When I first started looking into going to Victoria Falls in June this summer, it seemed impossible to visit the edge of the falls. Devil’s Pool is only open part of the year and it would be closed while I was visiting. This was such a bummer for me because I love doing adventurous things and love unique views. I did a little more research and found out there is a way! Devil’s Pool was closed, but Angel’s Pool would be open. This was such a relief… My dreams of visiting the edge of the falls were not dead! We started planning and made it happen. I’ve outlined a bunch of questions I had about visiting Victoria Falls when Devil’s Pool is closed. If I missed any questions, please make sure you comment at the bottom of the post!
This was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done (along with zip lining upside down in Peru and solo snorkeling in Nassau). Let me tell you, it was so worth it and amazingly gorgeous! Standing on the edge of Victoria Falls was an incredible experience worth every penny. We spent one of the three mornings we had in Livingstone to go to the edge of Victoria Falls. Here is how to do it safely, have an awesome adventure, and save a little money at the same time.
Note: You can only visit the edge of Victoria Falls through the Zambia side of the Falls and do not see the waterfall through the park. You must go through one tour company to visit Livingstone Island and Angel’s Pool (more info on this below!).
Can you visit the edge of Victoria Falls when Devil’s Pool is closed?
Yes you can! Angel’s Pool is open when Devil’s Pool is closed. It depends on the time of year. Because I was there in June/July it was the only option available to visit the edge of Victoria Falls. When I looked into it, the company website didn’t even state they did visits to the edge of Victoria Falls when Devil’s Pool is closed. Devil’s Pool is open October – January. Angel’s Pool is open April/May – September.
What is Angel’s Pool?
Angel’s Pool is a small pool located on the edge of Victoria Falls that is about 4 feet deep. It is accessible from Livingstone Island in the center of the falls. You can stand in the pool and look over the edge of the falls just like Devil’s Pool, but it is not large enough to swim around in or jump into. You have to walk through a few small pools before getting to Angel’s Pool (picture below).
What’s the difference between Angel’s Pool and Devil’s Pool?
Great question! Both Angel’s Pool and Devil’s Pool are only open part of the year. They are both located in the center of Victoria Falls only accessible from Livingstone Island. During the dry season when the falls are at their peak depth, Devil’s Pool is inaccessible. Devil’s Pool is the most famous because it was discovered first. Another pool, Angel’s Pool, was discovered about ten years after Devil’s Pool (according to our tour guide). It is smaller than Devil’s Pool, but accessible during the dry season. This means that even if Devil’s Pool is closed, you can still get in Victoria Falls no matter the season! YAY!
How do you book a tour?
There is only one tour company that offers tours of Livingstone Island and Angel’s Pool, Tongabezi. I submitted a request through their website for a tour and heard back within a few hours about availability and details for the tour. It was confirmed the same day and we were able to pay in person at our hotel. They offer online bookings or if you are staying at a hotel, they can typically book it for you (our hotel the Avani Victoria Falls Livingstone was able to for us). This is a tour that fills up quickly though, especially when Devil’s Pool is open, so you should look in advance to book this adventure. We were able to book fairly last-minute because it was off-season, I already looked on their website and they are full for days through October already.
What does the tour include?
The tour meets at the Royal Livingstone Hotel and included a boat ride along the Zambezi River, a hike on Livingstone Island, lunch, and a visit to Angel’s Pool on the edge of Victoria Falls. We had three guides with us at all times on a tour of just 8 people. Our guide also took our cameras while we were in the falls and took several pictures of us as we were adventuring into the falls which was great. The staff was so professional, clear, and helpful the entire time.
How much and when was the tour?
There are five different times you can book the tour. The first one starts at 7:30 am and they are staggered every two hours through the afternoon. The lunch and high tea options cost $140, but breakfast trips (called Livingstone Breezer on their website) is only $100, but includes the same things as the lunch and high tea options. We chose to save the $40 and go with the late morning option. No matter which tour you take, they all include the edge of Victoria Falls and a meal.
What happens on the tour?
You arrive at the Royal Livingstone and take a short boat ride to Livingstone Island right in the center of Victoria Falls. When you arrive you receive a welcome drink and hear about the history of the island. From there you change into your swimsuit and get ready for your hike around the island and to the edge of the falls. We were happy we had worn our swimsuits and I was extra happy that I wore my Chaco’s so I could walk around on all the jagged rocks. They provided towels and rain jackets.
Going to the edge of Victoria Falls is the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. First because it was so freezing cold, they offered rain jackets but we didn’t see the point in wearing one when we planned on getting wet. We realized really quick why… can you tell in the pictures how cold we were? This meant we were shaking the whole time. I still don’t know whether I was shaking because of the cold or because I was terrified on the edge of the falls. We had the option to walk to the edge of the falls. I like to say option one because it sounds like I am less scared.
We walked from the tent where we were going to eat later to the edge of the falls. They took us to a few different spots on Livingstone Island to show us some historical spots as well as an awesome view of the falls along the edge. Our guides were very good at staying with us the whole time and making sure we stepped very carefully.
They told us exactly where to stand when. This is something I seriously appreciated because at the time, I was in such a rush of adrenaline that it would have been easy to stop thinking clearly. Them giving us clear directions helped me focus on safety which is definitely important.
Once we got to Angel’s Pool, we were taken in small groups of two or three into the pool. We had to walk across a small part of the falls to get into the pool. The water was actually pretty deep, but also had a strong current. There were ropes there that the guides told us to hold on to the whole time for safety. They also told us exactly where to go in the pool so the current was not too strong. I have some friends who went on this tour and they were not required to hold the rope. I am guessing this is because of water levels but am unsure. It may have also been because our group was more jumpy!
This was definitely the scariest part of the whole thing! I was mostly in disbelief that I was IN Victoria Falls the whole time we were in the water. It was an awesome experience. Once our whole group had gone in the falls, we headed back for our breakfast.
What was the food like?
Breakfast was way better than I expected. It included coffee, tea, and juice as well as muffins and toast to start. We then had a main course of eggs Benedict that included a salad along with it. It tasted really delicious and it was nice to sit at a table with the people we had just experienced Angel’s Pool with to recount our experience and talk with each other more. I love meeting people when traveling and this was a great part of the tour for me. You can also book a private tour (at a higher cost) if you want to experience it for yourself.
This was truly an incredible experience and I would recommend it to any one who is a thrill seeker and loves nature. It was a blast and I loved Tongabezi Tours! Whether you can go to Devil’s Pool or Angel’s Pool, you’ll definitely have a great time on this adventure.
Ready to book your adventure? Head over to the Tongabezi Tour website!
(The website says it is only Devil’s Pool, but they do offer Angel’s Pool as well, it all depends on the time of year!)