Running southeast from the mighty Zambezi, Mana Pools is Zimbabwe’s most adventurous safari destination. Though game drives are possible, it is best known for providing visitors with the thrilling opportunity to canoe on the wildlife-rich Zambezi and to walk (guided or unguided) in a wilderness area populated by lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. The park has been declared a Ramsar Wetland and it forms the hub of a 2,612-square-mile UNESCO World Heritage site that also includes the Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas.
Discover Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools is home to four of the Big Five, the exception being rhino. Buffalos and elephants are encountered on most activities, lions are frequently observed by day, and night drives might throw up the occasional leopard sighting.
General game viewing is excellent. Mana Pools ranks among the most reliable sites anywhere for African wild dog, with half a dozen packs resident, and it also hosts good numbers of cheetah. Other common large mammals include zebra, warthog, impala, greater kudu, bushbuck and waterbuck.
The mesmerizing stretch of the Zambezi that flows past Mana Pools is dotted with jungle-clad islands and flanked by a maze of forest-lined channels. Guided canoe safaris usually offer breathtaking wildlife encounters: abundant hippos and crocodiles, buffalos grazing on the shore or elephants playing in the shallows, and much else besides.
Mana Pools hosts several birds with a localized distribution in southern Africa. Key among the checklist of almost 400 recorded species are African skimmer, rufous-bellied heron, Schalow’s turaco, Lilian’s lovebird and Livingstone’s flycatcher.
Most camps also offer professionally-guided walking safaris, which offer an opportunity to see large mammals on foot, as well as smaller stuff that tends to be overlooked on game drives. It is permitted to walk without a guide, but this cannot be recommended unless you have extensive experience in the African bush.
The Zambezi offers excellent game fishing, with giant tiger fish being the main attraction. Fishing is best over Mar-Jun and Sep-Nov.
Camps & Lodges
We have curated a selection of accommodation options for Ngorongoro Crater. Our recommendations are based on firsthand experience and are chosen for their unique character, location, and exceptional service. Our consultants are able to suggest properties that are perfect for your travel style.
Our itineraries will give you taste of what is possible when you travel in Ngorongoro Crater, and they showcase routes we recommend. Consider them as inspirations because each of our programs are uniquely created by our knowledgeable consultants.