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Swimming in the Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls

Outline
Circulating photographs show adults and children swimming in a rock pool at the very edge of a high waterfall.



Brief Analysis
The photographs are genuine and they do indeed depict a swimming hole known as the Devil's Pool at Africa's magnificent Victoria Falls.

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Last updated: January 14, 2013
First published: March 24, 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example (Submitted, March 2008)
Subject: The magnificent Victoria Falls and Devil's pool

In Zimbabwe the magnificent Victoria Falls have a drop of 128m. There is a place where one can swim called the Devilís Pool but only during the months of September to December.

Check out the photos.

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1

Devil's Pool - Victoria Falls 1






Detailed Analysis
A series of compelling photographs showing people swimming at the very brink of a high waterfall are currently circulating. At first glance, the activity looks extremely dangerous and foolhardy. Some commentators have suggested that the images are fake.

However, the photographs are genuine and they do indeed depict a swimming hole known as the Devil's Pool at Africa's magnificent Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls are located on the Zambezi River and border the African nations of Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are many other photographs and videos of people swimming in the pool on many different websites along with first-hand descriptions from visitors. A description posted on the Every Day Is Sunday website notes:
We wanted to see Victoria Falls from the Zambia side. We managed to get a free trip from our hostel and were told from people that we had met in Cape Town that there were swimming holes near the falls. We did not realise how amazing this would be. The swimming hole was called Devil's pool. We went to the spot to meet a guide, and for $5 each, he took us first on a long walk to get to this place. The falls were right beneath us, and as we were crossing the water you could feel the current underneath your feet. The first steps were a ledge that you had to manouver carefully step by step. We then walked for about 15 mins across the top of the falls, to a first swimming hole, but he said the second one was better. We decided to carry on. It was incredible! We swam over to an island and then walked over these rocks to a pool that was literally, literally on the edge of Victoria Falls!!! As we jumped in, there was a rock at the far side that stopped us going over. It was exhilarating being right on the edge of the falls. As we bent over the rock we were on the top of Victoria falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We were right on the edge.
Although certainly not for the faint of heart, swimming in the Devil's Pool is probably not as dangerous as it appears in the photographs. A natural rock ledge reduces the current and stops swimmers from being swept over the edge. As the email notes, the pool is only safe to use at times of the year when water levels are comparatively low. At other times when more water flows down the river, the ledge does not offer enough protection for swimmers and the pool is inaccessible.

YouTube video of people swimming in the Devil's Pool

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References
THE VICTORIA FALLS
Kate - 7th October - Standing on Top of the Mighty Zambezi
Livingstone Island and the Devils Pool - Vic Falls

Last updated: January 14, 2013
First published: March 24, 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer