Mana Pools National Park, located in the Lower Zambezi Valley, is one of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful and popular national parks. A richly diverse area teeming with birds and animals, especially during dry season from June to October, the park is a world heritage site and is one of the least developed national parks in Southern Africa. Four main pools, formed by the meanderings of the Zambezi River, and numerous smaller pools are strewn along the river’s course and the cliffs hanging over the river and floodplains provide shelter to an abundant and varied wildlife population.
Long Pool is the largest of the pools and extends for more than six kilometres. Large ancient trees provide a shady canopy that makes for pleasant and easy walking, which is one of the reasons why this area is perfect for the adventurous traveller wanting to experience a walking safari. The Park stretches across prime Zambezi riverfront vegetation, much of which is inaccessible except on foot and, as a result, it remains completely unspoilt.
The national park is home to magnificent elephants that return annually to the same places and are well known to the locals. Robust black buffalo are also a common sight and predators like leopards, lions and cheetah are easily spotted. It is also a haven for Nile crocodiles and large pods of hippos as well as several endangered black rhino. Amongst the 380 bird species in the region are the Nyasa lovebird, Livingstone’s flycatcher, white-collared pratincole, banded snake eagle and yellow spotted nicator.
For an unmatched and intimate African safari, a trip to Zimbabwe and the Mana Pools is an essential African travel experience.