Our guide to
Mana Pools Safaris
Mana Pools Zimbabwe safari river adventure.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Mana Pools National Park is well known for its fifty kilometre river frontage that overlooks the mighty Zambezi River. Its expansive land, magnificent river and abundant wildlife make for a memorable Mana Pools Zimbabwe safari.
Most come to explore the river and the four pools after which the Park is named. Only a few head inland from the river to Kanga Pan and Chitake Springs. Kanga Pan is an hour inland of the River in an undeveloped area that is outstanding for walking safaris. It is quite a hub for wildlife and here you can find elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, wild dog and ample plains game. It holds significance culturally and archeologically too.
Not far from the pan is a forest of petrified wood. The forest gives insight into vegetation and plants living during a period which is imprinted within the fossilized remains. Culturally, the Pans were home to the Dandawa Korekore, first settlers in the Zambezi Valley.
Chitake Springs is at the foot of the Southern Zambezi Escarpment and a special water source 45 kilometres inland. It is remote, untouched and dominated by predators with an impressive lion population. It is possible to explore the springs on a walking safari or from the comfort of a game vehicle.
Fossils have been discovered here too dating back to the Jurassic periods, lending itself as another fascinating Zimbabwe safari destination.
Right on the Zambezi River, there isn’t a waterway like it in the world that offers the big game, wilderness location, and adventure that you’ll find here.
Mana Pools has the biggest concentration of crocodiles and hippos and impressive numbers of buffalo that flock to the permanent water pools in the drier winter months.
Activities abound here and you can get out on foot, in a 4×4 vehicle, canoeing and boating and for those who like a ‘reel’ challenge, tiger fishing. With over 400 bird species and decent predator numbers, this is a place like no other except perhaps its cross river neighbour, the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia.
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Mana Pools Top Five
- Tiger Fishing is hugely rewarding here and it is based on catch and release. Most of the camps provide rods and tackle and the guides know the best spots for a successful tiger fishing session.
- Canoeing safaris are a highlight as Zimbabwe has some of the best river guides in Africa and nothing beats floating down the river as wildlife comes to drink.
- Zimbabwe is home to an impressive population of African elephant, the largest animal walking the earth today. Here in Mana Pools the elephant herds in dry season regularly visit the river to drink and the photographic opportunities are exceptional.
- Experience the magical landscapes of Mana Pools in open sided 4×4. You can cover more ground and see a decent amount of wildlife on safari.
- Walking safaris are offered at many of the camps and being on foot is exciting as you head through plains, forests and along the river banks.
Accommodation in Mana Pools
There is a variety of camps and lodges offering accommodation in Mana Pools that range from affordable to luxurious. Regardless of which property you decide on, the exceptional wildlife offering is guaranteed as you are in a remote and truly wild part of Zimbabwe.
The trick is access and with a sporadic flight schedule and costly private charters, logistics play a crucial role to ensure an effortless Zimbabwe safari holiday. All the logistics aside, your stay will be truly memorable not least because you sleep under canvas with the sounds of the bush whizzing around you.
Best time to visit Mana Pools
The best time to visit Mana Pools is from May to October. Just keep in mind temperatures can be fairly high towards the latter part of October.
November is when the mass elephant herds congregate at the river waiting arrival of the wet season and heat really sets in.
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