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Mana Pools National Park

  • Destinations
  • Zimbabwe
  • Mana Pools National Park

Why Go

Rugged Mana Pools National Park

Set deep in the rugged Zambezi Valley, Mana Pools National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s premier game viewing areas. Its northern boundary is the Zambezi River – wide and slow-moving at this point and with its banks covered in forest. Away from the river, a wild savannah landscape opens up, dominated by four pools (‘Mana’ means ‘four’ in the local language). In the distance, across the river in Zambia, silent shimmering mountains provide an impressive backdrop.

The abundance of water attracts great numbers of animals, especially in the long dry season when wildlife gathers in increasing concentrations around the pools and the river. A Mana Pools safari is generally very rewarding at this time: elephant and buffalo crowd the water along with zebra, warthog and many kinds of antelope. Predators make the most of the bounty – lions, leopards and spotted hyena are all resident, and it’s one of the best places in Zimbabwe to see African wild dog.

Mana Pools is best experienced as a fly-in destination. There are comfortable safari lodges, set in the park or in an adjoining private concession, each offering a wide range of activities. Guests enjoy morning and afternoon game drives as well as spot-lit night drives for those in a concession. Guided walking safaris are also conducted, and you’ll explore the river by motorboat. For the adventurous, you can paddle the Zambezi in a kayak – choose between morning excursions and overnight journeys, all in the company of expert guides.

Talk to Safari Online about a Mana Pools National Park safari. We’ll recommend the best tour or accommodation for your requirements. We can also tailor-make an itinerary for you that includes Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe’s other top safari destination – Hwange National Park, home to the biggest elephant herds outside of neighbouring Botswana.

Mana Pools National Park on the map

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Top Experiences


1. Go on a Game Drive

Sit back on morning & afternoon game drives & let the Mana Pools drama unfold. Vehicles are raised high off the ground & have open sides and roof to ensure perfect photographic opportunities.

2. Paddle the Zambezi

It’s Mana Pools’ trump card: paddling slowly down the Zambezi in a kayak. You’ll be in big game country but your expert guides know the way – choose from morning meanders to all-day adventures.

3. Walk the Wild Side

Thanks to Zimbabwe’s reputation for highly trained guides, you can be assured of an unforgettable on-foot experience. Walks range from a 2-hour nature ramble to multi-day hikes.

4. Go on a Night Drive

Stay at a lodge in a private concession & you’ll stay out after dark … with a spot light. It’s the best way to see elusive animals such as bush babies, porcupine & wild cat.

5. Go Bird Watching

With around 400 bird species, Mana Pools is a birder’s favourite but every visitor is impressed by the  amazing birdlife: fish-eagles, giant owls, colourful clouds of carmine bee-eaters are among the top sightings.

6. Search for Predators

Year-round water & abundant game makes Mana Pools a predator paradise. Lions & hyenas dominate the savannah, leopards lurk in the forests & crocodiles line the river banks. African wild dogs are a highlight.

7. Catch-and-release-fishing

A few lodges offer catch-and-release fishing in the Zambezi River. If you’d like to spend an afternoon casting for bream or wrestling a toothy tiger fish, then come fishing in Mana Pools.

8. Cruise the River

Swop an afternoon game drive for a motor trip, a great way to discover the Zambezi. You’ll spot elephants, hippos & crocodiles plus dozens of different birds & finish the day at the best sunset spots.

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Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)