Why Go to Mana Pools National Park?

Abundant Wildlife, Raw & Remote

Mana Pools is the golden child of the Zambezi Valley; rugged and beautiful, it is home to a wonderful mix of grassy floodplains, woodlands, and riverine forest. Forming the park’s northern border, lies the untamed and meandering Zambezi River, its backdrop the mountains of the Rift Valley Escarpment across the waters in neighbouring Zambia.

As a Zimbabwean gem, Mana Pools National Park beckons to safari-goers looking for a less-traversed slice of heaven in the country. This rugged area is only 2,196 square kilometres (850 square miles), but it is a part of the conservation area that stretches all the way from Lake Kariba to the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.

Notably, Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, granting it great acclaim. But what really makes Mana Pools such a special place is its combination of spectacular wildlife encounters, best experienced on one-of-a-kind walking and canoeing safaris. Experiencing the park by foot or canoe is an incomparable experience, and one sure to leave you with a profound connection to the untouched wilderness, a trove of indelible memories, and a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the southern African landscape. These are our top reasons to visit Mana Pools National Park:


1. One-of-a-Kind Walking & Canoe Safaris

Zambezi River expeditions in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe | Go2Africa
A canoe safari on the Zambezi | Nyamtusi Camp

Being within the Mana Pools National Parks means you have the rare benefit of choosing how you want to traverse these diverse landscapes. While 4×4 vehicles are available, a walking safari through the park is the ultimate way to soak up the essence of the area and truly immerse yourself in its charm. Nothing quite compares to the up-close-and-personal experience that comes with being on the ground as you safely come into contact with the continents most striking creatures led by the most knowledgeable and experienced guides.

Completely immerse yourself in your surroundings and engage all your senses as your guide takes you on a memorable adventure, sharing insight on the vast landscapes, the abundant wildlife and the thriving flora and fauna, leading you to secret spots only accessible by foot. Because walking safaris are so commonplace in the park, much of the wildlife is accustomed to the presence of humans, allowing you to really enjoy sightings from a safe distance.

The Mana Pools Canoe Safari is both a breathtaking and thrilling experience that transports you between Mana Pools and Lower Zambezi. Enjoy a leisurely paddle as elephants stop by the banks for a refreshing drink, navigate your way around hippos beneath the water, or enjoy the abundance of wildlife both on the banks and in the river, while a certified canoe safari guide takes you down the Zambezi.


• Guides will venture off the beaten path for closer wildlife encounters.
• Breathtaking, up-close views of the Zambezi River.
• Canoe safaris can cover the entire length of Mana Pools National Park.
• A unique water-based safari experience.


2. Incredible Wildlife Sightings

Explore the game-rich plains of Zimbabwe

The name ‘Mana’ means four in the local Shona language and refers to the four large pools situated in the interior of the park. This abundance of water acts as a magnet for all manner of wildlife: elephant (with around a 12,000-strong elephant population), buffalo and waterbuck graze on the wide green floodplains. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are also commonly spotted throughout the park. And the bird watching is superb – highlights include fish eagles, waterfowl and colourful clouds of carmine bee-eaters.

Add to these characters, the wildlife of the Zambezi River – hippos, crocodiles, and shy water buck, and you are treated to a perfect blend of land and aquatic wonders—an exclusive experience that not every national park or safari destination can provide.


• One of the best places to spot African wild dogs.
• Enjoy guided safari walks with access to rich wildlife.
• Savour the experience of an off-the-beaten-path safari destination.
• Enjoy sightings of four of five of the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants and buffalos).


3. Exceptional Luxury Safari Lodges and Camps

Nyamatusi Camp luxury suites in Zimbabwe | Go2Africa
Enjoy your own private deck and pool at Nyamatusi Camp.

Known for its luxury accommodations, Mana Pools offers a wide range of accommodations that cater to every type of traveller, from the bush fanatic looking for an authentic experience to the luxury safari enthusiast looking to indulge in the finer things in life.

There are a handful of lodges scattered around the park. Indulge in extravagant lodges with curated wine cellars, private plunge pools, gourmet dining and more. At each of our partners, you can expect world-class facilities and first-class service that will enhance your stay, making sure that each moment flows into the next seamlessly.


• Spectacular safari lodges that offer modern-day luxury.
• Authentic tented camps that offer comfort.
• Gourmet dining and award-winning hospitality.
• Prime setting on the shores of the Zambezi.


4. Easily Combined with Other Safari Destinations

Mana Pools Safari Lodge | Go2Africa
Move easily between camps | Mana Pools Safari Camp

Another one of the reasons that Mana Pools stands out as an exceptional safari destination is because of its ideal location. Easily combine your Mana Pools safari with other top sites and safari destinations both within and outside of Zimbabwe. As one of the areas favourably nestled right along the Zambezi River, Mana Pools seamlessly integrates with visits to iconic landmarks such as Victoria Falls and Lower Zambezi, forming a harmonious safari circuit.

Lake Kariba is another stunning wonder that enhances Mana Pools appeal, while Hwange makes for a stunning two-night precursor to Mana, offering a diverse range of ecosystems and wildlife experiences all within your reach. This accessibility allows us to craft personalised itineraries that combine the unique wonders of Mana Pools with the splendours of neighbouring destinations, creating an enriching and comprehensive safari adventure.


• Combine multiple Southern Africa destinations with ease.
• Proximity to wonders such as Victoria Falls, the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba.
• Enjoy a bush and beach vacation with a getaway in Cape Town or Mozambique.

What travellers most enjoyed about Mana Pools
Bird watching

Bird watching

Sunset cruises and boating

Sunset cruises and boating

Walking safaris

Walking safaris

Wildlife and safari

Wildlife and safari