Today I’m going to tell you about our thrilling adventure hanging out at the edge of the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls, and swimming in the Devil’s Pool, although next Monday I’ll explain why I very strongly do not recommend it…not only for the obvious reasons you’ll notice today, but for one very un-obvious medical reason I only discovered after the fact. Even Alan, as a physician, hadn’t considered this tropical possibility when we made our decision to go! But, it was definitely one of those “adventure of a lifetime” sorts of events that we’ll never forget! First, we were staying in Zimbabwe, so we had to leave our comfy hotel and take a trip across the border into Zambia, which is a bit of an adventure in and of itself (but one that can’t be photographed).
We met other adventurers at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, where we immediately noticed that the rest of the group were young adults
in the prime of life and fitness.
That was our first clue that we might be out of our depth! 🙂 The only way to access the Devil’s Pool is via Livingstone Island, and that’s mediated by the tour operator Tongabezi. Trips are expensive and sell out fast, so if you want to go, you need reservations ahead of time. In all fairness to Tongabezi, they have never lost a customer yet, and they’re very careful.
(Can you see people in the middle right in this picture? This is where we were.) Our group were transported via a small motor craft on the Zambezi River,
which just ran a few people through the treacherous channels each time. I’m told they are very careful to make sure there are no hippos or alligators roaming the water as they travel, although I did see some
just up the river from the deck of the hotel while we waited. Once we all made it safely to Livingstone Island, we were taken on a short tour, including the opportunity of using their unique “Loo with a View” bath house for changing and to use the Loo (aka toilet). Actually, it was only a three-sided loo, and it did have this pretty good view! After a welcoming (non-alcoholic) drink we were taken past the tent to let us know that a proper high tea
would be awaiting us after we’d accomplished our aquatic mission. Next, they walked us to the edge just to let us make sure we were “in” on this gig. Anyone who chickens out can stay and watch, but after paying good money,
I doubt many people take that option. There was also time to read a bit about David Livingstone and take a few photos.(Devil’s Pool is behind the second rock to the right upper middle of this photo.)Getting to the pool was a bit of a challenge. These ropes are not to walk between; we had to walk and swim to the right of them, but the ropes offered two chances for people who lost their balance or couldn’t swim against the current to catch a hold and pull themselves out rather than fall over the cliff. Reassuring, huh? With a little angst, we all made it to the edge, where we rested and waited. We had to experience the pool a few at a time so the tour guides could supervise us and take photos (since it’s the sort of thing everybody wanted to remember). This little perch is called the Angel’s Armchair, and it’s a trick to stay on it!We survived and felt quite brave (and relieved) once we were back on dry land!To celebrate, our hosts provided a lovely “high tea” (afternoon option). We were extremely hungry and thirsty, so it was a most welcome treat!Ours was the last tour of the day, so the sun was setting by the time we left.
I almost felt like God was smiling down on us.It turned out to be an amazing and most memorable trip! The Lord was gracious.Nevertheless, I wouldn’t do it again. Some chances aren’t worth taking. “The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it” (Proverbs 22:3).