Mana Pools

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Mana Pools

Activities and Highlights
Region Map


"Located within the remote wilderness of the flourishing Zambezi valley; acacia, mopane and mahogany woodlands surround the reed fringed floodplains and river terraces which adds to the fertile allure of the Mana Pools’ pristine and untouched natural beauty. Internationally recognized as a World Heritage Site for this very reason, Mana National Park not only has outstanding natural beauty but with the arrival of its dry season, the national park plays host to the highest concentration of wildlife on the African continent.

Yet another spectacular drawing card is that the park boasts the largest inland concentration of hippopotami and Nile crocodile. These fiercely territorial animals occupy the mighty Zambezi River by the thousands, lazing in the heat of the African sun and may not even acknowledge your presence unless of course you wonder a bit to close. Mana National Park is practically devoid of human settlements which cement the area as a wilderness of solitude and serenity, back dropped by the blue-purple tinge of the distant Zambezi Escarpment.

This wildlife sanctuary sustains more than 12000 elephants and well over16000 buffalo, which makes spotting herds up to about 500 each an overwhelming experience. Not only does Mana National Park flourish as a haven to many of Africa’s mightiest of mammals; the park is without a doubt a delight to all bird watchers as it is frequented by more than 450 species of feathered friends."

Access Details

Equipped with the Mana Airstrip, flights may be chartered directly to the lodges from Kariba or Harare. Boat transfers are available from Kariba for some accessible properties.

Suggested Stay Details

A suggested stay of 3 or 4 nights is ideal to explore the Mana Pools and its wildlife, with an added 2 nights when exploring the surrounding areas such as Lake Kariba or Victoria Falls.

Type of Experience

CANOE SAFARI: Mana Pools National Park is the ideal destination to experience the palatial cruise of an active canoe safari. Ranging between three to five days, you will get the chance of exploring one of the last truly unspoilt regions of Africa as you drift across the glistening waters of the mighty Zambezi River. Enter the Mana Pools of main, Long, Chine and Chisambik but be wary of sun bathing hippopotami and Nile crocodile, these folk don’t take kindly to space invaders. As you paddle your way through the silence of nature’s solitude and you gain an appreciation for its remarkable beauty, the sights and smells of the African wilderness.


Mana Pools National Park is maintained as a pristine wilderness, unspoilt by concrete hotels, tarred roads or a flood of safari lodges. Development has been kept to a minimum, to ensure the conservation of the natural African wild, as it once was. Safari lodges offer a unique experience of the African bush, while providing luxury and comfort to all who travel to Mana Pools National Park.


Mana Pools National Park consists of fertile river terraces as a result of the Zambezi River, small ponds surrounded by woodlands and the Zambezi Escarpment is located on the parks’ southern boundary.


Mana Pools National Park was established in 1963 and was protected as an area which prohibited hunting since 1930. In 1984, the Mana Pools, along with Chewore Safari Area and the Sapi Safari Area were enlisted as a Natural World Heritage Site.

Activities & Highlights

"GAME DRIVES: With the arrival of the dry season, the African wildlife make their way in great numbers to the sparkle of the Mana Pools. It is during this time that lions, cheetah, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas and jackals are much easier tracked down. As the arrival of African predators increase, be sure to look out for their favourite supply of fast food, which includes kudu, eland, impala, bushbucks and the very rare nyala when speeding away for dear life.

BIRD WATCHING: The lush pristine beauty of Mana Pools National Park attracts more than 450 species of birds, boasting impressive numbers of both woodland and water species. From the call of the eagle, to the spiralling flight of the vulture, the blue and purple tones of the carmine bee-eaters and the waddle of Egyptian and spurwing geese; Mana National Park is a haven to all bird watchers. Other flying spectacles include the rock pratincoles, Livingstone’s flycatcher, nyasa lovebird and the yellow-spotted nicator.

FEISTY FISHING: Try your hand at fishing because the meandering river ways of the mighty Zambezi River is inundated with the presence of feisty fish species. Fight your way to victory as you try your luck catching the ferocious tiger fish. Other species include the perch, bream, catfish, vundu and lungfish."

Season Travel Details

Located within a sub-tropic climate, the Mana Pools National Park expects rain during its summer months which generally starts in November and may last until April. During this time, days are hot and humid with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F). Between the months of June and October, expect the dry season to set in with temperatures soaring well over 30°C (86°F).

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