Best 10 Reasons To Visit Mana Pools National Park In Zimbabwe
The best 10 reasons to visit Mana Pools National Park are; chitake springs, lions tracking, elephants tracking, canoeing, primates, birding, boat cruise, fishing, game walks, and game walks.
Mana Pools National Park is a hidden gem located in northern Zimbabwe, bordering Zambia. Because the park is so remote, it has remained untouched and wild.
Mana Pools’ beauty is that it is a walking concession with massive flood plains and, with the prominent Zambezi River flowing, a number of spectacular sights and interactions with its inhabitants.
Mana Pools National Park is a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast. It gives a safari a whole new dimension and feel.
Mana Pools National Park is located north of Zimbabwe and is one of the least developed parks in the country with a very rural environment. The park is found in the province of Mashonaland west in Zimbabwe. Mana Pools national park was named after the four meandering pools. Its called “Mana” because of the “Four” permanent pools. The Khoisan were the original people who lived in this place with evidence of their paintings still present in the protected areas they lived.
1. Chitake Springs In Mana Pools National Park
Chitake springs is a perennial water source in the park that acts as the major source of water for the wildlife in Mana pools national park. The spring’s water flows towards river Chitake that is dry characterized with very low water levels. The spring being the major source of water for the wildlife, large concentrations of wild animals are found around the area to drink the water.
The carnivorous animals such as the lions, leopards, cheetahs, among others in the park, target their prey from the Chitake spring. And spectacular hunting skills can be seen by visitors who visit the park. The dry season is the best time to visit chitake springs because most water sources dry up and the spring stands as now the source of water for the wildlife.
2. Game Drives In Mana Pools National Park
Game driving is another tourism activity a visitor can have at mana pools national park. For the game drive to take place, a 4×4 open sided vehicle is needed as recommended at the park. The vehicle openings are to enable proper viewing of the wildlife and nature deep in mana pools national park.
A game ranger with a gun is to accompany the tourists into the park. This is the protection of the tourists from the wild animals that may attack the visitors. So the game ranger is there to scare away the animals. Then a tour guide too shall travel with the tourists in the vehicle to explain more on the animals they spot in the national park.
Game drives is best done early in the morning hours around 5am. Here the visitors have to leave their accommodations as early as possible and drop to the road to have a view of these animals in the park while in a vehicle. Several spots are established for visitors to come down and have some tea or rest a bit as they proceed to the next spot. Game rangers at the spots be in guard to protect visitors.
3. Canoeing In Mana Pools National Park
Mana pools are four great pools and hence the name “Mana” meaning “Four”. The Zambezi River plays a great role in the supply of water to the great pools. Forming a beautiful and breathless experience to the visitors of Mana pools national park as they are in a canoe.
Canoeing in a boat in Mana pools is a remarkable experience one can find at the national park. A boat moves visitors around the pools taking clear view of the birds around the water bodies, the nature there, the wildlife along the shores, the aquatic life such as, the crocodiles, hippopotamus, the Fish among others. This activity is one of the most popular at the national park and its the most relaxing to the visitors at the park.
4. Lions Tracking In Mana Pools National Park
Tourists do lion tracking in Mana pools are protected by the game rangers who carry guns to shot and scare the lions in case they caused threat. Visitors tracking lions also are advised to move as a group and close to each other because its hard for a game ranger to protect tourists who are far apart.
A lion is one of the Big 5 animals and its considered the king of the jungle. Its pride is that, it hunts others and none hunts the lion back. Lions and leopards are the most carnivorous animals in Mana pools national park. They concentrate in the southern part of the park.
These lions concentrate during the dry season around the chitake spring and for visitors tracking down lions to watch how they hunt and live, that’s the right timing. Lions target other animals such as antelopes, zebras, impalas among others as they move to chitake springs to drink and they hunt them down as their prey.
5. Game Walk In Mana Pools National Park
Game walks in mana pools national park involves moving on foot as tourists view the beautiful sceneries in the park. This is another popular activity in Mana pools. With safari walks visitors closely view the wildlife and the nature deep in the park. A tour guide and game rangers accompany the tourists deep in the park as they spot different animals and explain them to the tourists.
Here the tourist and the guide move in any direction of the park. What they spot, is what they study about. But the guides know what time do they need to take a specific direction basing on the interest of the tourist. This activity gives the tourist a more wildlife experience because they travel within the wildlife its self. Usually, several spots are placed in the park for visitors to have a cup of tea and some jazz as they rest for the moment.
6. Birding In Mana Pools National park
There is a diversity of birds in Mana pools national park. Well viewed at the shores as visitors go for canoeing in the pools and also for visitors having safari walks in the park. There approximately 447 bird species in Mana pools national park with beautiful scenery creation and sounds to the environment providing a spectacular experience to the visitors. Birding is one of the activity visitors engage in, while at mana pools national park.
There many species of birds that can be found in Mana pools national park and these include; White-faced whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, Egyptian goose, Hottentot teal, African black duck, Helmeted guineafowl, Harlequin quail, Coqui francolin, Greater flamingo, Little grebe, Red-eyed dove, Laughing dove, Yellow-throated sandgrouse, European nightjar, African palm swift, Common swift, Senegal coucal, Yellowbill, African crake among other bird species.
