Risk Your Life and Swim With the Devil

This swimming video comes via our good buddy Brian Kremers, a long distance triathlete from Southern, California.  Yes, it has millions of views on youtube, but we think it’s just getting started.

Here’s how the beind-the-scenes is broken-down on youtube: Swimming with the Devil

The closest to death I’ve ever been – Devil’s Pool at the top of Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia. January 2, 2010.

The spot we’re all sitting in is called Devil’s Pool, hence the video name. To reach it, we first took a small boat to Livingstone island: a tiny island near the edge of Victoria Falls. We then swam across the top of the falls for about 20 minutes, stopping every few meters to swim directly up stream because the current would drag us closer to the edge as we tried to swim perpendicular. 

The three black men (the two sitting on either side and the third holding my camera) were the guides we hired through our hotel (the Zambezi Sun) and some of the bravest souls I’ve ever met. I can’t remember exactly how much but I think it was $50 each, and well worth the investment. There were other locals who would take us for less, but inexperienced guides get tourists killed, which had happened the week. The guides knew exactly where to swim across the top of the falls, stop to rest, and swim up stream. One of them even carried one of the girls on his back when she had a panic attack while swimming across the falls. Most importantly, as you can see in the video, a guide sat on each side of the group to make sure we didn’t wander out of the safe area (well safe-ish). There’s a small underwater rock ridge which we leaned against to stop us from spilling over. 

That being said, fouling around will still get you killed, as I almost learned when I tried leaning over the falls to snap a self-portrait. I felt the water rush and my legs, which were planted to the floor, swing up with the current. I quickly decided I could live without a self-portrait. The third guide, the one who took the incredible footage with my camera, actually stood on the tiny rock ridge, leaning over to capture the precipitous drop and, yes, the double rainbow. Inconceivably stunning! He could have died with the smallest slip! And these guys do this every day. They were all tipped well.

TJ from Toronto, CAN

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11 years ago

Absolutely stupid. Pathetic that people need this kind of adrenaline rush to have “fun”. There are plenty of scenic things to do in the world without risking your life … all it would take to not survive is one wrong move, slip, or change of current. And trusting the guides…yep, someone explained that above.

11 years ago

Wow! Breathtaking!
An even more thrilling video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVFsiJBSQps&feature=channel&list=UL

11 years ago

Having personally done this, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Truly a rush and unique opportunity to say you swam at the top of the wonders of the world!

Reply to  spirith20
11 years ago

It’s only amazing because you survived! Lot’s of things can give you a rush that aren’t stupid – this is stupid! Period!

11 years ago

What is more stupid? Staying there on the pool or paying poor africans to die with you?

“They were all tipped well” TJ from Toronto, how could you tip a life?

11 years ago

Somebody has to win the “Darwin award” this year!! This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen!! As someone who lived in this area I can tell you that the currents can change in minutes and pull people over – happens every year and happens fast!!

BTW: $50 is a lot of money for the guides to make in this very poor area —they would risk their own children, grandparents and parents to make that kind of money — not because they have a unique knowledge of area and the falls BUT because they are desperate for income!

Too many stupid people in the world!! AND yes!!, they did get lucky!! By posting their experience on “youtube” they just… Read more »

11 years ago

I did Google Image search using the following terms… “devil’s pool victoria falls”. Some of those images make this video look tame by comparison. Crazy!

11 years ago

Crazy video. According to this article, “At least one person dies each year at the Devil’s Pool.”

11 years ago

Was I the only person that kept leaning away from the edge while watching this video?

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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