Mana Pools & Lower Zambezi
The Lower Zambezi flows through a huge rift valley and spreads wide creating an oasis of pools, shallow sand banks and islands that sustain a huge variety of animal life. Mana Pools National Park is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River as it meanders for 80 kms through a shallow valley filled with islands and bordered by dramatic escarpments .
The area became Zimbabwe’s first UNESCO world heritage site in 1984. Upon your first visit the spectacular views of the Zambian mountains and the Rift Valley Escarpment explain why. The backdrop of every image is beautiful and to add to this there is an abundance of large game walking in the foreground. The valley is known for it’s stands of large albida trees and lack of undergrowth- making it the prime spot for walking safaris in Africa. Canoe Safaris on the river offer another view of Mana Pools, one that is equally breathtaking.
Mana is best visited from April to November when game is concentrated in the valley in the dry season. Many camps close from November to March.
Mana Pools gets its name from the Shona word Mana meaning four, the number of pools slightly inland from the river- which hold water all year and draw huge numbers of wildlife and waterfowl in the dry season. Elephant and buffalo herds are a plenty, and there is very good opportunity to see lion. It is home to endangered wild dogs – and their natural enemy, the hyaena.
Activities centre around day and night game drives, walking, canoeing and fishing. The best time to visit is from May through to November. In in the rainy season the roads are all but impassable and most lodges close. You can access the park by road from Harare but most people fly in on a charter plane.
This is one of the most beautiful parks imaginable.