Cost?
There are multiple trips available to take with the Livingstone Island tour. There are multiple morning tours that last about 1.5 hours at the price of about $110 per person. Then there is a lunch slot that lasts about 2.5 hours for about $175 per person. Lastly, there is the high tea trip that lasts about 2 hours and costs $150 per person. Book a tour through a reputable travel agency, hotel, or booking site.
Those ages eight and up are able to take the Livingstone Island tour. However, children must be 12 and up to go into Devil’s Pool.
Should You Visit Devil’s Pool?
While Devil’s Pool offers a unique perspective of Victoria Falls, it’s essential for visitors to be aware of their own comfort levels with heights and water-based activities and to prioritize safety at all times. Keep in mind that conditions may change, and access to Devil’s Pool is dependent on the water levels and weather conditions at Victoria Falls.
You can still take the Livingstone Island tour without taking the plunge into Devil’s Pool. Those who are iffy on Devil’s Pool but do not want to miss out on the sights can simply skip that part of the tour. You are free to change your mind in any way once on the tour.