Swimming in the Zambezi River

We are here to bring you part 4/10 today of the Once in a lifetime Trips worth Flyer for series, which can be found published through Travel and Leisure.


Swimming in the Zambezi River’s Devil’s Pool, Zambia

Set on the edge of Victoria Falls, in Zambia, the Devil’s Pool lives up to its frightening name. It is a rocky basin that has been hollowed out by thousands of years of erosion as the waters of the Zambezi River swept through it before falling 350 feet downward—twice the height of Niagara. For much of the year, the Devil’s Pool is inaccessible to visitors. But when the river level declines and the current slows between mid-August and mid-January (the region’s dry season), it turns into nature’s version of an infinity pool. These drier months reveal a rock wall at the edge, which acts as a barrier that makes it safe to jump in and take a dip.

Experiencing this thrill requires a boat ride to a small island in the Zambezi River, followed by a swim to a large rock, then finally a leap into the pool. Just inches away, the torrents cascade over the precipice, producing dramatic clouds of rainbow-dappled mist. Your guide will happily take your picture as you pose to make it look like you’re going over. Floating above the roaring falls, it’s easy to understand why the locals call them Mosi-oa-Tunya—“the smoke that thunders.” —Adeline Duff

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