Tour Guide plunges into the Victoria Falls gorge

29 09 2009

Devils PoolSource: ZimEye, Zimbabwe

A professional tour guide is believed to have died after falling to the Victoria Falls rain-forest gorges. Police confirmed the incident, which left Victoria Falls and Livingstone, Zambia residents dumbfounded. Chief Inspector Chisoni, Police Officer in Charge of Victoria Falls police station in Livingstone, Zambia said the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon on the Zambian side of the rainforest. He said the guide was trying to save a tourist who was about to fall into the gorges at a spot called The Devil’s Pool.

The name of the guide is still being withheld as his next of kin are still to be notified but according to sources, the guide was working for a South African based tour company.

“He came here (Livingstone) driving a minibus with tourists from South Africa and were booked at the Water Front,” said the source.

“They then went to the devils pool, a death trap which is very close to the edge of the main falls which are 90 metres deep.”

** Since this report – findings have confirmed that it did not occur at Devils Pool, it actually occurred away from the area – please see “Story Update” and comments below to find out the truth!

He said on getting out of the pool, one of the tourists slipped and was about to fall into the gorges.

“The tour guide quickly grabbed his hand and successfully pulled him back into the pool but in the process lost balance and fell 90metres down,” he said.

The source said every year someone dies at the devils pool.

“People should just be banned from going near the place because it is dangerous. On the Zimbabwean side, there are barriers put in place all over. That should be done here,” he said.

Help was called in and tour operators sent in helicopters.

The fire brigade, police and well wishers responded but they could not locate the guide.

Source: ZimEye, Zimbabwe

Have you swum at the Devil’s Pool? Should swimming there be banned? Post your comments below…



14 responses to “Tour Guide plunges into the Victoria Falls gorge”

29 09 2009
Mark (16:33:16) :

Yes I have swum here, yes you need to be very cautious but I do not think that any one should ban such an amazing place. More than one person will die at a beach because of waves shall we then ban swimming at beaches?

29 09 2009
Story Update (17:06:56) :

There is another story about this. Story update:

The clients and guides were actually on there way back from the pools – near livingstone island. He actually slipped into the gully (not devils pools) and drowned there. The water pressure is believed to have kept him under the water despite that he was a good swimmer.

Either way – its very sad!

29 09 2009
Garth Jenman (17:28:30) :

Yes I agree that this is very sad story and my condolences to his family.
I do however agree with Mark when he says one can’t ban things every time something goes wrong. Otherwise we would land up living in a very boring world. I do think though that all safety precautions should be taken to limit any dangers and that a full investigation needs to be launched to find out what happened in this situation and how it can be prevented in the future. The guide was a true professional stepping in to save his client and he paid the ultimate price for doing so.

29 09 2009
Mellisa (17:59:44) :

Wow really sad, but i agree the guide should be remebered as a brave hero! My thoughts are with the anonymous hero and his family.

1 10 2009
Clem (08:16:16) :

Valuable post

6 10 2009
Graham from Safpar (10:50:37) :

It is illegal and dangerous to walk across the top of the Falls during low water for clients and crew. Unfortunately one of the overland companies experienced some bad luck last Thursday when their driver/guide was walking along the top of the Falls by Angels Pool and a client slipped and fell into the river. In an attempt to rescue the client the guide/driver went over the Falls and subsequently died. Our sincere condolences to both the Company and family of the deceased. During low water it is always so tempting to walk along the top of the Falls and there are many illegal guides who will offer to do this for a fee – DO NOT BE TEMPTED – DON’T DO IT!!

6 10 2009
Benjamin from Tongabezi (16:29:28) :

This blog is based on the article from the New Zimbabwe site – which it actually inaccurate – but here are a few comments for clarification of what actually happened:

1. The accident was nowhere near Livingstone Island/Devils Pool

2. The client (a gentleman) slipped while leaping across a small water channel on the edge of the Falls – no one was swimming

3. The guide tried to rescue him, helped him and in the process slipped into the water and was taken over

4. No one – to my knowledge, has ever died at Devils Pool/Livingstone Island

3 02 2010
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3 08 2010
Southern African Tourism (13:50:42) :

It is sad to hear of this poor man passing away, but he died a hero’s death saving a clients life. It is sad as this was so unnecessary, but what can you do? Quite often pushy clients will demand the rules to be bent, quite often with a little incentive of sorts, and that is where the real issue lies. Somebody had to pay with his life here, and that is unacceptable. There can be no price on a human life. I do hope the man’s family is taken care of.

14 11 2010
nitengale (19:26:28) :

My husband I swam at the Devil’s pool a few years back. Amazing experience, but thought it was the last breath my husband would take when swimming back to the island, as he swallowed water! The guides were fantastic, but I would suggest that there be at least guide ropes or other safety equipment available along the edge. I did spot 2 life jackets, but they won’t help if you cannot hold on for assistance.
Would I do it again? Never, but it was awesome!

15 11 2010
abu dhabi desert safari (13:11:38) :

i like very much thank you

14 06 2012
De Silva (16:23:16) :

Yes it is sad. IT does not matter where the guide fell, the truth is this pool should carry a ban on swimming, its a dangerous place

14 04 2014
Sharon Norris (04:55:58) :

All of the pictures of the people in the Devil’s Pool look amazing, but I am so afraid of heights, especially combined with water (even though I find it so facinating…I have been to Niagara Falls 4 times, but would not take my children because I was terrified they might fall in…the picture of the father holding his toddler son on the edge of the waterfall was very irresponsible, I think). For this reason, I don’t think I could ever do this, and would have a heart attack if any of my sons did it now and they are all grown men now! It’s just too much of a risk being right on the brink of a very high waterfall like that. Even getting to that island seems like it would be a big risk (I don’t know how big the island is or how fast the water is moving, but still).

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