Lovingly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world at 5557 feet wide and varying in height from 262-304 feet. Vic Falls borders Zambia and Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River and is Zambia’s main tourist attraction and proudest site. From September to December, when the falls have less water, daring tourists toy with danger by swimming on the edge of the falls at the naturally formed Devil’s Pool.
This weekend, I made the 14-hour bus ride from Kitwe to Livingstone to splash around in Devil’s Pool with other brave souls from #ZamFam. We did the early morning Breakfast Tour through Tongabezi, the company with exclusive rights to Livingstone Island and expert guides, and it was worth every single moment.
After arriving at the very posh Royal Livingstone Hotel, we signed our lives away and ferried away to the island in a motorboat. As soon as you step onto the island, you are greeted with a traditional island drink, and a cheers is only fitting right after signing waivers and before jumping into a rapid current on the edge of one of the world’s 7 natural wonders…We were quickly ushered past the famous “Loo with a View” and told to set our stuff down in the canopy we’d be breakfasting under (your belongings are completely safe).
The moment you push past the canopy to begin the walk to the falls, you are met with the most breathtaking view – Mosi-oa-Tunya in all her glory under the most beautiful rainbow. I did not know where to look first! Our guide led us through the rocks, stopping along the way to let us snap pictures and soak in the beauty.
We stripped down to our suits, and I dove right into the calm pool before the whirlpool, swimming across until I realized I could have walked the entire way. Luckily, we did not have to jump into the pool as I had anticipated, but rather slithered in with the help of guides. I am a very strong swimmer, but I was no match for the strong current. We were first pushed up against a fall for a photo opp – we may be smiling in the picture but holding our ground and ensuring no one floated away took all of our energy and lots of freaking out.
Next we were carefully lined up on the rock barrier right before the edge of the falls. Between the thundering of Victoria Falls and the stunning view and being careful to not make a wrong move, my senses were joyously overloaded.
When we went to take individual shots over the water, I misjudged as I tried to nestle into a crevice on the ledge and my feet lifted out of the water. The guide quickly pushed me back down and reminded me that I was too short to hang too far off the water. I was too shocked to do anything but laugh at the fact that I had almost let myself topple over the edge. It was so worth it, though, because reaching my hand out over the falls was exhilarating.
As a fish out of water, I wanted to splash around on top of Vic Falls forever, but we were eventually pulled away to a delicious canopy breakfast. I have not had a biscuit since the McDonald’s egg and cheese biscuit I devoured in JFK airport on July 13th, so this buttery scone was heavenly. In fact, every part of our meal was delicious.
To top it all off, as we were driving back from our adventure we stopped on the side of the road to admire a herd of elephants. I would definitely recommend a swim in Devil’s Pool because I have never felt more alive than when toying with the devil on top of the falls.