Everything you need to know before visiting Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls
Are you looking for an ultimate adrenaline rush when visiting Victoria Falls?
A Devil's Pool trip is the ultimate way to experience Victoria Falls (Mosi oa Tunya - meaning "the smoke that thunders"). It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that will leave you breathless and wanting more. You can swim right up to the edge of this natural wonder, with only a few feet between you and the edge of the Falls!
The ultimate infinity pool at the edge of Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls in Southern Africa and the widest in the World) has been created by thousands of years worth of erosion by the mighty Zambezi River.
Imagine being able to say that you swam at one of the world's seven natural wonders. Now that is something none of your friends would have done before.
The Pools are accessible only via guided boat tours departing from the Zambian bank of the Zambezi upstream of Victoria Falls and form part and parcel of a Livingstone Island tour.
The views are outstanding out over Bakoka Gorge and the bridge, photographic opportunities abound, and an adrenaline rush is like no other. An extraordinary and unique destination and activity await, especially for those with adventure flowing through their veins.
A short introduction to Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is located on the Zambezi River, between Zimbabwe and Zambia. An impressive sight to behold. A must-visit safari destination on any Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana or even south Africa safari holiday one may be looking at doing now or in the future.
Did you know that Victoria Falls was given its name by Scottish explorer David Livingstone? He named it in honour of Queen Victoria after becoming the first European to see the falls back in 1855.
Why is it called the Devil's Pool?
Why is it called The Devil's Pool? To be honest, we have no idea and cannot find any information on how this name was derived. In the old days (a few decades back), it was known as the "Armchair" how and why the name changed; we have no idea.
Most probably for better marketing and sales by the operators. They probably needed a catchy and scary name to attract people to the attraction. Of course, this is our presumption; there will always be someone who knows the truth and the real story; we just cannot find that person.
Where is the devil's swimming pool located?
A Google Map link of exactly where one can find the Pool.
The Devils Pool is a natural rock pool located on the edge of Victoria Falls on the Zambian side. It is only accessible during the dry season when the water level in the Zambezi River is low enough that visitors can swim right up to the edge of the falls.
The best way of seeing the exact location is via the above map link.
Best Time to visit Devils Pool?
The Devil's Pool is normally accessible between mid August, September and December, but this depends entirely on the water levels of the Zambezi. November is often cited as the best month to visit.
As a general rule of thumb, The lower the water levels, the better the chance of a swim; high water levels of the Zambezi will result in the activity being cancelled. The Zambezi is at its lowest between September and December, making it the best time to visit Victoria Falls and dip in the Devil's Pool.
Although saying that, if you want and need to see the Victoria Falls in spectacular full flood, avoid the above time frames; as you can see from the below image, the water levels are very low.
Can you swim at Devil's Pool?
The short answer is yes; you can swim in Devil's Pool.
The long answer is that a swim at Devils Pool is not compulsory; it is entirely up to you when the moment arrives, as the "pool" is a stopover on the Tongabezi's Livingstone Island Tour.
Change into your costume and get led by the guide who will explain the route and be by your side.
You do not have to be the strongest of swimmers when leaving the boat, the river current here is very slow, and there is also a safety rope as an added precaution.
Clambering over a few rocks and one finally gets to the edge of the Falls and the Devil's Pool.
If you do not want to partake in the swim, you simply stay aboard the boat and enjoy the magnificent scenery and the surrounding Zambezi River sights and sounds.
What to bring on a Devil's Pool Tour?
The two must-bring items are a swimming costume/ bathing suit and water shoes or sandals that you do not mind getting wet.
A floating waterproof bag or housing is necessary if you want to take photographs with your camera and/or smartphone.
A hat or cap and sun protection creams or sprays are highly recommended as the African sun above your head will fry you into a crisp in no time.
Towels are available back at the boat.
A change of clothes should one insist on freshening up or simply change back into your old clothes with the aim of freshening up back at one's hotel or lodge.
How To Visit Devil’s Pool?
This is the easy part; only one operator has the license to visit, and stopover at the pools and famous Livingstone Island, situated a mere stone's throw from the edge of the falls. The Livingstone Island tour runs five times a day, all from the Zambian side of the Zambezi River.
It is only on the Livingstone Island tour that one has the chance to stop by and swim in the Devil's Pool, a short boat ride away from the island; no other tour company or operator offers access to this activity.
Livingstone Island tours can either be pre-booked before your arrival in Victoria Falls or booked at your accommodation establishment. We would suggest booking on arrival as another adventure activity might just take your fancy leaving you with no time for the tour; refunds are very difficult to get back on pre-paid tours.
There is no way that one can walk to the pool either, so at the end of the day, it is the Livingstone Island tour or nothing.
The Livingstone Island launch site is upstream from the famed Royal Livingstone Hotel.
How much does it cost to go to Devil's Pool?
Look at anything from US$115 to US$180 per person, depending on the type and duration of the trip to Livingstone Island that includes the option of visiting Devil's Pool.
These rates are approximate values; rates vary depending on the year, taxes, entry fees, fuel costs etc.
Can I visit Devil's Pool from the Zimbabwe side of the Falls?
Yes, of course. But you will have to cross into Zambia, and visa fees may apply.
Two border crossings on the famed Victoria Falls bridge; look at about twenty minutes per border post, and you will be on the Zambian side of the Falls in well under an hour.
If you are staying on the Zimbabwean side and want to spend a day in Zambia exploring the Zambian side of the Falls, joining the Livingstone Island tour is always available.
In a nutshell, to access Devil's Pool, you will need to be on the Zambian side, and one will have to enter the country with a passport in hand as per any country in the World.
Is Devil's Pool safe to visit?
Victoria Falls is one of the most amazing places on Earth. And Victoria Falls Devils Pool is one of its highlights. But, is it safe to visit?
Absolutely! You will have an amazing time as long as you listen to your guide and respect the environment. Just pay attention to the safety instructions and do not do anything stupid, and you will be okay.
- Do not go close to the edge
- Do not stand on the edge
- Watch out and be wary of slippery rocks
- Wear shoes that provide some form of grip in the water
- Pay attention to your surroundings when taking photographs (this applies to the Instagrammers out there that lose themselves in their device's screen)
Children must be at least 12 years old to swim in this natural pool purely for safety reasons.
Can you swim in the Victoria Falls?
No, absolutely not; above the falls, below the falls, in the falls, this is not a safe place to play games and go for a swim; you will die or worse, cost someone else their life while they try to save you.
Between falling off a 100m cliff, being drowned by the strong currents of the Zambezi River, the Nile crocodiles (both above and below the falls), Hippopotamus and numerous other factors, swimming at the Falls and in the Zambezi River is highly discouraged.
Devils Pool is the only relatively safe option, and this is done with qualified and experienced guides to minimise accidents.
You will never forget this experience, and should be included in one's must-do bucket list! It's not every day that you get to swim on top of a natural wonder like this, so don't miss out on your chance to do something truly special. Don't let another year go (especially after 2020 and 2021) without experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Combine a swim here with a day's activities that include; bungee jumping, a Livingstone Island lunch tour or a high tea tour.
Contact us today and let us start planning that ultimate safari: Livingstone Island, Devil's Pool, and Victoria Falls.