On the southern banks of the Zambezi River is a beautiful national park that will leave you speechless. Mana Pools National Park lies in the northern region of Zimbabwe and is one of the countless reasons to visit this African country paradise.
There is so much to discover in this amazing conservation area it’s almost impossible to know where to begin. Luckily, we’re happy to guide you and tell you all you need to know about Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
Mana Pools: What to Know
Mana Pools National Park is situated in the lower Zambezi Valley. Here the river flows for approximately 186 miles (300 km) before joining the Indian Ocean.
Each rainy season, the floodplain turns into a broad expanse of lakes. These lakes gradually dry up and recede as the months get hotter, creating the Mana Pools for which the area is famous.
The word Mana means “four” in Shona, the primary language spoken in Zimbabwe. The area is named after the four iconic main pools that the relentless Zambezi River has carved out over thousands of years.
The park’s pools cover 847 square miles (2 196km²) in total. The site is packed with so much history that its conservation is a major priority. There is no road access, meaning you can only explore it via some amazing walking safaris.
Mana Pools National Park, Sapi, and Chewore safari areas were declared UNESCO world heritage sites in 1984. Chewore and Sapi are remote, unspoiled big game sanctuaries that surround the Mana Pools Park. In these conservation areas, man and nature live side by side.
Mana Pools National Park: Wildlife Extravaganza
Mana Pools is home to one of the largest concentrations of Hippo and Crocodile in the entire country. On land Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Warthog, Impalas, Baboons, and so much more roam the plains. The potential for animal viewing is practically limitless.
Bird watchers won’t be disappointed either. The sky and tree top canopies are garnished with over 350 species of birds. A spectacular sight for any twitcher.
The sparse growth alongside the pools and ample water means that you get to take your pick between two unique types of safaris. Both offer the chance to get up close and personal with Africa’s magnificent offerings.
Mana Pools Safaris
Walking safaris provide a truly unique experience. Park visitors get the chance to venture through the African bush with a guide. You can soak up Zimbabwe’s splendour with animals standing just a few metres away.
If you get the chance to go on an on-foot safari, we recommend visiting the Long Pool. It’s the largest of the four pools, extending 3.7 miles (6 km) east to west.
The pool is an incredibly popular watering hole for Elephants. It gives you the perfect opportunity to get within a hair’s breadth distance of the Big Five giant.
After your thrilling encounter with the respected Ellie, you might appreciate a chance to catch your breath under the ancient Faidherbia trees. Also known as Acacia Albida, these beauties provide extensive shade and serve as tasty fodder for mammals in the area.
If walking in the bush isn’t your cup of tea, then a canoe safari might just whet your action-seeking appetite. The area’s abundance of water makes this one of the best ways to view animals.
Imagine paddling smoothly through the soft current while catching a glimpse of Elephants playing in the water nearby. Nothing can beat a Mana Pools safari. That’s why these amazing water-bound adventures are offered year-round at the park.
Canoe safaris are not just an exceptional experience. At times, they are the only way to access the park. The rise in water makes it impossible to travel through the area during the rainy season.
The best time to visit the park is between May and September. This may seem strange considering the wildlife is most prominent between September and early October. However, intense heat keeps visitors away during these peak months.
Temperatures are said to reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Mana Pools National Park Accommodation
Take some time to do the research on the available accommodations. Many of them offer wonderful wildlife experiences right on your doorstep.
In addition, these places usually come equipped with a high level of personal service and catering. Let’s put it this way, not many of the campsites can really qualify as “roughing it”.
Your final choice for where to stay should take into account the experience you want and the level of comfort you need. Once you’ve weighed up the options, you’ll be sure to have a magical time while staying by this national treasure.
Book A Trip To Mana Pools In Zimbabwe
If you are going to visit Africa, it only makes sense to see the best that the continent has to offer. Zimbabwe is right on top of that list.
This African country is filled with marvellous adventures, from Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba to these fantastic pools. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this monumental destination. The Mana Pools in Zimbabwe are calling!