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Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe and one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa.

Mana Pools National Park occupies a vast flood plain along the Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe. The plains support a diversity of wildlife, the massive mahogany and acacia trees providing cover for all the plains species and the 2,000sq km of seasonally flooded river frontage, ox-bow lakes and pools providing permanent water for a large population of wildlife.

Covering a total area of about 10,500sq km of virtually inaccessible silty clay soil, Mana Pools is one of the last true wilderness areas in Africa. As the Zambezi River recedes each dry season, large pools and ox-bow lakes remain making a unique habitat jam-packed with wildlife, waterlife and birdlife.

Access to Mana Pools is limited to dry season safari drives along established routes; the rest is on foot or in a canoe and certainly not for the faint-hearted or the unfit: this is big game country and then some.

Mana Pools is famous for its walking safaris and canoeing safaris as well as night and day game drives made all the more exciting by the ever-present thrill of getting close to elephants, lions, buffalos, rhinos, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, crocs and the whole host of plains game and birdlife.

Your guide will be on the lookout for massive elephants following ancient migration paths, lion prides on the hunt, territorial rhinos and grumpy hippos. Birdlife along the river and around the pools is prolific with a low-season count of about 450 birds increasing to 640 in the the dry winter season between March and September - when game viewing is also at its best.

Why is Mana Pools a Designated UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site?

Mana Pools National Park meets three of the four required criteria for World Heritage Site designation by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre:

  • to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance
  • to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals
  • to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation

Other well-known World Heritage Sites in southern Africa

  • Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
    A Natural Wonder of the World, Victoria Falls is an awe-inspiring spectacle of nature's power and beauty.
    (Natural, Zimbabwe)
  • Matobo National Park Matobo National Park
    Steeped in history and ancient mystery Zimbabwe's Matobo National Park is a small and beautiful nature reserve crammed with birdlife, wildlife and, some say, spiritual power
    (Cultural/Natural, Zimbabwe)
  • Great Zimbabwe and Midlands Great Zimbabwe and Midlands
    Great Zimbabwe is the mother of all ancient cities in southern Africa and an awe-inspiring journey into the sub-continent's fascinating history.
    (Cultural, Zimbabwe)
  • Khami Ruins (Cultural, Zimbabwe)
  • Cape Floral Region (Natural, South Africa)
  • Robben Island (Cultural, South Africa)
  • Drakensberg Park (Natural, South Africa)
  • Twyfelfontein (Cultural, Namibia)
  • Lake Malawi National Park (Natural, Malawi)
Mana Pools National Park Mana Pools National Park Map of Mana Pools National Park

Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari Adventure

Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari Adventure

13 Days
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Are you ready for a genuine African safari adventure? The 13-day Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari Adventure goes mobile and deep into the wildest and most amazing game reserves in Zimbabwe: Hwange, Chizarira, Matusadona and Mana Pools; plus we throw in Victoria Falls for good measure.
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