On the Edge of Victoria Falls

A dip in Zambia’s Devil’s Pool is not for the faint of heart.

By Maryann Jones Thompson


The only thing more incredible than seeing Victoria Falls is seeing them from the very edge!  

Julie remembers their family’s stop at the famous Devil’s Pool on the Zimbabwe side during a holiday season trip to Southern Africa. 

This crazy spot is called ‘Devil’s Pool.’ It’s accessible from the Zambia side, near Livingstone Island.  Our teen daughter actually learned about it when researching our trip. 

It’s a natural rock pool only accessible in our northern hemisphere winter or their ‘low water season.’  We were staying near Vic Falls on the Zimbabwe side. We took a bus over the border to Zambia to the Royal Livingstone Hotel – an incredible throwback to another era! – and then boarded a boat to Livingstone Island.  We walked over craggy, wet rocks, and swam the rest of the way to the pool. 

Devil’s Pool perched directly on the edge of the river before the water tumbles down the falls.  All we kept thinking was there would be NO WAY that this place could EVER exist in the US.  It was completely treacherous, with no railings or ropes or anything!  

Our youngest was only 6 years old at the time.  One of our guides told her to hold onto his wetsuit collar and NOT LET GO.  Comforting…  

The guides then offered to hold the kids by their feet as they lay RIGHT on the edge for incredible photo-ops.  Of course, they went for it and I truly couldn’t watch!

Back at the hotel, we brought out the deflated soccer balls we’d packed to give or trade along the way on our trip.  We hadn’t really seen any kids at all until we got to the town of Vic Falls.  You would’ve thought we were carrying gold bars!  Everyone wanted to play – so memorable, especially for the kids. It was sure eye-opening to see how little these folks had – not even a soccer ball – when we all have so much!  

It really was the trip of a lifetime and one we will never ever forget.  Too many things to list as highlights…  The vast expanse and all of the animals would have to top the list.  And the camps were amazing – just staying in the middle of nowhere with animals all around!  And we loved that we were all in it together as a 3-generation family group – we were all on a quest each day to see what new and amazing sights we would discover.  We also joke that the fact our teenagers didn’t mind 4:30am wake-up calls to go on the first game drive of the day says it all!”

Maryann Jones Thompson  – June 2019

ROAM Founder & Editor   

After a thousand years in publishing as a business journalist, ghostwriter, content strategist and market researcher, Maryann brings her experience traveling as a backpacker, businessperson, expat and mom to writing and editing for ROAM.

© ROAM Family Travel 2020 – All rights reserved


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