Brave or Crazy? Swimming in The Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls
If you ask any of my closest friends, they'll tell you that, while I may be a spontaneous, even adventurous, person, I'm not much of an extreme thrill seeker. You won't catch me on any of the frightening rides we reported on last summer. Think you can convince me to jump out of a plane? Not a chance. And tethering myself to a bridge and hurtling myself off? You can't be serious.
That being said, I'm a little shocked by my intense fascination with a certain natural attraction: "The Devil's Pool" in Zambia. You can't even begin to fathom the magnitude of scariness/awesomeness that comes from this naturally formed pool of water. Enter YouTube:
No, that isn't a hoax. Yes, it's 100% real. Real scary. Real Awesome. With a capital A.
The naturally formed Devil's Pool rests right on the edge of the Zambian side of Victoria Falls. A rock wall on the edge of the falls slows down the current and prevents brave swimmers from tumbling over the edge. To really drive the point home, let me remind you that Victoria Fallsstretches an astounding 5,600 feet in width and spills over a360-foot-high cliff.
Call it temporary insanity, but diving into this pool is, without a doubt, the latest addition to my bucket list.
While there's no official way to book an excursion to D.P., I suggest being in touch with T+L A-List travel agent Dana Welch, who specializes in not only African travel, but adventure travel. She may be able to help direct you to a local guide who will lead you on a hike to the top of the Falls. (It's not an excursion I recommend doing on your own!)
Also, please note: it's only safe to swim in the pool when the water levels are low (September–December).
So what're you waiting for? Dive on in!
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.