Mana Pools National Park offers a stunning water and wildlife combination. The focal point of any Mana pools safari is the magical Zambezi River: its islands, the surrounding flood plains and the gorgeous forests of mahogany, wild fig, ebony and baobab trees .
Mana Pools is renowned for its large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, and eland. They concentrate along the river when the inland waterholes dry up, especially in the dry winter months. Leopard and lion are present, but are not seen as regularly. This World Heritage Site is one of the least developed national parks in Zimbabwe. Indeed this overwhelming sense of wilderness is as much of an attraction of a Mana Pools safari as its wildlife.
Mana means ‘four’ in Setswana and refers to the four large permanent oxbow lakes formed by the meandering Zambezi river. It was saved from a hydro-electric scheme in the early 1980’s which would have flooded this beautiful area.
Activities on a Mana Pools Safari
Canoeing and walking safaris are a speciality of Mana Pools. Earlier on in the dry season there is a lot of surface water. That means less predator activity around the safari camps. This is the ideal time for walking safaris when you can get close to the wildlife in an uncontrived way. Mana Pools has also been synonymous with canoeing safaris for many years. Choose between a morning kayak activity at a riverside camp, or taking a multi-day canoe trip with an experienced and qualified river guide.
Mana Canoe Trails
This is a real African adventure as your river guide carefully steers around pods of hippos. Sleep out in proper dome tents on the banks of the river with the sounds of the African night all around. The canoeing is combined with bush walks into the surrounding reserve. These canoe trips run from May to October when it’s cooler.