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Jumping into the Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls

06 Feb Posted by in Africa, Zambia | 41 comments
Jumping into the Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls
 

There are things in life that challenge us both physically and mentally; the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls is definitely one of them.

Despite what I said in my last post about the Falls not being hugely impressive to look at in the dry season, there is one major benefit: the Devil’s Pool. Only accessible in the dry season, the Devil’s Pool is a natural-made infinity pool that sits on the very lip of Victoria Falls over 100m high with a walk and swim over the Falls themselves to get there.

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The calm before the storm

There are no ‘health and safety’ warnings at the Devil’s Pool. There’s no rope around the edge, no ladder to get in and out and if you don’t follow your guide’s advice, there’s a high chance you could die. Sounds fun doesn’t it?! Hell yes it is!

When I first told my friends, before I left home, that I planned to do the Devil’s Pool, some laughed nervously and others outright told me not to do it. My mum? She just shrugged and said ‘if it’s your time [to die], it’s your time’; gotta love her nonchalant attitude right?! ;) But I was determined to do it. Not many people in life can say that they laughed in the face of death (it was a very nervous laughter I can tell you) but Devil’s Pool gives you that opportunity.

What I didn’t realise when I booked the Devil’s Pool was that you would actually have to swim over the Falls. As in, be a strong swimmer, follow your guide and don’t mess up. The other thing I didn’t realise? The boat that would take us to the sand island on the Falls departs from one of the most luxurious hotels in all of Zambia; The Royal Livingstone Hotel. I walked in with black feet, dirty clothes and a backpack and everyone else was over 50 dripping in diamonds and pearls. Even the staff looked me up and down wondering why I was there. Yeah, I know how to stay classy.

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The Royal Livingstone Hotel

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Catching the boat to the Devil’s Pool

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We had to walk/swim over this to get to the Devil’s Pool -it hurt!

 

So Laura (a girl I had grown exceptionally close with on my tour) and I got in the boat, headed over to the sand island (where they serve the food) (yes, they really do serve food in the MIDDLE OF VICTORIA FALLS) and got a quick briefing from our guide. We just stood and stared not quite comprehending what we were about to do but over the moon to be doing it. Before we knew it we were clambering over rocks and wading into the water to begin our UNASSISTED swim. No rope, no-one pulling you across, just you, your fear and a crap load of kicking when you do the front crawl. We made it over to the first set of rocks before resting (we may be young but the water was deceptively strong!) and then we were off, holding hands to stay in formation before clambering over more rocks and seeing it; the Devil’s Pool.

Then the realisation hits. YOU’RE ABOUT TO SIT ON THE EDGE OF VICTORIA FALLS – WTF ARE YOU DOING?! LET’S DO THIS!

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The view from the top!

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The ‘WTF’ moment seeing Devil’s Pool

We were told that you could either jump or slide into the Devil’s Pool and in my mind, with the WTF fear swirling around my brain, I was going to slide in but after watching the three American girls jump in before me, I decided that life was too short to not live and jumped right in – waaaaaaahooooooo!…..

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Wahhhoooooo!

This is about the time I warn you not to wear a fashionable bikini to the Devil’s Pool because things tend to become a little loose with the jump and current i.e. you’ll come out of the water and sit on the edge of Victoria Falls for a good 10 seconds before you realise (or anyone tells you) that BOTH your boobs have popped out. Oh yeah, and everyone still waiting to jump from the rocks are men. Fun times! Meh, I couldn’t have cared less. In case you hadn’t noticed – I just jumped into the Devil’s Pool on the edge of Victoria Falls!! Nothing could bring me down.

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Laura and I on the right

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The photo in which I’d just put my boobs back into my bikini!

Laura and I sat on the edge of the Devil’s Pool hugging in disbelief that we’d just done something so incredible. Before we knew it, we were going around for a second time. This is again the time I warn you not to wear a fashionable bikini because it stops you climbing up the rocks as you’re trying to hold on to both your bikini top AND bottoms as the current is forcing them off. Everyone will laugh, you will give up caring and pretty much moon everyone.

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Holding on preparing for our second jump!

When we swam back and walked over to the edge of Victoria Falls to see the Devil’s Pool from another incredible angle, Laura and I couldn’t talk. We just stood there crying and hugging each other. We couldn’t believe it. We’d just JUMPED into the Devil’s Pool! Over 100m high, we had jumped into a tiny pool 1m from the edge of Victoria Falls; simply mindblowing!

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The rest of our group sat in the Devil’s Pool

We then sat down for the best egg’s benedict I have ever tasted and talked with the rest of our group about our Devil’s Pool experiences with views of Victoria Falls all around us. What a setting! Laura didn’t know it yet but I’d organised a surprise…the chefs had baked her a cake and came out singing Happy Birthday; she burst into tears and seeing her so happy made me cry too.

It’s certainly a day that neither of us will ever forget and for all the right reasons.

You see, it’s not just about your experiences when you travel, it’s about the people you share them with and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share such happy tears with.

  1. Jen02-06-12

    ohhhh my godddd, that looks so amazing, you’re so brave though i would be terrified – now I REALLY want to go!! xx

  2. The World of Deej02-06-12

    Awesome…made me nervous just reading it! I’d have to really work up the courage to tackle that one…

  3. Heather02-06-12

    I think this is one of those experiences that you have to add to your bucket list. I think you’ve just added it to mine.

    The rainbow shot looks great!

