Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Devil's Pool - This should be on everyone's bucket list!

Livingstone Island was the first spot that David Livingstone viewed the Mosi-oa-tunya (the local name for the Falls, meaning The Smoke That Thunders). He obviously was then so gobsmacked at the beauty (and perhaps cursing the portage he now faced) that he named them after Queen Victoria.

Apparently, you should do one thing every day that scares you.

I’m not sure where that saying comes from but that’s certainly the mantra that goes through my head every time I jump – or rather clumsily fall – into the Devil’s Pool. This is one of the most amazing things to do on Earth, and it’s not just because we live here or because we sell the tour – we’re pretty sure that you’ll say the exact same thing once you try it!

The Devil’s Pool is located right on the edge of the Victoria Falls, beside Livingstone Island, where a rock lip of about a meter holds back a naturally forming bowl of water. Now remember – the Victoria Falls is 110 meters high! The cascades of water crash down onto large expanses of basalt rock below. Beside the rocks are the minus rapids – rapids so big and continuous that even some of the best white water kayakers on Earth quake at the knees about running them.

Now you’d think this would be an activity for dare devil’s and crazy folks - right? Maybe some teenagers out to prove their invincibility? Nope - this place is 5 star luxury!

The Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island are only accessible from Zambia. Plus, the pool is only accessible in the dry season (around September to January) which makes for a pretty good reason to see this spectacle outside of the busy tourist season. Then there are a few options of trips:

Breakfast Breezer – 1 ½ hours departing at either 730am, 9am or 1030am. If you’re on a tight schedule, or a tight budget, this is your best bet. You can even sneak it in before you hop on the plane to fly home (what a thing to remember!). Lovely eggs Benedict and the best homemade (or rather island-made) scones with cream and strawberry jam await you when you get out of the pool.

Lunch – 3 hours departing at 1230. If you’ve got the time, splash out – soooo worth it (in our humble opinion). You’ll have way more time to just chill out in the pool, have some drinks (they make excellent G&Ts or Pimms cocktails!) and sit down to a FAB-U-LOUS fresh and uniquely Zambian lunch.

High Tea – 2 hours departing at 330pm. OK, now this is my favourite trip – but then I do like to take advantage of the almost-but-not-quite-sundowner-drinks options (refer to the above, and there awesome Pimms). Fingers sandwiches and fresh baked goods. Yum. You’ll be back on the deck at the Royal Livingstone Hotel by 530, right in time to enjoy another cocktail and take advantage of one of the most spectacular sunsets in Africa. Now THAT is one amazing way to finish a day!

The Livingstone Island walk is for those amongst us that are more adventurous (or are light in the pockets as it’s the cheapest trip). You’ll depart right from the Victoria Falls park and walk along the lip of the Victoria Falls (yep, you read that right folks!), before plunging into the Devil’s Pool for a quick dunk.

Now that you’ve seen the Victoria Falls from above – check them out from below! We’re off to do the Under the Spray Tour tomorrow!

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