7. Boat Cruising In Mana Pools National Park
Boat cruising is another amazement in Mana pools national park. Tourists here glib on river Zambezi as they move towards the mana pools. Boat cruising helps visitors to view the birds and the aquatic wildlife in the close range. The tourists sail in a boat on Zambezi river flowing on a silent waters of the calm river. This is the most relaxing activity in Mana pools national park as it gives the Tourists a cool environment with the beautiful birds singing and flying around and other wildlife animals such as the crocodiles, hippopotamus, among others around and in the river.
Some of the birds that are in mana pools may include; Southern carmine bee-eaters is one of the common birds found around the river banks during the dry seasons and the majority of other birds can be found in the months of November to April. Some of the other birds include; Sombre greenbul, Western nicator, Bohm’s spine tails, Rock pratincole, Little bittern, and much more.
8. Elephant Tracking In Mana National Park
Tourists planning to go for elephant tracking, are to wake up early in the morning and enter the bush with accompany of a tour guide and the game ranger. Tracking down the foot steps of the elephants and searching for them in the bush. This experience is one of the most popular and best practiced in Mana pools National park.
Mana pools national park elephants are the most unique elephants one would really wish to site an eye at. The elephants stand on their hind legs as they pick leaves from the trees. This leaves the tourists with big majestic smiles on their face and wonderful memories to tell. These elephants stand on the hind legs because they want to get tall and eat the fruits and leaves of the trees in the park.
Standing on a the two hind legs aside, an elephant is a unique animal with amusing features. A big body and a small tail also is an amazing thing to watch on an elephant. The trumpet is also another beautiful feature to look at on an elephant. It helps it communicate, breath, eat, defend its self among other uses of the trumpets.
9. Primates In Mana Pools National Park
Mana pools is also blessed with some primates that are also of much interest to the tourists. Some of the primates one can find in Mana pools national park include; Monkeys are the main primates one can find in the park and also some baboons. These animals like playing with visitors as the tourists feed them with some fruits especially the sweet bananas. Visitors have fun when the animals drop down the trees and play around with them and also love watching the animals flying all over the trees making the visitors experience perfect.
10. Fishing In Mana Pools National Park
Fishing in Mana Pools National is another best activity. Fishing can be done on the river Zambezi, and the four pools of Mana. Visitors interested in fishing in the park, have several ways in which they can catch the fish. Some of the options a visitor can select is the Hooking method, Dip netting method, the basket method, fish net, among other methods.
When To Visit Mana Pools National Park
Mana pools national park is all year through out open and welcomes visitors at any time of the year.
Best Time to Visit Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools Climate
- Winter months – mid-May, June, July, and early August – have gorgeous blue sky and cool evenings and are warm.
- September to May are the summer months. With scorching to extremely hot days and warm evenings.
- Rainy season – Typically between mid-November and April, but rain can fall outside of these months.
When is the best time to see wildlife in Mana Pool National Park?
August, September, October, and early November are the greatest times to observe animals in this park. Due to the great scarcity of water in the interior, the animals have naturally flocked to the river and natural pools of Mana.
During the dry season, Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe offers walking safaris.
Mana Pools is currently experiencing its dry season.
During the rainy season, which lasts from late November to April, an entirely different park appears. Arid savannahs become verdant plains with abundant grazing. Some permanent species remain, despite the fact that many animals disperse inland and make game viewing difficult.
This is the verdant season, and it is during this time that the park and its inhabitants are revitalized by the availability of food. There are newborn animals everywhere, and the bird population is enormous. Frequently, road access is restricted.
How To Reach Mana Pools National Park
Mana Pools national park is well known as one of the remote areas in Zimbabwe. Visitors have to drive from Harare the capital city on a tarred road up to the basement Zambezi escarpment and turn off the tarred road onto a 43.5 mile dirt road and travel towards Nyamepi Camp and there will be the visitor in Mana Pools National Park.
Manapools is a secluded park. The park is located in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, far from any major town or human settlement.
Drive approximately 310 kilometers from Zimbabwe’s capital city (Harare) and obtain a free Manapools entry permit from Marongora reception. The Marongora reception is located in the heart of the Zambezi escarpment. After obtaining the permit, you descend the Zambezi escarpment for approximately 10 kilometers before turning right onto a dirt road that will take you approximately 77 kilometers into unspoiled bush to Nyamepi Camp.
When returning from Chirundu, you obtained the same free permit from the Zimbabwe Parks office at the Chirundu border posts. Proceed from the Chirundu border post to the Manapools turnoff, which is 40 kilometers along the Harare highway.
Accommodation In Mana Pools National Park
Mana pools national park in Zimbabwe has lodges and safari camps in and some of these include Chikwenya Camp · Ingwe Pan Camp · John’s Camp · Kanga Bush Camp · Kavinga Safari Camp · Little vundu, Mana river camp, Ruckomechi camp, Nyamatusi mahogany, Nyamatusi camp, among others.
Nyamatusi mahogany is one of the luxurious accommodations in the park and tourists here actually pay extra charges for some other services rendered to them. Such as swimming pool, well astonished bar and restaurant, Wi-Fi, laundry services, sitting lounge among others.
Different preferences of the visitors, call for different range of budgets. Depending on the visitors preference and income, bookings are done for the mid-range, High class, among others. High class are the luxurious accommodation type with exceptional customer services as mentioned earlier.
Mana pools is one of the best African national parks with diversity of wildlife, water bodies, birds, worthy visiting again again because of the exceptional experience it gives to the visitors. Kubwa five safaris, a tour company in Africa is a trustworthy company where a tourist is assured of best experience achievement while on a trip with them. You can book with Κubwa five safaris in their offices or online. Contact Kubwa Five Safaris for more details.