Written on: January 12, 2014
I visited in June 2013
Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the southern bank of the Zambezi. Along this stretch the mighty river is surrounded by floodplains, islands, channels and sandbanks. The broad winding river and lush green trees and vegetation that line the bank are set against a backdrop of hazy mountains, creating magic scenery.
The wildlife is abundant. Elephants are everywhere. Hippos, buffalo, zebras and hyenas are common. You might also see lions and leopards, and if you are lucky, cheetahs. Mana Pools is one of the few places in Africa where you have a good chance of seeing wild dogs.
The best way to explore the park is by canoe. There is nothing quite like gliding down the river, watching herds of elephants and buffalo grazing on the floodplains. A variety of animals come down to the river to drink, and you are surrounded by prodigious bird life. Close encounters with hippos and crocodiles are sure to make your adrenalin rush.
The open terrain and high density of varied wildlife is also ideal for walking safaris. Mana Pools is the only national park in Zimbabwe, and one of the few in Africa, that allows visitors to walk around unaccompanied.
Zimbabwe National Parks has 5 self-catering lodges, a large communal campsite, and some private campsites inside the Park. Mana Pools is remote from any human settlement, and it is recommended to travel in a convoy of at least two vehicles in case something happens. You should take with you spare tires, plenty of food and water, and anything else you might need. If you want more comfort, there is a couple of excellent luxury lodges located just outside the park.
Written on: Jul 23, 2014
| Visited: Apr 2014.
I had such a fab time here! Like some of the other reviewers, I included a canoe safari and was able to get so close to the wildlife. I had the misfortune of going near the end of the rainy season, and it was so hot and muggy the day I was canoeing. But, the small time I was there has made me want to return during the dry season.
Bring a waterproof bag for your c...
Written on: Sep 07, 2013
| Visited: Jun 2012.
Foreign visitors rarely make it to Zimbabwe, put off by the country's misguided reputation. Zimbabwean people are some of the kindest and most welcoming in the world, and when they see a foreign face they're desperate to show that their reputation is undeserved. It's a very safe and beautiful country, marred by political news stories. At Mana Pools, I was the only ...
I was born in a small seaside Italian town and migrated to Australia with my family in 1986. After a trivial yet cataclysmic ‘a-ha’ moment in 2004, I left behind all that was familiar, safe and warm and embarked on a 6 year stint as an overland tour guide. My travels...
Written on: Jun 01, 2013
| Visited: Sep 2012.
Mana would have to be, in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated game parks in Africa. For game viewing, this is hand down as good as anything you’ll find in Kenya and Tanzania, yet the fact that it’s a pain in the butt to reach and not nearly as ‘organized’ means your feeling of being completely out in the wilderness is multiplies ten-fold. Took our group o...