Mana Pools 365

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mana Pools’ 2 500 square-kilometer footprint is one of the least developed national parks in Southern Africa, making it one of only a few really wild and unspoilt locations remaining. Meaning four in Shona, Mana refers to the four large pools carved out over millennia by the powerful Zambezi River. 

The pools themselves are the reason it is such a sought-after safari destination – as they attract a high volume of wildlife. Expect to see elephant, buffalo, zebra, lion, leopard, warthog, eland, serval, hyena, wild dog, porcupine, jackal, vervet monkey and baboons as well as an abundance of bird species. Long Pool – the largest – extends six kilometers and is host to a great population of hippo, crocodile and aquatic wildlife. 

Its habitat features river frontage and a variety of sandbanks, islands and pools, around which are thick woodlands punctuated by extensive grasslands. You can also walk through the park among the wildlife on a walking safari. A must-visit is the Faidherbia albida ‘enchanted forest’ – a sacred place granted its cathedral-like atmosphere courtesy of the golden light filtering through the trees.