Taking a Dip in the Devil's PoolsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #travel5 years ago (edited)

East Africa in September is an awfully dry and dusty place. Many times I’ve thought to myself how it seemed like the entire country of Zambia could easily go up in smoke with a flick of a match stick. Fields of tall dry grass stretched further then my eyes could see and every road had a healthy layer of dirt and dust that would be kicked up by each passing vehicle.

My main attraction to Zambia was to witness the beautiful Victoria Falls. I probably should have done some research on the best time to visit, but even that would’ve proven pointless due to the fact that my entire trip to Africa was pretty spontaneous. As it turns out, those gorgeous photos of Victoria Falls overflowing with massive amounts of water were probably taken during the rainy season, from November-March... I’d just missed it! I arrived mid-September near the end of the dry season when the Zambezi River is nearly at its lowest point.

I didn’t get the views I was expecting, but I did get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the falls. I saw the sheer rock wall over which the water flows and I saw the huge boulders down below that were formed over the years from the water’s impact.

I decided to take a walking tour along the top of the falls, following the Zambezi river. Our guide informed us that during the rainy season they would drive us by boat, but since the water was so low the river was more like a stream with occasional deep spots. So we walked in the ankle deep water taking leaps from one algae-covered, slippery boulder to the next. At this point I’d been in Africa for almost 3 weeks. Sweat and a layer of dust were my constant companions, so I was especially grateful to get the chance to take a dip in nice cool water.

And dip we did

After walking for about 30 minutes in the hot sun and my feet in the cool water we found ourselves nearing the famous and formidably named spot- The Devil's Pool. Looking back now I probably should’ve been more paranoid about the fact that I’d very soon be sitting in water that was inches away to flowing over the edge of a waterfall 360 feet high. Instead I was just plain excited to be able to actually swim in the water. I was probably dehydrated, but water couldn’t have been more of a symbol of life for me at that point, instead of the more realistic fact being that this very same water could quite possibly be the cause of my demise, I was far more focused on being able to swim in it like a kid. Totally logical.

After a brief swim along the deeper part of the river and a few unwelcome stubs of my toe, the big guy guides us to the famous Devil’s Pool. He jumps into the water and lets the current take him right up to the edge of the waterfall. I remember trying to mark exactly where he jumped in so I would be sure not to land on any surprise rocks underneath the surface. He tells me to stay to the left for a bit while the others in the group enter the water. I reach my arm out over the boulder that keeps me from being swept over the falls and realize that I can reach the edge of the cliff, it’s barely 2 feet away from me.

Turns out it was great to have visited the falls this time of year because the river was relatively gentle so there was virtually zero risk in getting swept over, unless you were the guide who stood on the edge in ankle deep water, with no rope, no second chance if he happened to misstep or lose his balance. But it’s all worth it for a photograph right?! (I made sure to tip him very well.)

On the walk back I noticed that the river was being used for more than just tourism.
I saw a few men fishing for their dinners and families using the cool flowing water to do their laundry.
But my favorite has got to be the nude man bathing in the cover of some bushes with his clothes hanging on the nearby branches. I remember he asked if we enjoyed his river. Yes, we did indeed.

The Zambezi River has been a staple to the people of Livingstone ever since it was first discovered. Serving as the meeting place for two tribes people and establishing the beginnings of a lineage that is still intact today with Livingstone’s current tribal chief.

I had the chance to visit this village and enter into a few of the ceremonial buildings.

More on that next!


Looks like a great adventure! Taking an normal bath will never be the same.

amazing post! Love your pictures and to see the emotions you had!

I believe you but this experience is priceless !

That picture close to the waterfall gave me chills ! That spot looks just beautiful! I wish i could go there someday,you truly inspire me!
Good luck heidi :D

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Oh! The pic at the edge of the fall... OMG!!! I want a picture like that too :D
Looks like it was an amazing experience :)

if you were my daughter i don't think i would be able to sleep at night! That looks terrifying.

@heiditravels; Twice as clever as the devil, and twice as beautiful :)

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Wonderful post!

Hi @heiditravels

I love the photos, great article

Really beautiful photographs. That must have been an awesome experience ;)

what an adrelin rush that must have been being right on the edge!
great pictures

i always look forward to your posts. amazing photos! :)

Wow, literally living life on the edge!

The only way I could top that is by taking up rock climbing... which may be on my list ;)

Hi Heidi, while watching your photos of these waterfalls immediately the following soundtrack played in my ears.

Wow! What a wonderful experience!

I love hearing your stories, Heidi. Keep making them and sharing.

I was kind of missing the sound of the water while reading..The big guy looks like the happiest man, you can only smile when looking at him :)

So beautiful, thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures.

There are thousands of pictures taken of the falls during high water, I love the naked cliffs and the story about swimming on the edge....eyes open, no fear!

Although the lack of water may seem to be a bit disappointing, Victoria Falls, during wet or dry season is quite a view to see :)

What an experience you had!! Amazing :)

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Mesmerizing photos like this make me fall in love with planet earth on a whole new level - as if ive never seen her before.

Its incredible that at one point that river could have been almost as high as the land which overlooks it.

Great post Heidi . Never been to Zambia but have fancied going for along time. Have gone to Kenya for the last 11 years at xmas . Upvoted

Holy smash!!. Glad I found you. You seem to travel a lot. Amazing article and great pictures. 2 feet away from the cliff?? Man the thrill must have been so good. And from title of rest of your posts, I guess you know a lot about the crypto world. I am a newbie to blockchain so clearly I am going to follow you:D. Hopefully I will learn about travel and blockchain together:D.

I'm glad you stumbled upon my channel here :) I've got plenty of material to keep you busy for some time haha Sadly, I've had to take a bit of time off from traveling but will be back at it in a month or so.

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