Tour Guide Dies As He Saves Tourist At The Devil Swim

(September 2009)

Tourist gambling with death on the edge of the Victoria Falls

Tourist gambling with death on the edge of the Victoria Falls

A BRAVE Zimbabwean tour guide is presumed dead after plunging 90m into the Victoria Falls while trying to rescue a tourist, police said.

The unnamed man was working for South African tour company, Sunway Safaris, reports said on Sunday.

The man was accompanying several western tourists on the Zambian side of the world's largest waterfall. Here, tourists swim dangerously close to the tipping point of the falls, only prevented from falling by a slippery, submerged lip of rock.

Only the brave attempt a swim in the aptly named Devil's Pool - and tour guides are tasked with ensuring their safety.

It was in fulfilling this duty that the tragic tour guide dived into the water to rescue a stranded tourists last Wednesday.

A witness told the Sunday Mail: "The tour guide quickly grabbed the tourist’s hand and successfully pulled him back into the pool but in the process, he slipped and fell into the gorge down below."

Horrified tourists on either side of the falls witnessed the incident.Chief Inspector Chisoni, in charge of the Victoria Falls Police Station (Zambia), said the tour guide is believed to have driven the tourists from South Africa.

***Since this report - findings have confirmed that it did not occur at Devils Pool, it actually occurred away from the area and by an unofficial operator***

Updated report
Livingstone Island tours run by Tongabezi Safaris operate the official Devil's Pool trip where clients are taken by boat to Livingstone Island from
the Zambian side of the river. Here, water levels allowing, tourists are able to safely swim in the Devil's Pool, under the close supervision of trained guides. The trip is hugely popular, and no-one has ever been swept over the Falls on these tours - in fact no-one is known to have ever died at the Devil's Pool.

Before Tongabezi launched their Livingstone Island tours many tourists would undertake 'unofficial' (and illegal) trips along the crest-line of the Falls, which at low water are bare for much of the length and gives access to the various dive and swim pools along the lip. In 2009 a guide sadly died saving a tourist - however this accident did not happen at the Devil's Pool as is often claimed in online news reports. The client slipped while leaping across a small water channel on the edge of the Falls and the guide saved him, and unfortunately in the process slipped into the water and was swept over the edge.

Which is why official tours are operated to professional standards with rigerous safety procedures. Watch a great video (without downloading malware or seeing anyone die) of an official Devil's Pool tour here - and you'll realise why it is so popular!

For more information on this activity, visit this page on The Devils Swim.

If you would like to find out more about all the activities on offer in Victoria Falls then please visit our Victoria Falls Activities Page.

Comments for Tour Guide Dies As He Saves Tourist At The Devil Swim

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Aug 26, 2013

I lost a dear family friend in August 2011 atop the great falls, in the Angel's Armchair (a similar spot to the Devil's Pool. We had a local guide who offered to take us to the secluded pool at the edsge of the falls. It was a fateful trek across the edge of the Zambezi. Three of us went hand in hand and only two of us returned. Our Zemba dived into the pool from a cliff above the pool, copyin gthe guide who showed us what we could do if we so wished. I chose not to. I filmed Zemba as he elected to live in the moment... Heartbreaking.


Oct 07, 2013
Crazy Pool
by: Anonymous

Who on Earth would go to swim at devils pool.

Oct 20, 2013
Brave man
by: Anonymous

He is very brave guide.

Mar 14, 2014
by: Anonymous

So devastatingly sad. Ending his life to save another's. Now that is a real hero.

Jun 18, 2014
by: Anonymous

This did NOT happen at the Devil's Pool. It ahppend elsewhere on the Falls while the group was hiking along. The tourist slipped and fell, causing the incident.

Jun 23, 2014
check your facts
by: Anonymous

it hapens when illegal guides accompany people walking onthe edge of the falls during the dry months October /november. one tourist slipped and lost his life/ guide must have ran away as nowhere to be seen? this is the story of some people irresponsible same as those saying stories they have no idea and damage our zambia.

Sep 22, 2014
by: Anonymous

This is really depressing that guide is really a hero that he save that tourist. i am going to zimbabwe in a couple of months and going to victoria falls devils pool and im hoping that doesnt happen to me!

Sep 27, 2014
Devils swim incident
by: Tony

As stated in previous posts this incident did not happen on the Livingstone Island tour/Devils swim operated by Tongabezi. These people hired a local guide who walked them along the face of the Falls. We strong advise not to do this. If you go with Tongabezi they are a very professional outfit with high safety standards.

For bookings contact us

Dec 02, 2014
Devil's pool
by: Dr sunil Bhalla

Just did the pool a few hours ago.it was exhilarating. A world class view. The guides very excellent and told me how to do every step of the way-thanks guys.

Dec 12, 2014
This guide must be dumb
by: Matheus Ferreira

What is his problem ?? Life is the most valuable thing we have, i cant believe he gave his life to save a stranger...

Dec 14, 2014
by: PRT

Sacrificing your life for another is the highest manifestation of love. Jesus did this for us.

Jan 20, 2015
What was the tourist thinking??
by: Anonymous

Hate to say it, but they would have been on their own. Why would even go that close to the edge??!! What since does that make??!!

May 03, 2015
by: Anonymous

I like to live life a little on the edge but this brings a whole new meaning to the phrase!!

Oct 09, 2015
One guide is too many lost
by: Anonymous

I wish westerners would not put themselves in such risk as it's the guides who end up dead and gone and in Africa, the guide would have left his family with out an income. Please think
Of the guides and their families!! Life in Africa is hard enough as it is :-(.

