Mana Pools National Park Safaris

Explore Zimbabwe

Mana Pools National Park is situated in the heart of the Zambezi Valley, alongside the Zambezi River. The area is remote and beautiful place with spectacular views of the broad flowing river, floodplains, the tree canopy and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment over the border in Zambia.

A pod of hippos - Photo by African Bush Camps Typical Mana Pools scenery - Photo by Dana Allen Elephant sighting on a Mana Pools National Park Safari - Photo by Africna Bush Camps

'Mana' means 'four' in Shona and the park is named after the four main pools along this stretch of the Zambezi River - Main, Chine, Long and Chisambuk. These are remnants of channels of the river which stopped flowing years ago. Together with other seasonal pools dotted further inland, these hold water all year round, drawing all manner of wildlife and waterfowl during the dry season.

As a result wildlife viewing is excellent, with large concentrations of buffalo and elephant to be found along the river's edges, while predators such as lion, wild dog, leopard and cheetah are often sighted. Greater kudu, Burchell's zebra, impala, warthog and common waterbuck can be seen on the surrounding plains and the grunting of hippo can be heard all day. Not surprising when you consider that the river hosts one of the highest concentrations of hippo found anywhere in Africa.

Activities on a Mana Pools National Park safari include 4x4 game drives or guided bush walks, boating, canoeing and fishing. The Zambezi is teeming with fish of all species including tiger fish and tilapia and draws fishermen from around the world.

Mana Pools also offers fantastic birding, with the river and seasonal pans attracting large numbers of water birds and excellent mix of species in the riverine vegetation and mopane woodlands.

Mana Pools National Park Highlights

  • Lesser visited and scenically beautiful
  • Superb big game viewing, particularly of elephant and buffalo
  • Fantastic birding with around 380 species, including the fish eagle, carmine bee-eaters and the elusive Pel's fishing owl
  • The Mana Pools canoe trail
  • Chitake Springs becomes a huge draw for wildlife during the wet season

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Selected Mana Pools National Park Itineraries

Our favorite itineraries, showcasing the best of Mana Pools National Park

All Zimbabwe Itineraries
Game walk in Hwange- Photo by Mike Myers

Best of Zimbabwe Safari Holiday

Days
12
Cost Per Person
From $6,880 (Includes international flights from JFK)
Countries
Zimbabwe
Locations
Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matobo Hills National Park
An elephant crossing

Zimbabwe Luxury and Adventure

Days
13
Cost Per Adult
From $8,130 (Includes international flights from JFK)
Countries
Zimbabwe
Locations
Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park
Mana Canoe Trail - Photo by Colin Bell

Zimbabwe Fly in Safari Holiday

Days
12
Cost Per Person
From $7,840 (Includes international flights from JFK)
Countries
Zimbabwe
Locations
Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matobo Hills National Park
Hippo

Highlights of Zimbabwe Holiday

Days
11
Cost Per Person
From $6,800 (Includes international flights from JFK)
Countries
Zimbabwe
Locations
Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park Accommmodation

All Zimbabwe accommodations
  • Ruckomechi Camp
    Main deck

    Set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, this tented camp is the perfect gateway to the Mana Pools National Park. Relax on your decking and admire the views or dive into the wilderness with thrilling water based activities.

  • Kanga Camp
    Decking with fire and seating

    Stay in authentic Meru style tents and look out from your veranda on views of the waterhole. Kanga Camp is an excellent choice when exploring the Mana Pools National Park, affording exciting activities and a great situation along the floodplains of the Ruckomechi River.

  • Zambezi Life Styles
    Camping tent

    Set on the banks of the Zambezi River, this semi-permanent camp with a distinctive colonial charm. A small property, with only 6 tents enjoy a number of water based activities and superb game viewing with hippo and elephant sightings strong.

  • Mana Canoe Trail
    Incredible encounters from canoe by Colin Bell

    Take on one of Africa's ultimate adventure experiences: canoeing the mighty Zambezi River. From your canoe see elephant, hippo and crocodile along the way and get back to nature with camping in the wilderness.