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National Parks

Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe

Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most pristine and biodiverse parks, bustling with extraordinary wildlife.

Ker & Downey® Africa > Destinations > Zimbabwe> Parks > Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe

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Everything you need to know about Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most remote parks. It combines a mixture of rolling grasslands, lush forests, and an abundance of water that covers over 965 square miles. The name, ‘Mana’ is a Shona word meaning ‘four’. It refers to the four large wildlife-rich pools that lie inland from the mighty Zambezi river. In addition to its raw beauty, Mana Pools host hundreds of bird species and an abundance of wildlife, including the iconic Big Five of Africa. Each year following the seasonal rains, the vast floodplains spill over and spread out into expansive lakes. As the year goes on and water sources dwindle, many animals are attracted to the remaining water sources found here.

Where is the park located?

Mana Pools National Park is located in the northern region of Zimbabwe on the banks of the Zambezi River. The unfenced Sapi Concession lies adjacent to Mana Pools and is situated along a river where hippos and crocodiles are found in abundance.

About the park

What type of wildlife will we see?

Mana Pools is a wildlife-rich wonderland. It is home to the Big Five and a population of more than 12,000 elephants who can be found gathering in their masses under the shade of the acacia trees during the dry season.

The national park also hosts a number of herbivores. For example eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra and warthog, as well as large carnivores like lion, leopard, spotted hyena and cheetah.

In addition, the pools host a large population of hippo, crocodiles and aquatic birds. These animals are best viewed on boat or canoe safaris.

Top experiences to enjoy at Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools is best known for its incredible walking and canoe safaris with open plains turning into expansive lakes during the rainy season. Explore deep into the game-rich region on foot with armed rangers, or paddle a canoe down the hippo- and croc-infested river… if you dare.

When to visit Mana Pools National Park

June to October is the dry season and is considered the best time to visit Mana Pools. During these months, game viewing is at its prime as the bush thins out and animals congregate around the few water sources available.

The rainy season occurs between January and May. It sees the bushveld transformed into lush, green landscapes with many species giving birth during this time. It is also the time of year when the migratory birds arrive in the region, making for excellent birdwatching.

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