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Boiling Pot Hike

NOTE: Unfortunately, the Boiling Pot Hike is no longer available from the Zimbabwean side. There is a similar activity operated from the Zambian side or alternatively, you may wish to do a Batoka Gorge Hike & Village Tour. If you need any more information on these, please send us an enquiry.

Take this awesome picturesque hike down the gorge, under the Victoria Falls Bridge, and experience the splendour of the Victoria Falls from down below. Then take a swim in the pools at the base of the falls.

View from the gorge below the Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Zimbabwe Zambia

The view from the base of the Victoria Falls on the far end

View slideshow Watch video of the Boiling Pot Hike

Seeing the Victoria Falls from its base is a breathtaking experience, but there is a rather strenuous hike involved. You have to walk down the Batoka Gorge, go under the Victoria Falls Bridge and take a raft to the base of the Falls. Sounds simple enough, but you do have to be reasonably fit in order to complete this rather physical activity. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the bottom of the gorge which is almost 110m high (360 feet), with steep steps, rocks, some rafting and swimming. Then there is the preparation time and rafting across to the other side of the gorge which takes about 30 minutes. After spending about an hour at the base of the Falls, it takes roughly another hour to get back out of the gorge. The experience though is very enjoyable and worth the time and effort!

Best Time for the Boiling Pot Hike

The Boiling Pot Hike is a seasonal activity, and is available the same time with the low water rafting, which is offered during the months of August through to December when the water level of the Zambezi River is at the right height in order to make access possible. Outside of these months the shear volume of water makes it very dangerous and access is impossible. The Boiling Pot Hike starts off at 09h00, or at 07h30 during the very hot months.

The Start of the Trip

Pick-up and drop off from your hotel is included in the price, but you will need to bring a $10 National Park fee with you which is paid when you check-in for your Boiling Pot Hike.

It is a short drive from town to the top of the gorge. There, you will receive instructions and safety briefing from the seasoned guides, gear up with a helmet and the descent down the gorge begins. Safety is always first, so take your time walking in single file down the gorge.

When you get to the bottom of the gorge, you will be met with a life jacket and a raft which will take you against the current and across to the base of the Falls. You don't need to be a pro-rafter to take the oars, just listen to the guides' instructions to either paddle forwards, backwards or stop.

Once you get to the Falls side, you can take off the life-jackets and helmets, and enjoy a hike across the rocks. You will be amazed by the scenery at the bottom of the gorge and coming around the bend to see the Victoria Falls and the spray from down below will blow your mind. Take your time and walk carefully getting to the waterfalls because the rocks are very slippery. This is the best part of the Boiling Pot hike so feel free to strip down to your swimming gear and jump into the pools below the Falls. Don't forget to take lots of pictures while you are down there.

The Ending

The guides will give you fair warning before its time to leave and go back up the gorge. The cruise back is a short one as you will be going with the current. The hike back up the gorge will be followed by refreshments (provided) at the top of the gorge.

What you will need for the trip

So what do you need to take with you for this incredible Boiling Pot hike?
• Comfortable shoes that are suitable for hiking - try not to use brand new shoes, and make sure that they have a good sturdy sole as some of the rocks may be too sharp for thin soles.
• Waterproofing for your cameras/phones
• Swimming attire underneath your t-shirt and shorts
• Don't forget the $10 National Park fee which is required at check-in!

Points to Note
You will be provided with nice cold water by the guys from Shearwater, but if you want to bring your own, you are welcome to do so. The gorge hike is scheduled for 3.5 hours in total, so be sure to eat well before you go on your gorge hike and swim.

Unfortunately, children under 15 are not allowed for the Boiling Pot Hike. Children under 18 years need to have signed authorisation by their parents/guardians. Please note that a reasonable level of fitness is required for hiking the gorge! It involves a 110m steep descent and also climb via high steps as well as sharp and sometimes slippery rocks. There is no mechanical assistance for going into and coming out of the gorge.

Other Hiking Trips

For a longer trip much further down the Zambezi River, which includes a visit to a local village, the Batoka Hike and Ndebele Village Tour is a 5.5 hour trip which takes you down the river at rapid #23, then a little ways downstream. After a short swim in the eddies, you will then hike up to the village. Meet the people, learn about their way of life, and have a meal with them.

This activity is not seasonal and is available through-out the year. However, a trip is only confirmed with a minimum of 4 people. Pickup is between 06h00 and 06h30.

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