The Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas World Heritage Site is an area of dramatic landscape and ecological processes. The area is home to a remarkable concentration of wild animals, including elephants, buffalo, leopards and cheetahs. An important concentration of Nile crocodiles is also be found in the area. Resident and migratory birdlife, with over 450 species recorded, is also abundant. Controlled hunting on quota is permitted in the safari areas. In 1984, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.
Located on the banks of the Zambezi, great cliffs overhang the river and the floodplains. The Park is at the Centre of a network of protected areas in Zimbabwe which stretch from Kariba to the Mozambique border. Manapools is located in Mashonaland West Province and falls under the ambit of the Hurungwe Rural District Council for higher level administrative purposes.
About Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas
1. Mana Pools is the finest safari spot on the Zambezi River. Mana is also central to the larger Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve. Renowned for the best canoe safaris in Africa also regarded as one of the continent’s top walking safari destinations. Ideal from May to November for active safaris. Wildlife is prolific!
2. The shoreline is dominated by a floodplain with shallow pools under a rich canopy of tall acacias and ancient stands of mahogany and ebony trees. The Zambezi escarpment rises up on either sides of this deep valley. From Mana Pools the landscape is spectacular with the Zambian escarpment acting as a backdrop.
3. The ‘sand-bank’ environment constitutes a good example of erosion and deposition by a large seasonal river (despite changes in river flow due to the Kariba Dam). There is a clear pattern of vegetation succession on the alluvial deposits. Seasonal movements of large mammals within the valley are of great ecological interest both because of interspecies and intraspecies differences.
4. Today, the black rhino has now disappeared from the reserve although the property still contains important populations of threatened species including elephant and hippopotamus, as well as other threatened species such as lion, cheetah and wild dog. Leopard and brown hyena, classified as near threatened, and a large population of Nile crocodile, are also protected within the property. The area is also considered an important refuge for a number of plants and birds.
5. The richness of the forest trees and plants is the vital link in Mana Pools chain of continuity. The apple ring acacia keeps the elephant herds alive during the fierce October-November dry season. These handsome trees paint a unique picturesque landscape which this park is famous for.
6. Mana Pools national park offers a unique unguided walk in the wilderness, it allows experiencing nature at its best. Guided/unguided canoe is one major attraction along Zambezi River.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Zimbabwe then the best time for wildlife viewing in Mana Pools National Park is during the Dry season, from June to October. Animals are easier to spot because the dry weather thins the bush and wildlife concentrates around the Zambezi River.