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Mana Pools National Park reviews

4 reviews

All on my own

Stephen Bailey
Visited: Jun 2012 Reviewed: Sep 07, 2013

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 tourist.

Located beside the lower Zambezi River, the park blossoms into a broad expanse of lakes during the rainy season. From a viewing deck I spent six hours watching the continual flow of elephants coming to access a water hole. Lone males were chased of by large herds, who respected each other's power and waited for this turn. Elephants interacted amusingly, some desperate for status but one always controlling who could access the water.

Hippos and crocodiles were regularly spotted on game drives. The former always hidden apart from a telltale snout, the latter always playing dead in the sun. Buffalo were also migrating in large numbers. They're strange creatures, shabby haired beasts who seem to define the word nomadic. But Mana Pools' star attraction is the solitude. There are no other people, just animal life going about its business. Don't come expecting to get awe inspiring photos. Put your camera away and watch another world slowly reveal itself.

Quality of wildlife
Quality of lodging
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* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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Tranquility at its best

Visited: Apr 2014 Reviewed: Jul 23, 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... read more

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Unspoiled Wilderness

Visited: Jun 2013 Reviewed: Jan 12, 2014

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 ... read more

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Amazing uncharted territory brimming with animals!

Visited: Sep 2012 Reviewed: Jun 01, 2013

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... read more

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