A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mana Pools offers a truly remote and rugged wilderness experience. Here, visitors to the park can encounter a plethora of wildlife that ranges from large mammals to over 350 bird species. Located in Zimbabwe's Lower Zambezi valley, Mana Pools is a untouched Ecotourism safari destination.
Meaning “four” in the local Shona language, Mana refers to the park’s four large pools that are vestiges of ancient ox-bow lakes carved out by the mighty Zambezi. Situated in the middle of the Zambezi Valley, the Mana Pools National Park offers the incredible opportunity to embark on expertly guided canoe trails.
Mana Pools is the golden child of the Zambezi Valley, rugged and beautiful, it is home to a wonderful mix of grassy floodplains, woodlands and riverine forest. Forming the park’s northern border is the broad Zambezi River, its backdrop the mountains of the Rift Valley Escarpment across the waters in neighbouring Zambia.
The name 'Mana' means four in the local Shona language and refers to the four large pools situated in the interior of the park. This abundance of water acts as a magnet for all manner of wildlife: elephant, buffalo and waterbuck graze on the wide green floodplains; predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are often seen; and the rivers and pools are home to large populations of hippo and crocodile. The bird watching is superb - highlights include fish eagles, water fowl and colourful clouds of carmine bee-eaters.
Visitors to Mana Pools can enjoy traditional game drive safaris and walking safaris as well as river-based safaris which include a mix of canoeing, boating, fishing, camping, game drives and walking activities. These exciting and interactive expeditions combine adventure on the great Zambezi River with excellent hospitality in comfortable Eco camps and lodges.
There are a handful of lodges scattered around Mana Pools. Some of our favourite Mana Pools Ecotourism safari camps are the thatched chalets at Ruckomechi Camp, set right on the bank of the Zambezi, as well as the intimate Kanga Bush Camp, which is tucked away in a private concession within the park.
During the rainy season, the park’s floodplains swell with water and are transformed into a vast expanse of lakes. The warmer months—when the lakes dry up—is when the banks of the pools are most alive with wildlife and game-viewing is at its finest. The sparse undergrowth makes Mana Pools perfect for walking safaris but, with 2,196km² of water, it’s also ideal for a canoe safari.
A fly-in destination, Mana Pools is just a short flight from Victoria Falls and makes a great combination with Zimbabwe’s other heavyweight reserves such as Hwange or Lake Kariba. Have a look at our Mana Pools Ecotourism tours and safari packages or simply chat to one of our Africa Ecotourism safari experts for more information: they know all the right combinations and will create a fully tailored safari with the best accommodation and smooth-running logistics.
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