Mana means ‘four’, in reference to the four large permanent pools formed by the meanderings of the middle Zambezi. These 2,500 square kilometres of river frontage, islands, sandbanks and pools, flanked by forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs, make up one of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa.
Mana Pools Walking Safaris
Remote and beautiful, Mana Pools is perhaps the best place for walking safaris in Africa. With the park’s sparse vegetation allowing for good visibility and relatively relaxed wildlife, you can expect close encounters with giraffe, elephant, zebra, wild dog and even lion, something rarely encountered anywhere else in Africa.
It has Zinbabwe’s biggest concentration of hippo and crocodiles and large dry season mammal populations of elephant and buffalo.
Sadly, what was once the densest population of endangered black rhino in the world is being denuded by poaching despite manned ground patrols. The park is only open to cars during the dry season months of May to October. Rainy season access is by boat or foot.
Mana pools is like a dream. It transports you back to the safari days of a gone era. Its a reminder that Eden still does exist. And it exists right in the heart of Africa.
Tours and lodges should be booked in advance and if camping, take sufficient fuel, food and water with you. Alternatively you can take a guided canoe safari down river towards Mozambique, which is a real African adventure where you have to dodge territorial hippos and camp on sandbanks that are visited by elephants at night. This really is as wild a place as you will find on your Zimbabwe Safari.