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Discover Mana Pools

Refundable, Rebookable, Authentic Zimbabwe Safari

Refundable, Rebookable, Authentic Safari

Mana Pools National Park

enter image description here Credit: Ruckomechi Camp

Regarded as being both Zimbabwe’s best park and one of the finest wilderness areas in Africa, Mana Pools National Park is a superb safari destination. Situated at the northern most point of Zimbabwe straddling the Zambian border, Mana Pools is remarkably beautiful: a riverine wilderness on the Zambezi River of pools, floodplains, baobab trees and forests that feels totally remote and never gets crowded.

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The park is famous for its huge elephant herds and is known for great sightings of lion and leopard as well as being one of the best places in Africa to find endangered wild dogs. The appeal of the park is not just its wildlife – it’s how you get to experience the bush in immersive ways: staying in unfenced campsites in the midst of the wilderness and going on walking and canoeing safaris to see animals without the noise of a car. Mana Pools is also one of the only parks in Africa where you can walk without a guide (although this isn’t recommended for safety reasons unless you have a lot of bush experience).

Highlights

enter image description here Nyamepi Campsite

Staying in one of Mana Pool’s exclusive unfenced campsites along the Zambezi River is a highlight for many intrepid visitors to the park. Booking one of these campsites for just your group means you’ll be able to have a totally wild experience in the bush with no one else around – just the wild animals that might wander in between your tents.

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Mana Pools is one of Africa’s best places to do walking safaris – the thin vegetation means that visibility is excellent, so you’ll have the chance to get up close to big game. In addition, the walking guides in the park are among the best in Africa.

Canoeing safaris in Mana Pools are an incredible way to experience raw nature at its best: you spend your days paddling along the Zambezi past pods of hippos and scores of animals drinking on the banks, and at night time you’ll camp under the stars on untouched islands.

Practical Advice
  • It’s essential that you book ahead for a stay in Mana Pools, whether you’re going to be staying at a luxury camp or at one of the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s campsites or lodges. Since the campsites are unfenced, it’s not advisable to camp with young children under the age of 12 – rather stay at a lodge. It’s important that you stay vigilant of animals when you stay in a campsite: always keep your distance from any animal, never leave food lying around and don’t stray too far from your tent at night. The park has a “carry in, carry out” policy, so you’ll need to burn your combustible trash every night in camp and take your non-combustible trash back out with you.

  • It’s highly recommended that you have a 4x4 if you’re self-driving in Mana Pools.

  • While you are allowed to walk without a guide on the floodplain area, it’s not advisable to do it unless you are very experienced in the bush. It’s best to book a guided walking safari instead.

  • The ideal time to visit Mana Pools is during the dry season from June to October when vegetation is at its driest, making wildlife sightings much easier. Many roads Mana Pools are closed the rainy season between November and April. During this period, the best way to see the park is on a canoe safari.


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1 View our recommended safaris for inspiration and get ready to plan your dream safari
2 Contact us or fill out an enquiry form and one of our travel experts will help you tailor make your perfect safari
3 Enjoy an authentic African experience, with peace of mind

Travel with Peace of Mind

Plan your safari with confidence. Refundable deposits and flexible rebooking terms standard on your Zimbabwe safari.
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Zimbabwe Safaris

These recommended tours for Zimbabwe can be tailor-made to match your budget.

When is the best time to travel to Zimbabwe?

Peak Low Mixed
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Zimbabwe in January

January is a rainy month and some camps and lodges are closed. The landscape is green and lush and with abundant water around, making animals hard to spot as they are dispersed in the bush. Birding is excellent during January, as well as the other rainy months, with all of the migratory species present.

Zimbabwe in January

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January is a rainy month and some camps and lodges are closed. The landscape is green and lush and with abundant water around, making animals hard to spot as they are dispersed in the bush. Birding is excellent during January, as well as the other rainy months, with all of the migratory species present.

Zimbabwe in February

February is low season in Zimbabwe – it’s rainy and wet, and it’s difficult to see wildlife because of the thick bush and abundance of natural water sources, but it is a perfect time for birdwatching. Some camps, lodges and park roads are closed. The water level in Zambezi is high, and so while Victoria Falls are in full dramatic flow, the amount of mist and spray can obscure the view.

