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Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Overview: Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island, named after the famous explorer who first saw the 'smoke that thunders' from this small section of land, is technically within Zambia's borders but when viewed from above the island can be seen to sit near the centre of the falls, almost hanging over the edge of a 100m drop as the Zambezi River flows past before plummeting into the gorge below. There's no other vantage point that gets you so close to the thundering water and immense spray kicked up by one of the world's largest waterfalls.

Guided tours to the island are run by Tongabezi Lodge five times a day, but can easily be booked no matter where you are staying. You will depart from the town of Livingstone in a twin-engine boat, weaving you way past the islets and through the rapids of the Zambezi River. Once you reach Livingstone Island you will be given a guided tour, learning about the ancient history of the site and it's past role as a sacrificial area, through to it's modern day designation as a World Heritage site. Depending on the time of your tour you will also have a full lunch or high tea prepared by a team from the luxury Tongabezi Lodge.

If the water levels are low enough you will also have a chance to take a dip in Devil's Pool, a natural infinity pool perched on the crest of the waterfall. If you're brave enough to take a dip in here you'll feel the Zambezi flowing around you moments before plummeting over the edge while a rock wall stops any chance of you being swept over yourself. You can even take a peek over the edge to the bottom of the Batoka Gorge below.

Availability: The availability of Livingstone Island and Devil's Pool depend heavily on the level of the Zambezi River, and therefore the rains in a given year. Normally though Livingstone Island is available from late-June to early-March, and Devil's Pool from late-August to early-January. This is a popular activity, especially when Devil's Pool is available, so we strongly suggest booking in advance.

Please note: Expert Africa only books excursions as a part of a full, Expert Africa itinerary.
Start location
Any of Expert Africa's hotels or lodges in the vicinity of Livingstone
End location
Back at your hotel
Meals included
Lunch, high tea or snacks - depending on tour booked
Three hours
Maximum group size
24 people

Photo gallery

What to look forward to.

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A trip to Livingstone Island includes a chance for a dip in Devil's Pool

A trip to Livingstone Island includes a chance for a dip in Devil's Pool

Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool reviews

73 independent first-hand comments from our travellers.

8 reviews since August 2007

29 Jan 2024

"Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool review"

"a truely memorable experience …" Read C&A’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Average

Family PfromCirencester

6 Jun 2023

"Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool review"

"enjoyed afternoon tea as we watched the Zambezi race past …" Read Family P’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

A, D, & MfromBoston, USA

19 Aug 2022

"Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool review"

"hands down one of the best moments we've ever experienced. …" Read A, D, & M’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent


17 Sep 2019

"highlight of the trip"

"The absolute highlight of our trip …" Read Paula’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs NfromChicago

14 Aug 2017

"On the sketchy side! But well worse it"

"On the sketchy side! But well worse it …" Read Mrs N’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr gfromIllinois, USA

14 Aug 2015

"a great experience, although a bit pricey"

"a great experience, although a bit pricey …" Read Mr g’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr JfromCambridgeshire

19 Jul 2007

"Will stick in my mind for ever"

"Will stick in my mind for ever …" Read Mr J’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr B St MaryfromUK

6 Aug 2007

"Very Good - Recommended"

"Very Good - Recommended …" Read Mr B St Mary’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool reviews

Ideas for holidays which can include Livingstone Island & Devil's Pool

Add this experience to these trip ideas or contact us to start planning your own tailor-made safari to Zambia.

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Hippo Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining excellent game with aspects of remoter safari in South Luangwa, as well as the cultural delights of Livingstone, this trip also makes use of long-stay discounts, making it an excellent-value and well-rounded adventure.

US$7,480 - US$8,820 per person

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Sable Self-drive Safari

12 days • 7 locations

A great-value southern African self-drive adventure from Namibia along the Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Zimbabwe, combining other-worldly landscapes, unforgettable wildlife spectacles and rarely visited places, and ending at Victoria Falls.

US$6,140 - US$8,290 per person

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Klipspringer Safari

8 days • 3 locations

An outstanding-value Zimbabwe safari exploring Victoria Falls and two contrasting locations in western Zimbabwe – Hwange and the Matobo Hills – giving you a real feel for Zimbabwe, its people and wildlife.

