Mana Pools

Set beside the mighty Zambezi River, Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park offers amazing scenery, abundant wildlife as well as unrivalled opportunities for walking and canoeing safaris.

A relatively small park of around 2,200 square kilometres, Mana Pools National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its scenic beauty and exceptional wildlife. Hemmed in by the magnificent Zambezi River to the north and a dramatic escarpment which reaches 1,000m in parts to the south, the wild inhabitants of this unspoilt landscape include elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and hyena. Large pods of hippos and abundant Nile crocodile also flourish here, in the network of crystalline channels flanked by soaring hardwood trees that crisscross the terrain – a vital lifeline for birds and animals in the dry season.

There are very few safari lodges and camps within Mana Pools National Park, which merely adds to its appeal. Most are located on the wooded banks of the Zambezi River, providing guests with beautiful views and a unique opportunity to explore the region’s waterways by canoe – the definitive experience of this beautiful reserve. Paddle past families of elephants bathing and drinking, or observe the area’s prolific birdlife as you glide silently through the shallows.

Many lodges and safari operators in this region also offer walks to supplement your canoeing adventure – another thrilling activity. Track game with an armed, highly experienced guide, relying on spoor and all of your senses. Canoeing and walks can be done on a multi-day basis, which will require you to be physically fit and have a good sense of adventure. Accommodation on such trips can be in basic dome tents or fully-serviced campsites. Alternatively, you can base yourself at a single lodge, going out on foot or on the river for a few hours at a time.

Location

Mana Pools Highlights

  • A small but superb national park set between the Zambezi River and a dramatic escarpment
  • Where canoe safaris are a highlight and guided walks are possible
  • Incredible birdlife and impressive numbers of big game especially elephant
  • Healthy populations of hippo and Nile crocodile
  • Exceptional wilderness experiences without any crowds

When To Go

Mana Pools National Park is only accessible during the dry season (April-November), which is also the best time for gameviewing. Most camps are closed during the rainy season as the few roads into the reserve become impassable during these months.

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Featured

Accommodation

The following are some of the lodges that we recommend in the Mana Pools region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Kanga Camp

Secluded Kanga Camp sits next to a pan that is the only source of water available all year round in a very untouched inland section of Mana Pools National Park.

Ruckomechi Camp

Set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, Ruckomechi Camp has been a favourite with visitors to the breathtaking Mana Pools National Park for many years.

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Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Zimbabwe experience.

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Zimbabwe Overview

Why should I travel to Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe offers amazing wildlife experiences, from the safari parks and reserves along the mighty Zambezi River and Lake Kariba to the vast wilderness of Hwange National Park. The jewel in the country’s crown is the spectacular Victoria Falls. The country has a long history and the ancient stone city of Great Zimbabwe gave the country its name.

When is the best time to go to Zimbabwe?The dry season (May-Oct) is the best time for gameviewing as the bush dries out and game congregates at the precious remaining waterholes. Late in the dry season, there will be much less water going over the Victoria Falls, whilst at the height of summer there will be a lot of spray and it may be more difficult to see the falls.

What is the culture of Zimbabwe? Zimbabweans are known for their rich culture, dance and music traditions. They are also recognised for their fine art and craft including basketware, pottery and the famous Shona stone sculptures. The two main tribes are the Shona and the Matabele.

What is the climate in Zimbabwe? Moderate climate (22°-29°C) though hotter in the Zambezi Valley and around the Victoria Falls where temperatures can reach 40°C. The dry season is from May-Oct when almost no rain falls and the days are warm and sunny. Nights can be very cold with sub-zero temperatures from Jun-Aug. Oct is the hottest month. Rain falls regularly in the summer (Nov-Mar/Apr) turning the bush lush and green.

What can I combine Zimbabwe with? Zambia, Botswana or South Africa. Chobe National Park in Botswana is just across the border and can be easily reached by road from Victoria Falls. Zambia and the town of Livingstone is across the river from Victoria Falls.

How to get to Zimbabwe? Fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. Alternatively you can easily take a road transfer from Livingstone in Zambia or from Botswana. For an Edwardian-style, luxury rail experience travel by Rovos Rail from Pretoria in South Africa to Victoria Falls.

Do I need a Visa for Zimbabwe? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

Do I need vaccinations for Zimbabwe? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

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