What You Need to Know Before Visiting Devils Pool at Victoria Falls
Hot off the press from Devils Pool at Victoria Falls
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, sits on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. On top of these incredible falls, awaiting its adrenaline pumping tourists, is Devils Pool. Only accessible during dry season, August to January, this pool swirls just moments before a 360-foot drop. A submerged wall of rocks is what makes this thrilling adventure possible. Are you brave enough to venture into this pool? If so, I have compiled some tips to help you mentally and physically prepare! Visiting Devils Pool at Victoria Falls is not typically something on a luxury traveler’s itinerary. Yet, this heart-racing adventure will leave you with some incredible memories that’ll last a lifetime!
Here some tips for visiting Devils Pool at Victoria Falls:
1. Book this Experience in Advance
One of the most important tips is to book this experience in advance of visiting Devils Pool at Victoria Falls. Tongabezi departs five times a day and they often sell out. This is because they want to ensure the privacy of a small group for you and your fellow thrill-seekers. They have perfectly crafted this excursion through Livingstone Island to the exhilarating Devils Pool.
You will first depart from the luxurious Royal Livingstone Hotel. Don’t forget to use the restroom before you depart! Although there is a restroom on the way, it’s not very private. By boat, you’ll then gaze at the breathtaking views and learn about the island’s ancient history. From here you’ll brave the Zambezi current and swim in the low waters to Devils Pool. Don’t worry, the currents are not very strong! By then, you will have worked up one heck of an appetite! Depending on the time of day Tongabezi offers a delicious picnic feast.
2. Stay at Tongabezi
Tongabezi is not just a guide company for Devils Pool. It’s also one of the most luxurious properties in Zambia. My stay at Tongabezi is still my favorite Zambian accommodation! At Tongabezi, you can work with your concierge or personal guide to coordinate this thrilling excursion. Just make sure you start inquiring at least a few weeks in advance. This will ensure you get the best time and date that fits into your vacation itinerary.
3. Make sure you listen to your expert guide! The Devils Pool at Victoria Falls is a beautifully stunning yet dangerous experience.
4. Mentally Prepare Yourself: What to Expect
Once you jump into the Zambezi River, you might be wondering what happens next?! Up until this point you’ve had the luxurious feeling of safety in your tiny boat. Now you are swimming in the same waters that give way to those powerful waterfalls. It’s no doubt that the Devils Pool at Victoria Falls is a death-defying experience. However, as long as you listen to your expert guides, you are promised years of experience and safety advice. Here is a quick rundown of what to expect once your toes hit the water.
Swimming through the Zambezi River, the fourth longest river in Africa, is an incredible experience. As incredible as it is, you also need to be aware of your surroundings. This river is home to a number of Africa’s safari animals. Hippos can be beautiful creatures to watch from a distance, but they are also very aggressive and territorial. They live in the waters outside of the Royal Livingstone Hotel, and you may see some on they way to Devil’s Pool. On a less scary note, if you feel something nibbling on your toes, you’re just experiencing nature’s pedicure. Tiny fish are “cleaning” your feet. If for any reason your nerves get the best of you, there is a safety rope to hold onto while walking through the water. Make sure to walk slowly as the ground is very jagged and rocky.
By now you will have arrived at Devils Pool. The guides will jump, sometimes flip, into the water taking away your fear of the current sweeping you over the cliffs. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to jump, you can simply take the rocky steps into the pool. The current will then slowly pull you towards a submerged rock wall. This is the only thing between you and that 360-foot drop. Your expert guides will ensure you are safely secured and they’ll also help you snap exhilarating photos of your experience. Don’t forget to bring money to tip!
5. Pack Properly: What to Wear
Packing for this excursion can seem daunting. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure you can’t possibly be prepared for. Instead of worrying about what to wear, spend your time relishing in this voyage. Grab a small waterproof daypack and throw in an extra pair of clothes and some water shoes. Since you’ll be taking a dip in the Zambezi River, you’ll want to enjoy the picnic afterwards in some nice dry clothes. You will also be hopping over slippery, wet rocks on your journey to and through Devils Pool at Victoria Falls. Bring water shoes! Don’t worry about packing a towel, one will be provided for you.
Expect everything you bring with you to get wet. You do have the option to leave your dry clothes behind in the boat before you dive into the Zambezi River. Also keep in mind that there are no lockers or storage areas- it’s just you and nature! However, with the privacy of your small group, I wouldn’t be concerned with anyone stealing your belongings you left behind.
6. Make Sure You Capture the Moment
Don’t let this experience go undocumented! I would highly recommend bringing a waterproof camera. A Go Pro is a great addition to your daypack. Especially one with an extendable arm so you can get those Instagram-worthy shots over the plummeting cliff. Plus, you will obviously need that selfie shot commemorating your brave accomplishment! Another option is to purchase a waterproof case for your phone. Either way I would consider making this investment. The tour itself is surrounded by water, even the smallest splash could damage your phone.
Leave those expensive lenses and cameras at home. Only small digital cameras, Go Pro’s and cell phones are allowed to venture with you to Devils Pool. Your expert guides will be happy to snap all the marvelous shots your heart desires.
Nicknamed “Mosi-oa-Tunya” meaning “The Smoke That Thunders”, these falls will take your breath away!
7. How to Get There
Once you set your eyes on these falls, you’ll see why they are known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. The vast width of water spans between both Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, Devils Pool at Victoria Falls is only accessible on the Zambia side. If you are staying in Zimbabwe, it’s an easy venture over the border. You’ll need to bring your passport as well as some cash for a Zambia Day Tripper Visa. Staying on either side of the border has its perks. In Zambia you have the luxury of getting up close and personal with the falls. Yet, Zimbabwe has some of the most incredible views. This is especially the case during dry season when the falls are less powerful in Zambia. Flights can be booked into either Victoria Falls Airport or Livingstone Airport. However, Livingstone airport is closer to Devil’s Pool as it is in Zambia. Victoria Falls Airport is on the Zimbabwe side of the falls.
8. What You Should Bring
A few other items you should consider adding to your waterproof daypack are insect repellent, sunblock and extra cash. The mosquitos are intense in these lush surroundings. To avoid being eaten alive make sure you spray a heavy coat of insect repellent. For obvious reasons, the African sun can be just as intense as those mosquitos. Keep sunburns away by layering on sunblock before and after swimming in the Zambezi River. Finally, you will want some extra cash to tip your expert guides. Not only did they bring you back alive, they probably took a lot of those Instagram photos you’ll be posting for the next few weeks! I said this earlier, but don’t forget to bring water shoes!
If there is one thing you need when braving the dip in Devils Pool at Victoria Falls, it’s your courage and thrill of excitement!
Most of all, take your time soaking in the beauty of your natural surroundings. It’s so easy to get swept up in the heart-pounding experience. Make sure to take a few deep, probably nervous breaths, and absorb the 360-degree view. After all, you are sitting in a pool on top of one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders!