Guide to Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls

Matilda Madekufamba @moonshyyne
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Everything you need to know before venturing into the deep!

The Devil’s Pool is the highlight of any trip to Zambia or Zimbabwe – yes, this excursion can be accessed from both countries!

The Devil’s Pool is a naturally occurring pool of water that sits directly on the edge of the Victoria Falls, on Livingstone Island. Getting to the pool requires strong swimming skills because you must swim your way to the area where the pool is located. Part of the swim goes through an area with a very strong current.

FYI – THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SEE VICTORIA FALLS.

Devil’s Pool only shows you only a portion of the back of Victoria Falls. If you want to see the full Falls, you must cross the border into Zimbabwe. Both Canadian and US citizens need a visa to enter Zimbabwe, but the visa is very easy to purchase and can be bought at the border. For more details about Victoria Falls/visas click here.

When to visit:

The best time to visit is during the drier months: mid-August to mid-January. The water levels are much lower, and the currents are not as strong.

I went on January 2nd, 2020 and the water levels were just perfect

Safety! Safety! Safety:

Since the tour was established in the early 1990s, there have been no fatalities at the Devil’s Pool. The staff are very knowledgeable, strong swimmers and make sure to put your safety first.

While on the boat across the Zambezi River to Livingstone Island you are provided with life jackets.

At the Devil’s Pool, there are ropes in place just before the edge of the pool, in case anything goes wrong, these would be able to hold you back.

Tour details (times and prices):

There are five trips a day to the Devil’s Pool, each lasting roughly 2 hours. Alcohol is served on each of the lunch and high tea options, details below:

Morning Breezer – 7:30am/9:00am/10:00am – US $100

  • This option does not include food.

Lunch – 12:30pm – US $165

  • This option includes a three-course lunch and alcoholic beverages after the swim.

High Tea – 3:30pm – US $140

  • This option includes an assortment of sandwiches and teas and alcoholic beverages after the swim.

The Morning Breezer was my preferred option but it books fast so I ended up on the lunch option. I have no regrets; the food was amazing!

How to book:

  • In person – tour operators like Wild Horizons and Tongabezi and more; or
  • Online – trip adviser or Tongabezi’s website (tour operator) and more.

Though you may be able to get a discount of up to US $10 off by booking in person, please, please book in advance! This tour is one of the best selling in the Victoria Falls area and sells out fast, especially the Morning Breezer option.

What to bring/wear:

I never leave my water shoes behind for any water activities!

Bathing suit

You can also do this activity in shorts and a t-shirt if you like, but if not, don’t forget your bathing suit.

Camera/phone to take pictures

While some activities will hassle you for ‘professional’ photographs, there are no photographers available for this activity. All pictures are taken for you by the guides, but with your device. They do not have a photographer or cameras on site. You must bring your own.

Water shoes

The rocks in the pool are quite jagged but also slippery. Water shoes will help you maintain your footing as you make your way to the pool and when you are at the pool. They will also keep the little fish in the water from accessing your feet.

You do not need to bring a towel; plenty are provided.

Can’t swim? No problem!

If you can’t swim, you can still take the boat ride to Livingstone Island – the place where David Livingstone first saw the Falls. Here the guides will explain a little bit about his history and show you the plaque commemorating him.

You can also take pictures in the Angels Pool, located right by the plaque. Its is a very shallow pool that offers comfort and safety while still experiencing the amazing view and thunderous roars of the falls.

What to expect – from the Zimbabwean side:

  • Meet your driver at the Elephant Hills Hotel.
  • The driver will take you to the Zambian border and help you cross over and hand you over to the Zambian driver waiting for you on the other side.
  • Zambian driver will take you to the ‘Launch Point’ where you will catch the boat Livingstone Island.

Tip: If you are taking this tour from the Zimbabwean side, I highly recommend you get your own driver instead of the one you’ll be offered through the tour companies. It will cost your group US $5.00 from your hotel to the border and US $5.00 from the border to the ‘Launch Point’, if you find your own taxi. This option also allows you the flexibility to remain in Livingstone and explore the surrounding markets.

If you take the driver offered by the tour company, it will cost you $15 per person round trip from Elephant Hills Hotel AND you will have to find your own way to Elephant Hills if you are not already staying there.

What to expect – from the Zambian side:

  • 5-minute boat ride to the Livingstone Island
  • Welcome drink – Mahue – traditional southern African fermented beverage made from ground corn meal.
  • Short tour of Livingstone Island including the David Livingstone monument.
  • Here you’re also provided an opportunity to change if you don’t already have your bathing suit on.
  • Begin your Devil/Angel’s Pool Adventure!
  • Lunch or high tea
  • 5-minute boat ride back to the ‘Launch Point’
  • Back to Royal Livingstone Hotel

Is Devil’s Pool worth it?

By now I’m sure you’re wondering, “Is this activity worthwhile?” The answer is, “Absolutely!” This activity was so thrilling. Both my sister and I had an awesome time. There is a reason this activity has grown into the most popular and profitable activity in Victoria Falls!

Have you been to the Devil’s Pool? What was your experience like? Feel free to add to this guide in the comments below!

 

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