Mana Pools National Park
Located in the heart of a protected area that runs from Lake Kariba to the Mozambique border, Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most incredible tracts of untamed wilderness in all of Africa. The Zambezi has been the life source of the region for many thousands of years, over time forming a vast network of river channels, ponds and pools. High concentrations of animals around these water sources are an undeniable magnet for the region’s predators and so exciting hunts are commonplace and often seen on a safari in Mana Pools.
About Mana Pools National Park
As the Zambezi passes through Mana Pools it bends around corners and is dotted with islands. However, it is the pools of the old river channels which give the park its name. These pools are large enough to maintain water throughout the dry season during which animals will congregate here to drink.
Herds of impala, elephant, zebra, buffalo, eland and kudu are plentiful enough to maintain the populations of lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena and other predators and scavengers that inhabit Mana’s rich ecosystem. The shores of the river are particularly exciting for birders looking to spot a plethora of Southern Africa’s bird species.
Mana Pools Wildlife Safaris
A tailor-made safari in Mana Pools will be one of the most exhilarating experiences you’ll have in Africa. The pools are known for their large population of the endangered African wild dog, with over 100 individual adults making sightings relatively common compared to elsewhere on the continent. Mana Pools appeared on the BBC’s ‘Dynasties‘ documentary that followed two of the park’s packs.
Elephant populations are healthy in Mana Pools, and the majestic creatures that roam here are famous for standing upright on their hind legs to reach high tree branches. This is very rare elsewhere and makes for a great photo opportunity if you’re lucky enough to see it on a bespoke Mana Pools safari. Lion and hyena sightings are common in the park and leopards are often seen here too.
Plains game such as zebra can be found within the park, whilst buffalo appear in large herds and can sometimes be seen battling with the park’s lions. There are no rhino, giraffe or wildebeest in Mana Pools.
Game drives and river safaris in Mana Pools are the most popular activities here, with night game drives, photographic safaris and birding excursions also available. It’s possible to go canoeing on the Zambezi or step out into the bush on a walking safari in Mana Pools too.
Birding in Mana Pools National Park
Recorded species of bird in Mana Pools number at just under 400. The park’s diverse range of habitat provides a home to a variety of different birds, and during the dry months colourful carmine bee-eaters build nests on the river banks. African skimmers, blue-cheeked bee-eaters, long-toed lapwings, Lilian’s lovebirds, rufous-bellied heron and sombre greenbuls are among the birding specials at Mana Pools.
Best Places to Stay in Mana Pools
There are a number of excellent safari camps and lodges in Mana Pools. Many of the properties are located near to the river where high numbers of game congregate during the dry season.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Best time to go to Mana Pools
Zimbabwe’s dry season from June and October is the best time to enjoy a safari in Mana Pools National Park. During these months, animals tend to congregate along the river or at the park’s pools and are easier to find.
Between April and October motorised boats are not permitted to operate. However, between November and March it can be difficult to access Mana by road and often boat is the best way to travel into the heart of the park.
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Mana Pools National Park Safari Holiday
To discuss your Zimbabwe safari holiday, Mana Pools safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Zimbabwe experts today by contacting us here.