US$2,890 - US$3,570 per person

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Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools national parks, staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls

US$10,150 - US$15,050 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations

This wonderfully varied adventure combines Botswana's Okavango Delta and a live-aboard houseboat safari on the Chobe River, with big game in Zimbabwe's dry Hwange National Park and the stupendous Victoria Falls.

US$9,250 - US$17,160 per person

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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to the Caprivi, with additional stops in Botswana and Victoria Falls. This three-week adventure includes an unrivalled mix of environments and is great value.

US$5,240 - US$7,450 per person

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Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari

18 days • 10 locations

A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, staying at luxury lodges throughout.

US$6,190 - US$10,420 per person

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Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$8,630 - US$11,910 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$12,230 - US$18,020 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$7,000 - US$10,780 per person

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$13,200 - US$18,440 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$14,400 - US$18,270 per person

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Other excursions in Zambia

Inspiration and great ideas for other experiences in Zambia to include in your safari.

Helicopter Flight - Zambia

Helicopter Flight - Zambia

12 or 25 minute flights

Witnessing the power of the Victoria Falls from the ground is a stunning sight, but to see the world’s largest waterfall from the air is a very different experience! A helicopter flight over the Falls is truly incredible, and a worthy addition to your time in Livingstone.

More about Helicopter Flight
100% (7 reviews)
Rhino Walk

Rhino Walk

Around four hours - mornings only

Spend an unforgettable morning on a walking safari tracking Mosi-oa-Tunya’s small population of white rhino, with a strong chance of being able to approach these endangered creatures on foot.

More about Rhino Walk
93% (3 reviews)
Royal Livingstone Express

Royal Livingstone Express

Four hours approx.

The Royal Livingstone Express is a lovingly restored steam train. Guests steam along the original Rhodesian railway line onto the stunning Victoria Falls Bridge. From here guests can marvel at the falls and the Batoka Gorge before enjoying 5-courses of fine dining.

More about Royal Livingstone Express
87% (3 reviews)
The Elephant Café

The Elephant Café

Approximately four hours

Visiting The Elephant Café is a great combination of a magical elephant encounter and fine dining. Spend time getting to know the elephants, some of them rescued from the wild many years ago, and others born into the herd. Then sit down and enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the Zambezi.

More about The Elephant Café
80% (2 reviews)
Kawaza Village Visit

Kawaza Village Visit

Two to three hours

Just outside Zambia's South Luangwa National Park lies a normal, working rural African village which is open and welcoming to visitors to the Luangwa valley. There is nothing artificial or contrived about Kawaza Village, and it offers a rare opportunity to experience and appreciate Kunda culture, and meet local Zambians.

More about Kawaza Village Visit
100% (1 reviews)
Microlight Flight

Microlight Flight

15 or 30 minutes

For pure exhilaration, it's hard to find something better than flying in a microlight, swooping through the spray that crashes up and off the Victoria Falls, with rainbows shimmering below. If you don't like heights, then this isn't for you! For those looking for a different way to see the Falls, the microlight flights offer a stunning birds eye view of this spectacular natural wonder.

More about Microlight Flight
100% (1 reviews)
Fishing on the Zambezi River

Fishing on the Zambezi River

Three hours or Seven hours

Many people head to Livingstone not just to see the Victoria Falls, but also to relax after an international flight or a busy safari, and a perfect way to do this is with a fishing trip on the calmer sections of the Zambezi River above the falls, drifting with the current, casting your line, and keeping an eye out for wildlife on the banks.

More about Fishing
80% (1 reviews)
Chobe Day Trip

Chobe Day Trip

Full day - typically around 11 hours

For a top safari experience while visiting the Victoria Falls, don’t miss a day trip to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Easily reachable from Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Chobe boasts some of the best wildlife densities in southern Africa, with exceptional numbers of elephant drawn by the permanent waters of the Chobe River.

More about Chobe Day Trip
Tribal Textiles Tour

Tribal Textiles Tour

One - two hours

Visit the Tribal Textiles workshop, where hand-painted textiles are produced by more than a hundred local people. The workshop is close to Mfuwe Airport, so is ideally placed for a stop en route to/from the South Luangwa. With products ranging from cushion covers to bags and T-shirts, it's a great place for souvenir shopping while at the same time supporting the local community.

More about Tribal Textiles Tour

Zambia fact file

Useful information to help you prepare for your trip in Zambia

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