  4. Ed Rex02-06-12

    Awesomeness! I’m literally speechless…

  5. Elizabeth Bird02-06-12

    Wow. What a cool experience. Love the part about your bikini – ahh the joys of being a girl :-)

  6. Emma Sparks02-08-12

    I cannot believe this is actually possible. I don’t understand how you were so brave…but I’m actually quite tempted to do it myself now! Great post :)

  7. Waegook Tom02-08-12

    This sounds amazing! One I’ll have to skip though – I’m not a strong swimmer at. All. I was terrified just reading this haha! But, what an incredible experience – just, wow!

  8. Jerick02-08-12

    that’s amazing – is the water on devil’s pool deep as well?

  9. Toni02-08-12

    Jen – it scares the hell out of you when you think about it but when you’re actually there, you’re more excited than anything else. It’s an incredible experience! :)

  10. Toni02-08-12

    Deej – I won’t lie, it is really daunting when you’re up there realising you’re looking at the very edge of the Falls but if you follow your guides advice, you’re relatively safe and you have amazing bragging rights ;)

  11. Toni02-08-12

    Heather – you’re right. It’s one of those ‘must haves’ on your list because it’s so far out there. The rainbows felt within touching distance…such an amazing feeling and site :D

  12. Toni02-08-12

    Ed – me too…hence the reason I spent most of the day in tears haha

  13. Toni02-08-12

    Elizabeth – it was uh-mazing! haha yes, being a girl has its disadvantages at times :D

  14. Toni02-08-12

    Emma – I had no idea I could do this until a few weeks before I went…perfect timing! On paper it does look/sound brave but when you’re there, you feel so alive that you just ‘go for it’. You should definitely do it! :)

  15. Toni02-08-12

    Tom – I think the swimming across the Falls scared me more than jumping into the pool! I think I so full of nervous excitement I didn’t really know what I felt until after I’d done it haha

  16. Toni02-08-12

    Jerick – no, it’s actually only about 4m deep…on my second jump my feet hit the bottom and hurt like hell! haha

  17. Hannah02-09-12

    Great post Toni! I have always wanted to brave the Devil’s Pool and I know I will get there one day. I’ll be sure to wear a one-piece bathing suit when I do ;)

  18. Toni02-10-12

    Hannah – definitely go in a one-piece…total disaster :D It’s an amazing experience!

  19. Jessica02-11-12

    My best friend and her husband went to Africa for their honeymoon and were able to walk across the falls during the dry season. They mentioned that people still go off the side in dry season pretty regularly so I’m thinking regardless, it’s still really crazy and adventurous! Very awesome! Definitely on my list!

  20. Bryan @ BudgetYourTrip02-17-12

    What an amazing place, but also kind of scary looking! I’d love to go there one day for sure.

  21. Toni02-21-12

    Jessica – Oh it’s definitely a very dangerous thing to do…someone went over (including the guide) just weeks before I was there but for some reason, when you’re actually up there all you can think is ‘wow this is awesome’ rather than ‘I’m not doing it’ :)

  22. Toni02-21-12

    Bryan – It’s an incredibly scary place when you realise that jumping into the pool at the wrong angle could send you over but funnily enough, it’s not until you’ve done it and look back at the photos that you think ‘holy crap’! :) It’s definitely one for your ‘to do list’!

  23. Andrea06-13-12

    My thoughts immediately went to Iguazu Falls in Argentina and how scary it was just standing on those platforms so close to the water gushing away beneath you! This looks like a heart-stopping experience!

  24. Andi06-15-12

    Seriously coolest travel experience ever, you win!

  25. Audrey06-24-12

    Brave girl! :D I get so nervous every time I watch a tv show or see photos of people in the Devil’s pool. That’s just waaaaay too close for comfort!

  26. Toni06-26-12

    Audrey – thanks :D The stupid thing is, it wasn’t until we had done it and stood at the side that we realised just how dangerous it was…all I remember is the feeling of pure happiness! :)

  27. Brenda07-02-12

    Great post and well done on being so brave. Devil’s Pool is definitely going onto my bucket list after reading your post and seeing your photos :-)

  28. Toni07-03-12

    Brenda – Thank you – was so glad that I did it. I’d recommend it to everyone :D

  29. Hogga07-16-12

    You’re crazy… but I like it? Does that make sense? lol

  30. Margyle07-16-12

    I couldn’t handle jumping off a 30 foot waterfall… so… my hat is off to you lol

  31. Toni07-19-12

    Hogga – yep, I get it :)

  32. Toni07-19-12

    Margyle – there is no way I could jump off a 30 foot waterfall! The only reason I could do this jump was because I couldn’t see the drop on the other side of the ledge ;)

  33. Kristin08-06-12

    Wow! My heart was pounding just reading this post. It sounds like it was an amazing experience and it’s awesome that you got up the nerve to jump in — I don’t know if I’d be able to do that!

  34. Toni08-08-12

    Kristin – My heart was racing too :) I think you would have jumped in too if you were there…I was going to slide but after seeing the girls I thought ‘I’m never going to get another chance so why not?’ :) It’s amazing how far past our comfort zone we can push ourselves if we want to :)

  35. Simo08-24-12

    Off to Africa next year… you have just put Devils pool at the top of my list… thanks… Reading and looking at the pics gave me goose bumps…. GOT TO DO IT!!!!

  36. Toni08-29-12

    Simo – you really do! It is SUCH an incredible experience and worth all the fear and worry beforehand :) Don’t forget, though, it’s only open during the dry season…don’t want you to be disappointed!

  37. TammyOnTheMove08-31-12

    Oh my god, this looks awesome. I soo want to do this! What an amazing experience. Which tour company did you go with?

  38. Toni09-16-12

    Tammy – It really was an incredible experience…words can’t describe it! I travelled with acacia-africa.com :)

  39. Ally11-19-12

    this looks awesome!

  40. Toni11-19-12

    Ally – it really was :D

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