Mana Pools National Parks lies along 1,250 miles of the Zambezi River – a World Heritage Site.
The majority of the area consists of a wide floodplain, below the Lake Karibu dam. They used to be channels of the Zambezi and now consist of 4 main “pools” Main, Chine, Long and Chisambuk. Their hinterlands include large areas of the rugged Zambezi escarpment, which rises 3,000 feet (1,000m) from the valley floor.
The landscape includes islands fringed by dense forests of baobabs and Mahogany, and the mountainous escarpment rising above. The area is perfect for canoeing safaris, boating and walking safaris.
The area is home to large herds of elephants that return year after year to the same places at the same time. Buffalo abound in the marsh grass, wary of predators like leopards, lions and cheetah. The Zambezi is home to giant Nile crocodiles and large hippo pods. The rare black rhino is sighted occasionally.
Park Size: 850 sq. miles – 2,200 sq. kill.
Ecosystems: Mopane forest, thicket, floodplains, pools, sausage tree, mahogany stands along the river
Wildlife: Elephant, hippo, crocodile, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, honey badger, warthog, zebra, antelope (including kudu), eland, buffalo, plus 450 bird species
When to go: March (after rainy season) through November (it can be hot in October and November, but this is the best game viewing).
Highlights: Canoeing, Game drives, boating, walking
Trips that Visit Mana Pools National Park:
Mana Canoe Trail