Things to do in Mana Pools National Park

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Things to do in Mana Pools National Park

When it comes to safari destinations in Africa, Mana Pools National Park is a truly exceptional place. Located in the northern region of Zimbabwe, this UNESCO World Heritage Site remains an untouched wilderness. Guided game drives, walking safaris, and canoeing excursions are a few of the things to do in Mana Pools National Park and make the place a must-visit destination.

Mana’ means ‘four’ in the local Shona language and refers to the four large pools formed by the Zambezi River. These pools, surrounded by floodplains, woodlands, and riverbanks, create a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife, all roaming freely. From the Big Five to countless other species like wild dogs, cheetahs, hippos, and crocodiles, Mana Pools delivers the most spectacular sightings.

If you’re a bird enthusiast, Mana Pools is paradise. Mana Pools has recorded more than 380 species, including the striking lilac-breasted roller, the iconic African fish eagle, and the carmine bee-eaters that nest on the Zambezi River banks during the dry months.

Two Lilac-Breasted Rollers
Two Lilac-Breasted Rollers

There is a certain air of exclusivity to one’s experience at Mana Pools, as its remote location means it is somewhat less frequented than some of Africa’s more famous safari destinations. There are a range of lodges and camps, each providing a unique blend of luxury and rustic charm, as well as different things to do in Mana Pools National Park. Whether you choose to stay in a tented camp along the river or a comfortable lodge in the forest, the park offers a perfect balance between comfort and experiencing nature at its best.

Mana Pools has a range of experiences that cater to all preferences. Guided game drives, walking safaris, and canoeing excursions are just some of the ways to explore this remarkable safari destination.

Feel the heartbeat of Mana Pools under your feet on a walking safari, guided by knowledgeable guides. Get closer than usual to the inhabitants of this wilderness and observe the different species going about their daily wanderings, from elephants to lions to a variety of plains game. This unique experience allows you to truly take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the African bush.

One of the most distinctive features of Mana Pools is its exceptional canoe safaris. Paddling along the Zambezi River with the backdrop of elephants wading and hippos basking in the sun is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Exploring the park’s waterways and floodplains from this vantage point brings a totally different perspective to the natural world.

Elephant in Mana Pools National Park
Elephant in Mana Pools National Park

Early morning and late afternoon guided game drives in Mana Pools coincide with a hive of activity by all creatures, large and small. Experienced guides, familiar with the park’s terrain and the habits of its inhabitants, will increase your chances of spotting the multitude of wildlife. The park’s picturesque setting and wildlife make Mana Pools a photographer’s dream and the perfect place for a photographic safari. There are countless opportunities for capturing the most memorable of shots.

The best time to plan a safari to Mana Pools is during the dry season between May and October. This is when wildlife congregates around available water sources, making it an ideal time for game viewing. The wet season, between November and April, brings migratory birds to Mana Pools, as well as lush and green surroundings.

Mana Pools National Park offers an exceptional safari experience, combining stunning landscapes, wildlife, and a sense of remote exclusivity. Whether you’re walking through the bush, paddling along the river, or capturing the perfect photograph, there are many things to do in Mana Pools National Park, all promising an adventure filled with unforgettable moments and breathtaking beauty.

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