Off-the-beaten track, remote and spectacular, Mana Pools Wildlife Conservation Area is just one of the many magnificent landscapes to explore in Zimbabwe. Mana Pools refers to the four (Mana in Shangaan) pools that are formed by the meandering of the Zambezi River. The result is a natural gathering of bird-life, hippopotami, crocodiles, as well as elephant and buffalo in large concentrations. To the North of the Mana Conservation area is the wild Zambezi river, framed by the dramatic mountains of the Rift Valley Escarpment of Zambia. Here you can go for game drives enjoy nature on foot or explore the area via the winding river, whether it is paddling or enjoying a full white water rafting experience. There are many accommodation options in and around the park to choose from, to suit your own preference.
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The best game viewing is in dry season (June to October) when vegetation is less dense and the wildlife congregates around the pools. However due to it’s remote location Mana Pools is seldom busy at any time of year. The dry season brings reduced Malaria Risk owing to reduced water levels. But in the wet season the bush springs to life. New-born animals play in the grasses and rare bird species decorate the tree canopies. Roads can be dangerous during rainy season so if you plan your trip at this time of year take all necessary precautions.
For adventure-lovers, the best way to view game in Mana Pools is by canoe. Paddle peacefully down the Zambezi in a 2-man canoe and watch as hippos bathe around you and wildlife drink on the banks of the eroded pools. If you prefer to stay on dry land then take a scheduled day or night time game drive or bush walk from one of the rustic thatched camps or lodges and witness some of the best game viewing in Africa, right on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.
A visit to Mana Pools can be combined with the other great game reserves of Zimbabwe – Hwange National Park and of course Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls serves as a gateway to most other African destinations with good connections to all major hub.