Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe

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Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe

The Mana Pools National Park, Sapi, and Chewore Safari Areas World Heritage Site are an area of dramatic landscape and ecological processes. Physically protected by the Zambezi River to the north and the steep escarpment (which rises to over 1,000 m from the valley floor) to the south, this substantial property of 676,600 ha provides shelter for immense congregations of Africa’s large mammal populations which concentrate in its flood plains. The Mana Pools are former channels of the Zambezi River, and on-going geological processes present a good example of erosion and deposition by a large seasonal river including a clear pattern of plant succession on its alluvial deposits. While black rhino has disappeared since the property’s inscription, huge herds of elephant and buffalo, followed by zebra, waterbuck, and many other antelope species and their associated predators including lion and hyena migrate to the area each year during the dry winter months. The river is also famous for its sizable numbers of hippopotamus and Nile crocodiles. Resident and migratory birdlife, with over 450 species recorded, is also abundant. Controlled hunting on quota is permitted in the safari areas.

Size of Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is 2,196 square kilometers (848 square miles) in extent within the Zambezi valley but is part of the 10,500 square kilometers ZPWMA estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.

Location of Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is in the far north of Zimbabwe. It includes the south bank and islands of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia. The park is known for wildlife visibility beside the river and in the flood plains.

How to get to Mana Pools National Park

The nearest international airport is in Lusaka, Zambia, which means a border crossing is required from Zambia to Zimbabwe. In normal weather conditions, the drive is around 3.5 hours to the national park. Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, is the next-closest international airport and is about 5 hours away.

Things to do in Mana Pools National Park

Guided Walking

You book a day before, at the tourist office, you pay after the walk, and the price is per hour per person.

Unguided Walking

An exclusive for Mana pools, clients are allowed to walk without a guide. We have walking permits which you pay per day; you obtain them at the tourist office.

Lion Tracking

This is a limited activity at Mana pools. Visitors are guaranteed a close view of the lions in most instances. This activity is unique and also assists in data collection for research projects.


Visitors can fish in the Zambezi River and experience the excitement of hooking large fish for the pot. Half of the joy is experiencing the quiet, solitude, and beauty of the unspoiled bush around you.

Game Drives

Usually most rewarding in the early morning and late afternoon, Long Pool is often worth visiting soon after sunrise (Currently clients are advised to bring their own game drive vehicle or to make use of the tour operators in Mana pools which they have to book in advance.)


You book a day before, at the tourist office, you only pay after the canoeing, and the rate is per hour per person. This is one of the major activities in Mana pools.


Available around the Park at developed, minimum development, and exclusive sites.

Wilderness trails

These walking safaris are offered at the full moon. Parks staff will take visitors on a 3-day hike in the wild of Mana Pools National Park. Visitors will need to be fit, provide their own rucksacks, food, and toiletries. This is a unique experience for nature lovers and those who enjoy the challenge of facing nature one on one. A rare and exclusive activity in a park with dangerous animals like this in Africa.

Curios Shopping

Souvenirs can be bought at the office or at the Nyakasikana entrance gate, Most of them are Mana pools branded. Remember to drop by and pick something to take home with you.

When to visit Mana Pools National Park

The best time for wildlife viewing in Mana Pools National Park is during the Dry season, from June to October. Animals are easier to spot because the dry weather thins the bush and wildlife concentrates around the Zambezi River and the pools on its floodplains.

Where to stay in Mana Pools National Park

Luxury safari camps include Ruckomechi, Vundu, Goliath Safaris, Nyamatusi, and Chikwenya all situated along the river. Kanga camp and Kavinga camp are situated deep inland and offer quite different experiences.

Activities to do in park

Climbing mount Meru from Arusha national park
Game drives in Arusha national park
Primate walks in Arusha national park
Walking safaris in Arusha national park
water fall hikes in Arusha national park
Canoeing on Lake Momella

How to get there

How to get to Arusha national park

Popular tours and safaris

3 Days Arusha national park safari
4 days Arusha national park safari
5 days hike Mount Meru

Best time to visit the park

Best time to visit Arusha national park

Where to stay in the park

Hatari Lodge
Lake Duluti Lodge
Mount Meru game Lodge
Rivertrees country inn
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge


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