Mana Pools National Park is a wildlife area located at the Northern side of Zimbabwe. The word Mana means ‘four’ in the Shona language, it is named in reference to 4-permanent pool formed in the middle of the Zimbabwe. The park is spread on an area of 2,500 Square km with pools, sandbanks, river frontage, ebonies, baobabs, river frontage and islands. The Mana Pool is least developed National Park in South Africa. At present the National Park is declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Mana Pool Park
This National Park is considered synonymous with Zambezi River. The park holds heritage dignity due to its beauty, wilderness with a wide variety of animal species. The uniqueness doesn’t end here; the park has around 350 types of birds species and aquatic life. The Mana Pool is also considered as one of the most popular park with scenic pools around. The pools are the residue of oxbow lakes which were carved from Zambezi river thousand years ago. Of four the ‘Long Pool’ is known as largest pool which extends 6Km in west-east direction. The Long Pool is populated with Hippopotamus and crocodiles. The pool is also favorite spot for elephants that come to drink water!
Moving toward northward directions, the forest has Karoo sediments. Vegetation at this area changes and opens to Faidherbia woodlands on old river terraces. The vegetation around, fills the area with cool atmosphere. Heading toward extreme northward direction, away from river terraces, the Zambezi River calmly enters Indian Ocean. The river route was once a major route for the ivory trade.
The Park area is extended to 10,500 square kilometers of area from Kariba Dam in the west to Mozambique Border in East. No proper fencing is done on this area. Wild-animals are free to move through-out the area without physical bordering or barriers.
Flora & Fauna
The Park is home to several magnificent animal species. Enormous elephants are also spotted in this park. Beefy Black buffaloes, leopards, lions, cheetahs can be seen regularly. Large Hippo, Black Rhinos and Nile crocodiles can also be easily spotted. The Park is also home to 380-bird species. Rare species of birds like white collared pratincole, snake eagle, Nyasa lovebirds, yellow spotted Nicator and so can be seen. One must carry high zooming lens to capture wildlife photography or binoculars to spot these rare birds and animals.
The Chitake Spring is a crucial interior place, where one can spot several animals. This spring is located in the interior part of the park, as it is vital source of water when the river dries up during summer seasons. Several wild-animals congregate around this precious water resource.
If you are planning to visit this area, visitors must note, the park is open to cars only during dry seasons. During rainy seasons one must travel by foot or boats. Best time to visit this park is during early May to early September. While, September & October are considered as best game viewing seasons when the temperature rises. Safaris runs year round, following are recommended safaris, one must not miss!
- Tamarind Canoe Safari
- Zimbabwe Safari sports
- And Camp Zambezi
It is worth to note Zambezi Escarpment, Sapi Safari area, Chewore Safari Area and Chitake River are scenic and great spots to visit.
How to Reach?
The Mana Pool Park is located in the extreme north of Zimbabwe far from human settlement. Drive from Chirundu / Harare road will head toward Zambezi Escarpment. The other branched off road will take you to Nyamepi Camp.
Visitors need to register with tour operators who will take care of accommodations, food, transport, safety and transfers. Its mandatory to hire a tour operator who will guide through the Park areas.