Mana Pools National Park
Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe, Mana Pools is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs along the Zambezi River from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.
At Mana Pools the Zambezi river has left behind the remains of old channels, forming small seasonal pools scattered over 2000 square kilometers
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
How to Get to There
Drive along the main Harare / Chirundu tarred road
At the bottom of the Zambezi Escarpment, branch off the tarred road onto a dirt road (clearly signposted) that will take you 70 kilometres to Nyamepi Camp.
There are a number of game-viewing roads that run along the Zambezi River and further inland from which you can view the wide variety of wildlife.
Visitors can get a free entry permit to enter the Nyamautsi wilderness area and Kanga Pan where vehicle entry is limited to 2 per day
When to Go
– For comfort, March to August is perhaps the ideal time to travel, with moderate temperatures and the climate is warm and dry.
The seeds from the albida are rich in nutrients and they drop in the dry winter months, when the animals need the nutrients the most.
More crocodiles are seen in the cold season when they bask mid-morning or late afternoon to raise their body temperature towards the 30°C they prefer
– September and October are the best months of the valley for game viewing as the animals come to the river to drink – September is warm and October is hot with clear blue skies,
– The rainy season from November to February is hot but cooled by frequent thunderstorms.
The thick silt soil of the floodplains means that game viewing can only be done in 4×4 vehicles, preferably in groups of 2 as even they get stuck.
The road the the entrance to the main camp at Nyamepi (70kms) is shale and an all weather road
The number of cars allowed into Mana Pools National Park at any one time is limited. Mana Pools is only partially developed as a tourist centre, but was so popular that the available facilities were prone to saturation.
Something Unforgettable – Walk Unaccompanied by Guides
On the old river terraces, tourists can walk unaccompanied by guides in the open woodland because visibility is good and there is little danger of unexpectantly coming across dangerous animals.
This privilege of walking alone in an area with dangerous wildlife is unique in Zimbabwe and what makes Mana Pools the magical place it is.
The mix of morning walks, canoeing and game drives gives great variety and interest – it’s a good combination
* Huge numbers of antelope including kudu, eland, waterbuck and sable along with their predators: lion, cheetah and wild dog.
« 450 species of birds to be seen in summer and in winter birding reverts to excellent
* The frequent mists of winter mornings in June and July along the Zambezi River can be a photographer’s delight
* Excellent canoeing and river fishing. For an experience of Africa bereft of the excesses of twentieth century it is hard to beat a canoeing safari along the Zambezi past Mana Pools National Park