Zimbabwe in February

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February is low season in Zimbabwe – it’s rainy and wet, and it’s difficult to see wildlife because of the thick bush and abundance of natural water sources, but it is a perfect time for birdwatching. Some camps, lodges and park roads are closed. The water level in Zambezi is high, and so while Victoria Falls are in full dramatic flow, the amount of mist and spray can obscure the view.

Zimbabwe in March

March is hot, humid and rainy in Zimbabwe, with frequent afternoon thundershowers. It’s not an ideal time to see wildlife because of the thick foliage and abundant water for animals to drink, but it is a good month for birdwatching, as many migratory species are present in the country. The Zambezi River is in full flow, so Victoria Falls is at its most dramatic, although there’s a lot of spray which can make visibility difficult.

Zimbabwe in March

enter image description here

March is hot, humid and rainy in Zimbabwe, with frequent afternoon thundershowers. It’s not an ideal time to see wildlife because of the thick foliage and abundant water for animals to drink, but it is a good month for birdwatching, as many migratory species are present in the country. The Zambezi River is in full flow, so Victoria Falls is at its most dramatic, although there’s a lot of spray which can make visibility difficult.

Zimbabwe in April

The rains are coming to an end and skies turn blue in April, a month when the lodges and camps that have been closed for the rainy season usually re-open. Mana Pools National Park also re-opens after closure since the end of November. This is the last month of summer for excellent birdwatching.

Zimbabwe in April

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The rains are coming to an end and skies turn blue in April, a month when the lodges and camps that have been closed for the rainy season usually re-open. Mana Pools National Park also re-opens after closure since the end of November. This is the last month of summer for excellent birdwatching.

Zimbabwe in May

Mild weathered May is the first of Zimbabwe’s dry winter months and by the middle of the month, the visibility in the bush starts to improve as the grass begins to thin. Natural pans have not yet dried up which means animals can still be hard to spot.

Zimbabwe in May

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Mild weathered May is the first of Zimbabwe’s dry winter months and by the middle of the month, the visibility in the bush starts to improve as the grass begins to thin. Natural pans have not yet dried up which means animals can still be hard to spot.

Zimbabwe in June

Temperatures drop in June, so pack warm clothes for early mornings and night game drives as the evenings can be very chilly. As the landscape dries, animals start to move to waterholes to drink, which makes wildlife viewing easier.

Zimbabwe in June

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Temperatures drop in June, so pack warm clothes for early mornings and night game drives as the evenings can be very chilly. As the landscape dries, animals start to move to waterholes to drink, which makes wildlife viewing easier.

Zimbabwe in July

July is the first month of Zimbabwe’s peak season. Daytime temperatures are mild (although nights in some places can be freezing), wildlife viewing is excellent, and it’s a great time to do white-water rafting and canoe safaris.

Zimbabwe in July

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July is the first month of Zimbabwe’s peak season. Daytime temperatures are mild (although nights in some places can be freezing), wildlife viewing is excellent, and it’s a great time to do white-water rafting and canoe safaris.

Zimbabwe in August

August is an excellent time to travel to Zimbabwe, as days are sunny, daytime temperatures are mild (dropping down to below 10C at night), and wildlife viewing is at its prime. It’s one of the busiest months of the year so be sure to book all your accommodation in advance.

Zimbabwe in August

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August is an excellent time to travel to Zimbabwe, as days are sunny, daytime temperatures are mild (dropping down to below 10C at night), and wildlife viewing is at its prime. It’s one of the busiest months of the year so be sure to book all your accommodation in advance.

Zimbabwe in September

Temperatures start to warm up in September, another dry month and an excellent time to go on a wildlife safari. This month the annual game count in Hwange National Park takes place, and for a totally different wildlife experience you can volunteer to take part in the census, helping the park rangers to count animals in the reserve.

Zimbabwe in September

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Temperatures start to warm up in September, another dry month and an excellent time to go on a wildlife safari. This month the annual game count in Hwange National Park takes place, and for a totally different wildlife experience you can volunteer to take part in the census, helping the park rangers to count animals in the reserve.

