Mana Pools National Park, with the great Zambezi River running through, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its extensive wildlife and wilderness are considered as one of the very best in Africa. The park is a particular favourite for keen photographers, boasting huge concentrations of African wildlife – herds of impala, eland, elephant, zebra, buffalo, waterbuck and kudu – which attract the sought-after lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena and other predators and scavengers that inhabit this unique and beautiful region.
The name ‘Mana Pools’ comes from the pools that still lie in the abandoned river channels that run through the terraces. The word ‘Mana’ is said to mean “four”, which refers to the largest of these pools with are filled with water year round. During the dry season, wildlife gathers around the few inland pans in search of water, providing incredible game watching sightings as the predators lie in wait nearby.
If you are keen birder, Mana Pools is certainly worth a visit, as a very special place for bird watching. Look out for fish eagles, heron and other water based fowel, scarlet carmine bee-eaters as well as elusive delights such as the Pels Fishing Owl and the African Skimmer, which nests on sandbanks mid-river.
Mana Pools offers a very rewarding wildlife experience. Accommodation is unfenced, and bush walks are a must. However there are plenty of other activities on offer: canoe trips down the Zambezi River, hiking, game viewing, bird watching and, at night, studying the stars in an African clear sky are just a few examples of what you can do in Mana Pools National Park.