_Mana Pools National Park
On the southern banks of the Zambezi River, across the water from the Lower Zambezi National Park, lies the legendary Mana Pools National Park. With "mana" meaning "4", the park is named after the 4 main pools cut off from the Zambezi on its floodplains, which attract an enormous amount of wildlife.
Still largely undeveloped, the area is a true wilderness, and offers exciting activities allowing travellers to explore Africa as it was in days gone by.
Only accessible by vehicle during the dry season, in the rains the park has to be accessed by foot or boat only.
Recently added scheduled flights from Victoria Falls have made getting to Mana Pools a bit less costly, so it is a great time to be venturing into this wonderful wildlife haven.
Highlights of Mana Pools National Park include:
There are not many rivers in the world on which it is possible to jump in a canoe and paddle downstream, along water fully stocked with hippos and crocodiles, and with any amount of wildlife coming down to drink.
But the Zambezi River is one of these rivers, and the experience provided is thrilling. Fully guided day trips, or longer canoe safaris are possible, on which wild camp sites are used each night along the waters' edge. For a holiday with a difference, a canoe safari can be one of the best.
Fishing and Boat Cruises
The Zambezi River is famous for its tough tiger fish, and in the Lower Zambezi National Park a great way to spend the day is by cruising on the river trying to catch one (or many) of them.
Unlike your normal fishing trips at home, you'll be sharing the water with hippos and crocs, while watching along the shoreline for elephants, buffalo, zebra, and more!
Mana Pools National Park allows for excellently guided walking safaris, which are a trademark of a Zimbabwean safari.
Getting out of the vehicle and experiencing the bush on foot is an exciting way of experiencing the African bush from another perspective. Seeing large game and predators while outside of the vehicle is exhilirating, while walks also allow you the opportunity to learn more about the smaller creatures of the bush and the various and interesting fauna.
Night Game Drives
Along with exploring the wilderness during the day, a wonderfully thrilling activity is heading out into the African night with a spotlight. Surrounded by the darkness, nerves tingle as you feel the tension of the night, and spot the wary eyes of both predators and prey as the battle for survival enters its most dangerous phase.
Leopards in particular are often found hunting at night, and it is marvellous to see some of the nocturnal animals scurrying through the moonlight.