Zimbabwe in October

Nicknamed “Suicide Month” for its brutally hot temperatures, October is the hottest month of the year, with day time temperatures sometimes peaking above 40C. It’s the last month of the dry season, so wildlife viewing is at its best, and it’s the ideal time to see huge herds of elephant in Hwange National Park.

Zimbabwe in October

enter image description here

Nicknamed “Suicide Month” for its brutally hot temperatures, October is the hottest month of the year, with day time temperatures sometimes peaking above 40C. It’s the last month of the dry season, so wildlife viewing is at its best, and it’s the ideal time to see huge herds of elephant in Hwange National Park.

Zimbabwe in November

This month usually sees the start of the rains, which come as sudden thundershowers in the afternoons – a welcome relief from the intense heat. It’s a good month for birdwatching as the migratory species arrive with the rains.

Zimbabwe in November

enter image description here

This month usually sees the start of the rains, which come as sudden thundershowers in the afternoons – a welcome relief from the intense heat. It’s a good month for birdwatching as the migratory species arrive with the rains.

Zimbabwe in December

December means summer rain in Zimbabwe. It’s not an ideal time to visit for wildlife viewing, and Mana Pools National Park as well as roads in some other parks are closed. However, if you’re a birdwatcher, it’s a fantastic time to visit to see hundreds of migratory species.

Zimbabwe in December

enter image description here

December means summer rain in Zimbabwe. It’s not an ideal time to visit for wildlife viewing, and Mana Pools National Park as well as roads in some other parks are closed. However, if you’re a birdwatcher, it’s a fantastic time to visit to see hundreds of migratory species.

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These recommended tours for Zimbabwe can be tailor-made to match your budget.

Our Destination Expert

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington

Meet the Team

Megan Warrington

Megan is an Africa Concierge Expert at Discover Africa, she is responsible for compiling travel programs for people in search of their dream safari in Africa.

About Megan

What does Megan love about African travel?

There is always a new adventure around the next corner.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Tanzania.

What is Megan’s favourite place in Africa?

Namibia

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen

Meet the Team

Matthys van Aswegen

Matthys is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant, with over 13 years experience in the travel industry and a keen eye for photography.

About Matthys

What does Matthys love about African travel?

Diversity and abundance of landscapes, cultures, wildlife, beaches, food and everything you can think of.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius and Tanzania.

What is Matthys’s favourite place in Africa?

Cape Town

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell

Meet the Team

Adelle Bell

Adelle is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant and has been in the travel industry for the past 10 years. She is a FIT specialist and has extensive experience in planning and executing dream itineraries in luxury travel.

About Adelle

What does Adelle love about African travel?

You have not lived if you have not experienced an African Safari - the early morning safari drives with the African sun rising in the distance, the smell of morning freshness, coffee in the Bush. You have got to experience a morning in Africa!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa (Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands and Phinda Game Reserve), Botswana and Mozambique.

What is Adelle’s favourite place in Africa?

Kruger National Park

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden

Meet the Team

Antoinette Van Heerden

Antionette is a Travel Consultant at Discover Africa, with 5 + years experience in the travel and tourism industry. She specializes in luxury safari packages.

About Antoinette

What does Antoinette love about African travel?

Adventure combined leisure travel makes for the best trip!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

What is Antoinette’s favourite place in Africa?

South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

What an amazing experience

Linky Theron

27 May 2015

Excellent Safari Experience!

Lauren Gabel

11 Jun 2021

Highly recommended Tour Operator which exceeded our expectations. Thank you

Kerfoot Family

02 Jan 2008

Your support and planning was amazing. We will come back

Danny Meadows-Klue

01 Dec 2013

Planning excellent - tailored to our needs - efficient and helpful at all times - great selection

Adele

26 Apr 2021

Fantastic safari, excellent logistics and service for a fair price

Francisco

05 Jul 2018

Trip of a Lifetime (Cape Town, Kruger Area, Victoria Falls)

Joe

25 Oct 2016

Brilliant Tanzanian Safari

Jeens/Middleton family

05 Sep 2019

Cape Town and Kruger Safari

Jon

10 Jan 2022

Thank you for all your help Discover Africa

Lisa and Niall Shapiro

01 Feb 2013

Outstanding customer service from my trip facilitator Alice Lombard

Dr. Darrin Porcher

20 Sep 2021

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