On the middle reaches of the Zambezi River, a hundred kilometres below Lake Kariba is the Mana Pools National Park situated in the heart of the Zambezi Valley.
It is a remote, beautiful place with spectacular views of the broad flowing river, floodplains, the tree canopy and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment over the border in Zambia. The park covers 2000km² and much of it is inaccessible except of foot making it a truly unspoilt habitat.
This stretch of the Zambezi River is famous for its four pools: Main, Chine, Long and Chisambuk, which are remnants of channels of the river which stopped flowing years ago. These and smaller seasonal pools dotted further inland hold water all year round, drawing a wide variety of wildlife and birdlife. Riverine forest fringes the river and pools and huge old acacia trees provide a shady canopy for the vegetation below. This beautiful area is Zimbabwe's second world heritage site.
The area is renowned for large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, especially in the dry season when they concentrate along the river. The protein rich seed pods of the ana trees provide vital sustenance for many species and are a favourite food for elephant. Predators are regularly sighted and the birdlife is superb, particularly for both mopane woodland and riverine species with numerous local specials like collared palm-thrush, racket-tailed roller, purple-banded sunbird and black-throated wattle-eyes.
Suggested Mana Pools National Park itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Mana Pools National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Mana Pools National Park
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Accommodation choices for Mana Pools National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Mana Pools National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Mana Pools National Park
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Mana Pools National Park, and which use the best local guides.