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Zimbabwe - Mana Pools National Park

An aerial view of the mighty Zambezi river bordering Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
© Wilderness Safaris larger image

This remote, 2,200 sq km (849 sq mi) national park enjoys a wild and natural setting along the Zambezi River, and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mana means four in the Shona language, and refers to four pools in the park that are popular with many animals, but especially loved by crocodiles and hippos. Mana Pools is one of the least-visited parks in Southern Africa and offers a truly remote and private safari experience.

Guests meet an elephant while canoeing on the Zambezi from Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
© Wilderness Safaris larger image
Wildlife The floodplains bordering the river area are home to a variety of antelope, including zebra, kudu, impala, and waterbuck, as well as their predators - lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. Elephants are fond of the area's albida (ana) trees and sometimes 'join' guests at the camps for breakfast, and large numbers of buffalo can be found along the riverbanks.

Mana Pools offers very good birding, with the river attracting large numbers of aquatic species.

A hippo walks down to the river's edge near Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.
© Wilderness Safaris larger image
On Safari The mighty Zambezi plays a central role in the activities offered by safari camps in Mana Pools. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are among the water-based activities on offer. For those who prefer a more active safari experience, the camps in Mana Pools offer 'canoe trails' in which you canoe from place to place and fly-camp along the way.

In addition to the water-based activities, the camps offer day and night game-drives in open 4x4 vehicles. Zimbabwe's walking guides set the standard in Africa, and walking safaris here are an excellent way to experience the bush.