Mana Pools National Park

enter image description here Credit: Ruckomechi Camp

Regarded as being both Zimbabwe’s best park and one of the finest wilderness areas in Africa, Mana Pools National Park is a superb safari destination. Situated at the northern most point of Zimbabwe straddling the Zambian border, Mana Pools is remarkably beautiful: a riverine wilderness on the Zambezi River of pools, floodplains, baobab trees and forests that feels totally remote and never gets crowded.

enter image description here

The park is famous for its huge elephant herds and is known for great sightings of lion and leopard as well as being one of the best places in Africa to find endangered wild dogs. The appeal of the park is not just its wildlife – it’s how you get to experience the bush in immersive ways: staying in unfenced campsites in the midst of the wilderness and going on walking and canoeing safaris to see animals without the noise of a car. Mana Pools is also one of the only parks in Africa where you can walk without a guide (although this isn’t recommended for safety reasons unless you have a lot of bush experience).

Highlights

enter image description here Nyamepi Campsite

Staying in one of Mana Pool’s exclusive unfenced campsites along the Zambezi River is a highlight for many intrepid visitors to the park. Booking one of these campsites for just your group means you’ll be able to have a totally wild experience in the bush with no one else around – just the wild animals that might wander in between your tents.

enter image description here

Mana Pools is one of Africa’s best places to do walking safaris – the thin vegetation means that visibility is excellent, so you’ll have the chance to get up close to big game. In addition, the walking guides in the park are among the best in Africa.

Canoeing safaris in Mana Pools are an incredible way to experience raw nature at its best: you spend your days paddling along the Zambezi past pods of hippos and scores of animals drinking on the banks, and at night time you’ll camp under the stars on untouched islands.

Practical advice

  • It’s essential that you book ahead for a stay in Mana Pools, whether you’re going to be staying at a luxury camp or at one of the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s campsites or lodges. Since the campsites are unfenced, it’s not advisable to camp with young children under the age of 12 – rather stay at a lodge. It’s important that you stay vigilant of animals when you stay in a campsite: always keep your distance from any animal, never leave food lying around and don’t stray too far from your tent at night. The park has a “carry in, carry out” policy, so you’ll need to burn your combustible trash every night in camp and take your non-combustible trash back out with you.

  • It’s highly recommended that you have a 4x4 if you’re self-driving in Mana Pools.

  • While you are allowed to walk without a guide on the floodplain area, it’s not advisable to do it unless you are very experienced in the bush. It’s best to book a guided walking safari instead.

  • The ideal time to visit Mana Pools is during the dry season from June to October when vegetation is at its driest, making wildlife sightings much easier. Many roads Mana Pools are closed the rainy season between November and April. During this period, the best way to see the park is on a canoe safari.


Our Recommended Itinerary

7-Day Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park adventure safari

day 1 to 3

Welcome to Zimbabwe

day 4 to 6

Explore Mana Pools National Park

day 7

End of service!

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Travelling to Zimbabwe

From the US or Europe you can fly to Zimbabwe via Johannesburg in South Africa. Several airlines operate two-hour flights from Johannesburg to the capital of Harare, as well as Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. There are flights from other African cities such as Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Gaborone to Harare. Alternatively, you can easily drive from South Africa to Zimbabwe: it’s a…

Zimbabwe in September

Temperatures start to warm up in September, another dry month and an excellent time to go on a wildlife safari. This month the annual game count in Hwange National Park takes place, and for a totally different wildlife experience you can volunteer to take part in the census, helping the park rangers to count animals in the reserve. ...

A relaxing safari holiday in Zimbabwe

There are plenty of ways to take it easy and enjoy Zimbabwe’s natural beauty without breaking a sweat. Victoria Falls is a good place to start: stay at a luxury hotel and spend your days exploring the falls, having afternoon high teas and relaxing massages, and sipping drinks on a boat cruising languidly down the Zambezi as the sun sets. It’s easy to get a road transfer to nearby…

Zimbabwe safari costs

- A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around $40. Entrance fees for national parks range from US$10 to US$30 per person per day depending on the park. With so many activities on offer throughout Zimbabwe, there’s no average price. In Victoria Falls, activity rates range from $20 for a guided tour of the falls to US$190 for a full day of white-water rafting and river…

Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba is landlocked Zimbabwe’s answer to the seaside: a massive manmade lake that provides a magical combination of water and wildlife. Situated in the north of the country and sharing a border with Zambia, Lake Kariba is best explored by a slow cruise on a houseboat over a few days. Whiling away hours spotting birds, hippos and crocodiles from the deck couldn’t be more…

Northern Zimbabwe

For many visitors the gateway to Zimbabwe is Victoria Falls’ international airport. The town of Victoria Falls is a great place to start a Zimbabwe holiday, as not only can you see the famous waterfalls, but there are also loads of exciting adventures on offer in the town and its surrounding area – everything from horseback safaris in the nearby Zambezi National Park to thrilling…

Popular Zimbabwe Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa Group needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Submitting your inquiry

Oops something went wrong.

We couldn't save your enquiry, sorry for that.

Please sent us an email on: info@discoverafrica.com

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2