Swimming in the devil’s pool

The Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool at the top of Victoria Falls in southern Africa near Zimbabwe.   During most months, the water surges down the river, shoots over the edge and slams into the ground 300 feet below, sending mist all the way back up.

But from September to December the water levels decrease, making it possible to swim in the Devil’s Pool, without being washed over the edge.  You can swim up to two inches from the very edge of the pool and peer over into the chasm below.

It’s such an exhilarating experience, that many tourists go there every year, during this time, to try it.

Here are some photos to show you exactly how close you can get to the edge…




I can only imagine what a stunning and frightening experience this must be. I think the people that do this have got to be far braver (or crazier) than I.

Still, I can’t help but consider the spiritual analogy so strikingly illustrated in these photos.  How it is that we try to get as close to the edge as we can.  Blinded by the exhilaration of the moment and overwhelmed by the emotions of the now, we convince ourselves that we’re only looking, as we ease closer and closer to the brink, and peer into the chasm below.

So I ask you, are you swimming in the devil’s pool? 

Are there aspects of your life where you may be getting too close to the edge?  Are there others in the pool with you?  Are your children too close to the edge?  Are you standing by watching someone swim in the devil’s pool, without exerting any effort to help them out?

If you’ve felt any of these questions striking too close to home, then I exhort you to step back, look hard at your surroundings, and take stock of the precarious nature of your position.  For the floodwaters can come unexpectedly, and when they do, you don’t want to be found in the devil’s pool.

Please, get out now.


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0 replies
  1. mamapeter says:

    On Snopes.com research is in progress, as of April 1. I have a hunch this is pretty accurate as on a tourist site for Zambia (http://www.zambiatourism.com/travel/places/victoria.htm) there is one photo that shows this same spot, with people standing in it. So skeptical that we can be due to all the untruths spread around the Internet, this may have a fair amount of validity. Be worth watching snopes for it. Spiritual analogy is always good, tho.

  2. paperbubbles says:

    I loved your post and the photos, and certainly can’t imagine putting my children there, but after reading your post a thought remained with me, that if these people are actually IN the devil’s pool that their only option is going back, remaining in the pool, or going over the edge. No, I am not playing the devil’s advocate or interested in lingering in the pool, lol. I think I’ll stay out of the water for now.

  3. ditchu says:

    This reminds me of winter in Minnisota where some crazy fool would be the first one on the ice… and the first to fall through because it has not become thick enugh to support their weight. The wether reports sometimes include warnings about falling through the ice, but some idiot just will not heed this advice because he wants to get out on the ice. Makes me wonder: How many times we don’t heed the advice of our profit and leaders and then find ourselves on thin ice?


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