Nestled within the heart of Zimbabwe lies a natural wonder called Mana Pools. Revered as one of Africa’s most extraordinary national parks, Mana Pools is a place where time stands still, and nature reigns supreme. Here, elephants roam freely across vast floodplains, towering acacia trees punctuate the horizon, and the mighty Zambezi River weaves its way through the landscape, teeming with wildlife. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is more than just a sanctuary for endangered species; it is a living testament to the intricate dance of life, where humans and animals coexist in harmonious synergy. Join us on a journey of exploration and discovery, as we delve into the unique marvels of Mana Pools and uncover the secrets of this extraordinary ecosystem.
Wildlife viewing at Mana Pools
Mana Pools is famous for its large population of elephants, and it’s not uncommon to see herds of them wandering along the Zambezi River. Herds of African buffalo can be found grazing on the open floodplains and in the woodlands of the park. The park is home to several prides of lions, and offers a good chance of encountering leopards, especially during early morning or late afternoon game drives.
Mana Pools is one of the few places in Africa where African wild dogs can be spotted. These endangered canines are social and highly skilled hunters. The Zambezi River and the park’s various water sources are home to large populations of hippos and crocodiles. The park is also home to impalas, kudus, waterbucks, elands, zebras, giraffes, baboons and vervet monkeys, and over 400 bird species, including African fish eagles, kingfishers and storks.
Where to find Mana Pools
Mana Pools National Park is located in northern Zimbabwe, along the lower reaches of the Zambezi River. It is situated in the region known as the Zambezi Valley, close to the border with Zambia. The park covers an area of approximately 2,500 square kilometers (about 1,000 square miles) and is part of the larger UNESCO World Heritage Site called the “Mana Pools-Sapi-Chewore Biosphere Reserve“. Mana Pools is renowned for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, and nature lovers from around the world.
The closest attraction to Mana Pools National Park is the Chewore Safari Area, also known as Chewore North. Chewore Safari Area is located to the north of Mana Pools and shares a boundary with the national park. It is part of the larger Mana Pools-Sapi-Chewore Biosphere Reserve. Chewore Safari Area offers its own unique wilderness experience and wildlife viewing opportunities, with similar landscapes to Mana Pools, including the Zambezi River and floodplains. Like Mana Pools, it is a prime location for game drives, walking safaris, and river-based activities. The proximity of Chewore Safari Area to Mana Pools makes it an excellent option for visitors who want to explore the region further and have a more remote and less crowded safari experience. The combination of both areas can provide a more comprehensive and diverse wildlife encounter, enriching the overall safari adventure.
Lake Kariba is located to the northwest of Mana Pools. The distance from Mana Pools to Lake Kariba is approximately 250 kilometers in a straight line. By road, the driving distance is around 350 to 400 kilometers, and the journey can take approximately 5 to 7 hours.
The distance between Mana Pools and Victoria Falls is approximately 370 kilometers in a straight line. By road, the driving distance can be around 600 to 700 kilometers depending on the route taken. The journey by road can take approximately 8 to 10 hours, depending on road conditions and stops along the way.
The Great Zimbabwe Ruins are situated in the southeastern part of Zimbabwe. The distance from Mana Pools to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins is approximately 520 kilometers in a straight line. By road, the driving distance is around 800 to 900 kilometers, and the journey can take about 10 to 12 hours.
Where to stay in Mana Pools
Camp Mana is a seasonal tented safari camp located on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. Camp Mana is, without a doubt, the ideal spot for a walking safari. Camp Mana is a privately owned and operated 12-bed tented camp on the Zambezi River. The tents are 2.4m high walk-in Meru-style tents with flush bathrooms and hot showers. The camp’s focal point is a magnificent communal lounge and dining room with panoramic views of the Zambezi River and northern escarpment highlands.
Book Tour Stay at Camp Mana
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