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Mana Pools National Park

Zimbabwe

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MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK SAFARI HOLIDAYS

Overview

Mana Pools National Park sits in Zimbabwe’s north alongside the stunning Zambezi River.

The word ‘mana’ is Shona language meaning four which refers to the number of naturally formed pools created by the Zambezi River’s changing course in ancient times. The park covers 2,500 square kilometres of river banks, islands, sandbanks, and small pools. All this, together with the ebony, baobab, mahogany and fig tree forests which frame the area, accounts for Mana Pools’ great reputation for being one of Africa’s finest national parks.

ADJACENT TO THE ZAMBEZI RIVER

RATED AS ONE OF THE FINEST PARKS IN AFRICA

ABUNDANT NUMBERS OF HIPPOS, CROCS, ELEPHANTS, AND BUFFALO

GREAT LODGES AND OUTSTANDING GAME ADVENTURES

History

The Zambezi river serenely flows through the northern region of the park and offers some fantastic opportunities for river safaris or appreciation of the landscape during sunset cruises. In 1984 Mana Pools was named a UNESCO World Heritage area after a proposal that would have flooded the area for a hydroelectricity project was denied. In early 2013, it also became a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Threats of drilling, mining, and poaching continue to threaten the area, but the Zambezi Society has fought hard against these projects since its formation in 1984 and continues to work fighting for what is in the best interests of Mana Pools.

Wildlife

Mana Pools teems with game, including Zimbabwe’s biggest populations of hippos and crocodiles in addition to impressive numbers of buffalo and elephants during the dry season. Other wildlife that frequents the park is zebra, waterbuck, impala, baobab, eland, baboon and monkey which can be seen feasting on fruit from the acacia trees. Carnivores are plentiful with one very likely to see lions, cheetah, leopard or hyena. Mana Pools is also a haven for birds with over 350 different species recorded, including Lillian’s lovebird, the special blue-cheeked bee-eater as well as the rare Pel’s fishing owl.

The park’s wildlife is quite relaxed and unthreatened by human presence. Herbivores, including buffalo and elephant, can be seen grazing the river banks and feasting on the acacias’ fallen fruit. Meanwhile, predators like the big cats and hyenas will be lurking close, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Activities

Vehicle, walking, and canoeing safaris are a special experience in Mana Pools with lion and elephant bulls being relatively relaxed with the tour guides in the park. This gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy close yet safe encounters with these beautiful animals which are bound to get the heart-pounding.

Zimbabwe has an extraordinarily difficult license examination process for tour guides. This ensures that your safari guide is professionally qualified and can competently track and walk with dangerous game. This is a massive drawcard for safaris in Zimbabwe, let alone in Mana Pools, which boasts some of Africa’s best tour guides.

Mana Pools is located in the lower reaches of the Zambezi Valley. Walking safaris in the region provide visitors with astonishing vistas of the brilliant Zambezi River and up-close interactions with wildlife in their natural habitat. The mountainous Rift Valley Escarpment forms a breathtaking backdrop as the river terraces through studded Faidherbia Albida (a type of acacia tree) and offers easy-going and safe terrain for walkers.

Time of year to travel

Amazing Places To Stay

Lodges and Accommodation

Nyamatusi Camp

Nyamatusi Camp is the newest of the African Bush Camps collection and is primarily focused on luxury family safari holidays. Located on the lush banks of the ancient Zambezi River, the camp has been cleverly designed with modern style and serenity in mind. Consisting of six luxury safari tented suites, guests experience uninterrupted river views.

Kanga Camp

Situated on a private concession in the Mana Pools National Park, Kanga Camp is an untouched wilderness paradise. Not your traditional Mana Pools camp as Kanga is set inland at Kanga Pan. This lodge offers an authentic safari experience far away from the riverside camps of Mana Pools.

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