Mana Pools Zimbabwe

Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its undeniable beauty and remote wilderness. The park has a wide range of large mammals and over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife, and it's not hard to see why Mana Pools is such a popular attraction. 

In the local Shona language,  the name "Mana'' means "four" which refers to the four large pools that lie inland from the Zambezi River. Thousands of years ago, as the Zambezi River changed its course, ox-bow lakes were formed and these are now known as the Mana Pools. In the pools you will spot hippopotamus, crocodiles and many aquatic birds.

The largest of the four pools is called “Long Pool', and not only has a large population of hippo and crocodiles but is a firm favourite for large herds of elephant.  

If you travel northwards towards the Zambezi River, you'll find the vegetation transforms into woodland, offering a unique look to the area and a surreal light filters through the trees giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere. On the old river terraces, you can walk unaccompanied by guides in the open Albida woodland due to the good visibility, and you are less likely to come into direct contact with any dangerous animals. Walking alone in an area with dangerous wildlife is unique in Zimbabwe and a real privilege not to be missed.

Elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog and hippo can regularly be seen by the river terraces. Lions, leopards, spotted hyena and cheetah are also present in the area, but they are a little harder to spot as they prefer to stay hidden in the vegetation. You will be sure to see at least one of these large carnivores before leaving Mana Pools.