Visiting Victoria Falls is one of the most incredible and thrilling experiences in all of Africa. But if you want to take your visit to this area even to another level, consider a trip to the Devil’s Pool, located on the edge of Victoria Falls. Swimming on the edge of the largest waterfall in the world is an experience like no other!
What is the Devil’s Pool?
The Devil’s Pool is a natural infinity pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls in Zambia. In the dry season, it is possible to swim up to the edge of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The pool is a calm body of water carved out of the Zambezi River adjacent to Livingstone Island, Zambia. For a few months of the year, when the water levels of the Zambezi River go down, the Devil’s Pool waterfall becomes accessible to the public.
If this sounds like an adventure for you, we’ve broken down everything you need to know to plan this experience!
Best Time to Visit the Devils Pool, Victoria Falls
It’s only possible to visit Devil’s Pool, Zambia in the dry season which runs from August until late December. This is because it’s only safe to enter into the natural pool when the water levels in the Zambezi River are low. This changes year to year but generally, the water levels are low from mid-August until late December or sometimes into January.
In the wet season and when water levels in the Zambezi River are higher, the water current is too strong and too powerful to allow people to reach Devil’s Pool safely.
Arguably, the best time to reach Devil’s Pool is in October and November when the water levels are consistently low.
How to Visit Devil’s Pool
As one of the most sought after Victoria Falls activities, a trip to the Devils Pool is heavily regulated.
For safety reasons, it’s only possible to visit Devils Pool on an organized Livingstone Island tour with Tongabezi Lodge.
The tour departs multiple times a day from the banks of the Zambezi River near the Royal Livingstone Hotel. But you don’t have to be staying at these hotels though to join the tour. You can arrange the tour through any accommodation or tour agency in either Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Although Devils Pool is technically on the Zambia side of the falls, you can arrange a Devils Pool Victoria Falls tour from either Zambia or Zimbabwe side.
From Zimbabwe, tour packages can include a transfer shuttle to the tour departure point across the border near the Royal Livingstone Hotel. The tour shuttles leave from The Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls and they coincide with the tour departures in Livingstone. There is an extra $15 fee for the round trip shuttle from Victoria Falls.
You’ll also have to make sure that you have the right visa. You’ll need a multiple entry visa into Zimbabwe and then a single entry into Zambia to do this. However, it’s also possible to get a KAZA Uni-Visa which allows you to travel between both Zambia and Zimbabwe for 30 days for $50, which works out much easier and more affordable.
During the dry season, there are five tour departures per day. The tour price includes a meal on Livingstone Island, transfer to and from the island, as well as the tour of the falls on the Zambia side.
Generally, the morning breakfast tours are the cheapest and most popular with a higher chance of seeing rainbows, which make for the perfect Devil’s Pool photograph.
Devil’s Pool Tour timings are as follows:
- 7.30 – 9.00 – Breakfast
- 9.00 – 10.30 – Breakfast
- 10.30 – 12.00 – Breakfast
- 12.30 – 15.15 – Lunch
- 15.30 – 17.30 – High Tea
Bookings can be made online as well if you prefer to book in advance. You can do that through your accommodation provider or online HERE.
What to Expect When Visiting Devil’s Pool
Still, swimming to the edge of Victoria Falls Devil’s Pool is a thrilling and epic experience that you likely won’t forget anytime soon. Here is what to expect on a tour to the Devil’s Pool, Zambia, the ultimate Victoria Falls swimming pool.
The tour begins at the launch site near the Royal Livingstone Hotel. With a guide and other group members, you first take a short boat ride to Livingstone Island, Victoria Falls. The island is one of the best vantage points of the falls and the access point to the pools.
Tour of the Falls
From there, your tour guide will take you to a few viewpoints of Victoria Falls on a walk around Livingstone Island.
You can then leave your stuff behind in lockers and head to the water’s edge.
Carry your camera so you can take photos at the Devil’s Pool. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bring it into the water with you, as the guide can take lots of pictures for you from the rocks.
To reach Devil’s Pool itself, you need to swim across calm waters for about 100m. The swim is easy, although sometimes does have some current. If you are not a confident swimmer, you can hold on to the rope that stretches across the water. Certified guides are with you the whole way and are always happy to assist you.
Inside the Devil’s Pool
Once you reach the pool, you have to slide in or jump if you’re game, into the Devil’s Pool itself. There will be a guide in the pool with you to hold your hand and guide you to the edge. Another guide will be on land to take photos for you.
We visited on a rather quiet day and had a private tour, so we were able to enjoy the pool to ourselves for about 10-15 min. If there is a bigger group, your time in the water would be a bit shorter, but still plenty to get lots of photos!
There are submerged rocks in the pool for you to sit or hold on to, meaning you can get as close or stay as far as you like from the Victoria Falls pool edge. At first, it seems scary, but be assured that it’s very safe. With the low water level, it’s quite easy to hold on to the rock lip at the edge of the falls. The water current is also not as strong as you might expect and water is certainly not gushing past you.
Still, you’ll be able to experience the full spray from the crashing falls tumbling below, which provides the most thrill. The guides know about the safety of the experience and will warn you of any risks and safety concerns on the day. Listen to their guidance and you’ll be safe!
Once you’ve had your time, you can climb out of the pool and swim back across the river to the rocks. From there, you can walk to the tent on Livingstone Island for breakfast, lunch or high tea, depending on which tour you booked. There are bathrooms where you can change into dry clothes, so you can enjoy the meal in comfort.
What to Bring on a Devil’s Pool Tour
You don’t need to worry about bringing too much to Devil’s Pool. In fact, it’s easier if you bring very little. A bathing suit is essential and some footwear like sturdy sandals or sneakers for walking. If you have water shoes, bring them with you, but you can get to Devil’s Pool without any special footwear.
Bring your camera and other equipment along that you want to use to capture this experience. One of the guides will be able to take photos for you from a safe distance, so you don’t need a waterproof camera.
It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes, so you can change right away. Towels are provided for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has anyone died at Devil’s Pool Victoria Falls?
There have been no Devils Pool deaths during the Livingstone Island tour, which is the only way to actually visit the natural swimming pool. Although there is some level of risk involved, the guides are well trained and experienced. Since official tours began, there has been not one Devil’s Pool Victoria Falls death recorded.
When can you swim in Devil’s Pool Victoria Falls?
You can only swim in Devil’s Pool in the dry season when the water levels are low which is usually from August until December or January. This changes depending on rainfall and the level of water in the Zambezi River.
There is truly no other way you can really experience the full ferocity and mind-blowing scale of the falls than by getting close to it’s tumbling edge. It is definitely one of the best Victoria Falls excursions you can do, although it requires some form of courage!
It may sound dangerous, but we found it to be a very safe experience, particularly, if you do it as part of the Livingstone Island Tour with experienced guides.