‘…so lovely, it must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight’ [David Livingstone]
I watched so many YouTube videos about jumping into Devil’s Pool in the lead up to our Africa trip and it really did look like one of those true bucket list travel experiences. So we talked about it a lot in the lead up to our trip to Zambia. The only thing is, I’m a bit scared of heights. So I wasn’t sure whether I had the dare devil in me to do it.
This natural pool is pretty spectacular. It perches at the very edge of Victoria Falls, like Mother Nature’s own infinity pool.
I didn’t want to miss out on seeing Zambia’s Natural Wonder of the World from such a unique spot…did I?
I thought long and hard about it and then once we arrived into Livingstone, I got in touch with Tongabezi – the safari lodge group that runs special tours to Devil’s Pool.
And you know what? I signed up.
Tongabezi runs five tours to Devil’s Pool each day. They have the three ‘Breezer’ trips during the morning which includes breakfast. They also run a 12.30 lunch trip and a 3.30 trip which includes High Tea.
If you’re not planning to pay the visa fee to get over to the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls (which are fuller than Zambia’s in the dry season), this is a great way to see this natural wonder up close. Especially as it includes a trip to Livingstone Island – the historic island right in the middle of the Zambezi River, discovered by Dr David Livingstone in 1855.
One of the great things about the Devil’s Pool trip is it starts at the sundeck of the beautiful Royal Livingstone Hotel. I’ve looked at this luxury hotel many times over the years and it’s absolutely STUNNING.
The grounds of The Royal Livingstone Hotel sit right on the Zambezi river bed, it’s incredibly green and lush compared to the red and dusty town of Livingstone. The interiors are classic and sleek. And they have their own zebras who roam the grounds.
Check out the views of the Zambezi river from their sundeck…
After a safety briefing (there are hippos and elephants in the Zambezi river, after all), we jumped in a three-minute speedboat ride to Livingstone Island.
There, we walked through the leafy paths and over to the rocks that are dotted along the river bed. As we neared the edge of the falls, it was time to strip down to our swimwear and brave the freezing cold water (TIP: wear thick-soled sandals that you can swim in – no flip flops!)
There was no going back.
We had our lifeguard Felix leading the pack and we followed him through the safest swimming route like ducklings.
Once on the edge of Devil’s Pool, Felix talked us through the protocol.
Top tips – slide down onto your bum, don’t jump! Be mindful of the sharp rocks (avoid kicking too hard in case you hit something).And watch out for the nibbling fish!
He was allowed to break the ‘no jumping’ rule.
And once he’d dived in, he stayed under the water a little too long for our liking (trying to mess with our nerves, I think).
The fish definitely nibbled. And the water in Devil’s Pool was freezing cold. I didn’t look quite as far over the edge as some of the others. But it felt pretty amazing to be right at the top of Victoria Falls.
It was also another perfect opportunity to try out our GoPro.
After you’ve taken it in turns to get snaps in the prime spot, you swim back to Livingstone Island for brunch and a chance to chat with some other travellers. We had eggs Benedict, scones and muffins – just what you need after that adrenaline rush.
The ‘loo with a view’ was pretty unique.
And the speed boat trip back to The Royal Livingstone Hotel is a great opportunity to take in Zambia’s spectacular scenery and spot a few hippos.
It was the last time we’d see this great river after our trip to the Lower Zambezi. So we were quite sad to leave. But I’m so glad I overcame my fear to experience Devil’s Pool.
If you’re visiting Victoria Falls during the dry season, then I’d highly recommend you book this trip (you can’t do it outside of the dry season as the river is too strong).
It’s exciting, exhilarating and the rainbows you see from Devil’s Pool are beautiful.
It’s also pretty cool to walk in the footsteps of a great pioneer and explorer.