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attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

5 posts
attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!


So if you reached this forum, it’s because you’re just like me. You can’t swim and/or you terrified when you’re in water but you still want to do Devil’s Pool because well it’s Devil’s Pool. I am here to dispel all myths and let you know that you can do it! I struggled to find any definite answer anywhere on if a non-swimmer can do it. So here is my post, No bs about the current is too strong, just straight up what I had to go through that day.

We arrived at the Livingstone Hotel and I immediately told them I can't swim should i do it? Registration person immediately tells me don't go you won't survive but does not stop me from going. So after taking a nice boat ride from the hotel to the edge of the "Reservoir" and changing into your swimwear, the guide leads you to your first obstacle, one of the edges of the falls. This is when you yell at the top of your lungs that you can’t swim. Why? Because swimmers will be going farther from the edge to avoid stepping on rocks but you will be going towards two set of ropes to walk into the water (caution, tons of rocks so you might fall into the stomach-deep water). Once you’ve completed that, congrats you will walk a decent distance to the actual Devil’s pool.

The pool in itself is about 3 meters deep, shaped like a crater and the water is running fairly strong. All you have to do is hang on a rock and you should be fine, you will feel little fishes nimbling at your feet and of course you won’t feel the seabed. The guide will motion one by one for you to join him at the actual falls (IT’S WORTH IT) so until then make sure you are holding onto a rock, (IT’S PRIME REAL ESTATE). When it is your turn, chances are you’ll have to spring yourself to the flat rocks where the guide is. Here for a split second you will not be holding onto anything (unless your wing span is 11 feet). So make sure that no one is obstructing you and you got a clear shot at grabbing onto the rock on the other side. Or someone holds you titanic-style. Pass that and congrats! You just passed the second obstacle. Now you get to enjoy the falls in its entirety while two guides shred through your memory on your camera taking pictures of everything. Once you’re done, you can either spring back to the first rock you were hanging on or slowly meander your way rock by rock. This latter method will require considerable side gripping so if you don’t feel confident, just push yourself to a good rock to hang on.

And then you walk back, walk past that pool of water using the ropes. You might get cocky and go really fast to which you’ll for sure fall into the water. Take some more pictures at the start of the Zambezi river and then enjoy a breakfast (go for the orange juice and eggs benny).

Good luck, stay strong my brethren of non-swimmers.

Full disclosure, we did it in November, I’m not sure about doing it in other months, the water levels are higher so a bit harder to do…I believe devil's pool is also unreachable in high season.

15 replies to this topic
Redlands, California
Level Contributor
6,262 posts
58 reviews
1. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

I'm a good swimmer but I'm not doing it! Thanks for the report, which I'm sure will be helpful to others.

1 post
2. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Hello Keith,

Thank you for your very informative post. You must be very brave as you went in even after they originally told you that you need to be a strong swimmer. Your humorous yet candid perspective is all I need to book my own trip this October as I'm not a very strong swimmer - so thanks again! I'm sure other people will find this as helpful as myself!



5 posts
3. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Enjoy Faris! Yeah for sure, I even had a bit of second thought of going back after the boat ride and just sitting there but got some encouragement from the group and the second guide who was considerably more amicable, so ehhhh what did I have to lose?

Anyways that'll be the last thing you'll think about when you're up there, you'll have a blast. Excited for you!

Edited: 23 February 2018, 01:43
1 post
4. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Thanks Keith,

Just booked thanks to your post. Hope my experience is the same as yours!

Do you have any reccomendations on what else to do around the area? Where to eat?


Level Contributor
40 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Well, let me put it this way: it was foolish to go into the water without being able to swim and it’s worse to tell others that it’s a piece of cake to do it. The golden rule is: never get yourself into situations that might require of bystanders to help you out by risking their own life.

5 posts
6. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Marie, I perfectly agree with you. Except nowhere in my post did I say it was a piece of cake, on the other hand, I used the words "caution" and "make sure" to indicate the severity of what you're supposed be doing. I do agree maybe the tone is a bit less serious but sometimes, that's what's needed to destress people. I don't deny that it's not the smartest idea but again like I highlighted, I mentioned to the guides that I could not swim. The one guide at the top of the falls knew and was extremely encouraging to take the ropes to go across (which were for people who did not want to swim farther in, I don't know if they're always there but they were there when I was there).

It ultimately does come down to whether or not you are confident enough to be in the pool and rest on the surrounding rocks. I offered the position that most people can do it (because I thought it was not possible and I analyzed that it was perfectly fine), I'm not encouraging non-swimmers to go endanger their lives or the lives of the people around them but I am offering a straight account of what i went through in order for people to make a better decision. I am sure that there are people out there who think that you must be a very strong swimmer to be able to do devil's pool. When I went, there were mechanisms and help for non-swimmers and those helped me to experience devil's pool. That is all I am trying to share.



Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
252 posts
309 reviews
7. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

I'm with you marielibere, sounds pretty foolish to me.

5 posts
8. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

So have you been in devil's pool? Just wondering because if not, your comment is fairly irrelevant. If you have, feel free to create your own post and share your experience just like I did. I don't think these useless comments help adventurous travelers make their own decisions.



5 posts
9. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

Sorry Bilal for not responding!

It depends on which side of the Falls you're staying but we were there for just 3 days so it was a pretty quick in and out. I would say going to the zimbabwe side and seeing the falls from afar is great (you can definitely take in how high devils pool is) but I dont have much in terms of other things to do, you might want to check other posts.

In terms of food, depends also which country you're living. We were on the Zambia side and there are several great place along the main road where all the hotels are at. We went to Zambezi cafe for both of our dinners because we loved it so much. Get one of the platters and crack a beer and two and you'll have a great dinner! Get the croc bites, they're good.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
252 posts
309 reviews
10. Re: attention to all non-swimmers: YOU CAN DO DEVILS POOL!

My comment Kieth, was for marielibere😊

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate you had the very best of intentions in sharing your experience at Devils Pool. However, it scares me to think that another non-swimmer may try it & not be so lucky.

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