Jan 12, 2016
by: Anonymous

it is so sad and it wasn't right-shouldn't of happened but what a true hero he wil be remembered well

Jan 27, 2016
by: Doneurbeezwax

First of all it was stupid for the people who got so close to the edge. Yes, it was the guides job to protect them but its not his fault they got so close to the edge. That man did an amazing thing and gave his life to save another. I couldn't imagine being the person who practically made him die or caused his death. How could you live with that. That guide is one of the most heroic person that would do that. <3 D:

Jan 27, 2016
Think a Little
by: Anonymous

That tour guide was a definite hero with a great heart, doing the best at his job. The western tourist however, they should not have put themselves and the tour guide in danger for the tour guide to have sacrificed his life to save the tourists. This tour guide is an amazing person to put himself in danger to save a strangers life, but he shouldn't have had to be in that situation, and that tourist should've actually thought a little about what they were doing.

Apr 25, 2016
sooooo deppressing!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

this is SERIOUSLY DEPPRESSING!!!!! btw I'm only 11, but have already decided i am definatly NOT going to attempt it. like, ever!!!

Oct 18, 2016
by: Anonymous

you are a fool for swimming over a waterfall that high risking your life for a swim and a picture over the edge,sorry that it happened though(its a shame )but your still a fool

Oct 28, 2016
Devil's Pool--Safe with a professional guide
by: Anonymous

My family and I visited Devi's Pool 8/16. It's certainly not for everyone but if you're an adrenaline junky it doesn't get much better than this. We did our research and felt it was a safe, though terrifying experience... Cherished moments we will never, ever forget.

Feb 18, 2017
by: Ifeoluwa

Now that's a tragic death... But he really is an hero... This is sooo sad. Rest In Peace Bravo!!

Nov 10, 2017
foolish self centered tourists
by: Anonymous

stupid tourist
brave tour guide

Nov 13, 2017
That's terrible
by: Anonymous

That's terrible, how did the tourists get home?

Apr 07, 2018
Western Tourist
by: Anonymous

Although this tragic event didn't happen at the Devil's Pool and was guided by an unauthorized tour, I find it appalling that generally speaking, the entitled mentality of western tourists and their bloated expectations all too often lead to indigenous peoples suffering the loss.
Thrill seekers...stay home, go home, or yield to your stupidity in isolation...let your families eulogize you as brave and going out the way you wished. Let them foot the bill.

May 15, 2018
RE: Western Tourists
by: Anonymous

I wouldn't necessarily make the judgment that ALL Western Tourists travel with a sense of entitlement. granted it does happen, but I have seen Eastern Tourists run amok in the Canadian Rockies and along the edge of the Cliffs of Mohar in Ireland with complete abandon and disregard for the safety of others, let alone their own!

Aug 26, 2018
Tourism is important so the story must change
by: Anonymous

It is hard to see and know that death is either not reported or stories altered so the community can continue to prosper. Just try to not be so daring or look too cool. Enjoyment does not need to be proven in an act that can take ones life. Sending blessings and well wishes to all.

Jan 25, 2019
Brave tour guide
by: Anonymous

This is so sad. He ended his life to save another person. The tour guide will always be remembered.

Jan 11, 2020
bless his precious soul
by: ferhunde

This is so tragic. Let us all leave a prayer for him

Mar 26, 2020
One life lost is a life too many.
by: Anonymous

Heartbreaking, may his soul rest peacefully.

Apr 29, 2020
tragic death and brave tourgide
by: superperson

I personally believe that the death of this man is possibly the most tragic thing I have herd of.His tragic death brought a tear to my eye and made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle as I saw this story on my laptop.I feel as if this man should be celebrated for helping others in distress.

Jul 07, 2020
Devils Pool should be closed
by: Anonymous

I have been to Victoria Falls Three times. There is a lot to do in the area. It is not worth risking peoples' lives for money. Zambia should ban access to the pool. I cringed every time I visited and watched the callous and senseless frolicking in that pool.

Dec 04, 2020
why are people calling him dum and a fool??
by: Anonymous

after i read this im sad that this had to happen to him and also WHAT ARE WRONG WITH PEOPLE SAYING THAT WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG AND HE SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT WHAT ISWRONG WITH YOU!!!??!! HE IS A HERO HE SAVED SOMONE FROM DYING!!!!! for me he is a hero that will always be remembered for he bravery true hero i look up to him and let this be a lesson to people that these gides will save you even if it costs them there lives

TRUE HERO!!!!!!!

Mar 04, 2021
by: Anonymous

this guy is a true hero saving someone with the cost of his life amazing person and personality!

Sep 18, 2021
Think of his family that is still alive
by: Anonymous

I am feeling a sadness for this man's family. Did he have a wife and children that will no longer be provided for due to his selfless act of bravery? Is there a site where donations could be made to help his family financially? This is how we can thank that man for giving his life to save another.

Nov 21, 2021
Very selfless soul
by: Agboli

May his soul rest easy!!! Let there be some go fund for the family he left behind!!!😐

Sep 22, 2022
It is a guide standing on the edge.
by: Odojoe

That is not tourist standing on the edge of the Falls. THe guides never let tourists do that. The guide is taking photos of the tourists in the pool.

Apr 27, 2023
When a "soul" is released at the falls the elders say it's spirit inhabits the mist for eternity

I've lived and travel the entire continent of Africa my entire life, the things I've seen and the secrets I've guarded over the years, the elders talk of when a "soul" is released in the falls,it's there for eternity, AFRICA IS AN AMAZING PLACE,ITS PEOPLE AND ITS SECRETS ARE CLISELY GUARDED

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