Tour Guide Dies As He Saves Tourist At The Devil Swim
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***
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.