Call: UK: +44 (0) 1752 878858 USA: +1 (347) 708 1794 CAN: +1 (647) 694 1402 AUS: +61 (2) 8417 2176

Mana Pools

  • James Varden with "Slot"
  • Stretch Ferreira with friends
  • Canoeing with Gus Alexander

Fast Facts


  • Lower Zambezi, Zimbabwe
  • World Heritage Site
  • Best canoeing in Africa
  • Combination Walking Safaris

Mana Pools

This unique World Heritage Site with it unparalleled wildlife, will truly immerse you in the remoteness and wilderness of the African Bush

Mana Pools, located on the southern bank of the Zambezi, is one of Zimbabwe's most popular parks with a wide range of large mammals and over 350 bird species. The park stretches across prime Zambezi riverfront vegetation, much of which is only accessible on foot and as a result is completely unspoilt. Needless to say, the area offers some of the most intensely exciting walking safaris, especially for the more experienced safari enthusiasts. To add another dimension to your safari, explore the park from the river on one of the canoe safaris.

Mana Pools owes its name to the four large pools the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago, Mana meaning four in the local Shona language. These main pools together with several smaller pools scattered along the river course, provide shelter to a large and varied wildlife population. You'll be able to see hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds. Black buffalo are always about and predators like leopards, lions and cheetah are seen regularly.

Lovely big old trees, mainly faidherbia (used to be known as acacia albidia), provide a shady canopy with sparse undergrowth here. This makes for easy walking and is one of the reasons why this area is perfect for walking safaris. 

Get in touch with us

UK+44 (0) 1752 878858
+44 (0) 1752 878858
USA+1 (347) 708 1794
+1 (347) 708 1794
Canada+1 (647) 694 1402
Australia+61 (2) 8417 2176
Read more
  • Enquire
  • Enquiries and bookings

    Contact the Zambezi team

    Please let us have as much relevant info as possible...

  • All the facts
  • What and where

    As the Zambezi River travels down to the ocean after Victoria Falls, it flows first into Lake Kariba. A dam wall generates hydro-electrical power here, using the force of the trapped water, and marks the start of the Lower Zambezi Valley - home of the Mana Pools National Park.
    Further down, the river emerges from a deep gorge to spread across a flattened floodplain with natural pools and ox-bows. This area on Zimbabwe's southern bank is known as Mana Pools National Park. This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area - even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

    When

    The park is open to cars only during the dry season and during the rainy season guests have to travel by foot or by boat. The best time to visit in terms of access and temperature is from May to early September. Late September to end of October is the best game viewing season but temperatures will be in excess of 38 degrees Celsius for most of this period.

    Canoe safaris run year round and although we do offer combination canoeing/walking during the rainy season, access into the interior of the park is very limited from December to March.

    Wildlife

    The national park is home to magnificent elephants that return year after year to the same places and are well known to the locals in the area. Black buffalo are always about and predators like leopards, lions and cheetah are seen regularly. It is also a haven for Nile crocodiles and large hippo pods as well as several black rhino. Amongst the 380 bird species are the Nyasa lovebird, Livingstone's flycatcher, white-collared pratincole, banded snake eagle and yellow spotted nicator.

    Save Mana Pools

    There is an active campaign to protect Mana Pools from further hotel developments, which could affect its status as a World Heritage Site and will definitely have a detrimental effect on visitor experiences.

    Currently two developments are planned for the Mana Pools shoreline. A 24 to 30-bed development, called Nyamepi Lodge at the existing Nkupe campsite. Another similar development is planned for the existing Vine camp. The safari industry is fighting to stop these developments from happening, as these contradict the Mana Pools Management Plan, which encourages 'low-impact tourism development away from the Zambezi River to preserve the wilderness character of the Park and to reduce pressure on the narrow, ecologically-sensitive alluvial "floodplain".

Enquiries and bookings

Contact the Zambezi team

Please let us have as much relevant info as possible...

What and where

As the Zambezi River travels down to the ocean after Victoria Falls, it flows first into Lake Kariba. A dam wall generates hydro-electrical power here, using the force of the trapped water, and marks the start of the Lower Zambezi Valley - home of the Mana Pools National Park.
Further down, the river emerges from a deep gorge to spread across a flattened floodplain with natural pools and ox-bows. This area on Zimbabwe's southern bank is known as Mana Pools National Park. This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area - even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

When

The park is open to cars only during the dry season and during the rainy season guests have to travel by foot or by boat. The best time to visit in terms of access and temperature is from May to early September. Late September to end of October is the best game viewing season but temperatures will be in excess of 38 degrees Celsius for most of this period.

Canoe safaris run year round and although we do offer combination canoeing/walking during the rainy season, access into the interior of the park is very limited from December to March.

Wildlife

The national park is home to magnificent elephants that return year after year to the same places and are well known to the locals in the area. Black buffalo are always about and predators like leopards, lions and cheetah are seen regularly. It is also a haven for Nile crocodiles and large hippo pods as well as several black rhino. Amongst the 380 bird species are the Nyasa lovebird, Livingstone's flycatcher, white-collared pratincole, banded snake eagle and yellow spotted nicator.

Save Mana Pools

There is an active campaign to protect Mana Pools from further hotel developments, which could affect its status as a World Heritage Site and will definitely have a detrimental effect on visitor experiences.

Currently two developments are planned for the Mana Pools shoreline. A 24 to 30-bed development, called Nyamepi Lodge at the existing Nkupe campsite. Another similar development is planned for the existing Vine camp. The safari industry is fighting to stop these developments from happening, as these contradict the Mana Pools Management Plan, which encourages 'low-impact tourism development away from the Zambezi River to preserve the wilderness character of the Park and to reduce pressure on the narrow, ecologically-sensitive alluvial "floodplain".

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Hwange sunset courtesy Dave Dell

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