Mana Pools has long been one of the premier wildlife destinations in Zimbabwe, and probably in Africa as a whole. It is situated on the north bank of the Zambezi River, accessible via the main Chirundu Road, within the lower quadrant of the river, and at a point where the flood plain expands into a series of lakes, or pools, four of which are permanent. Mana, of course, means four in the local chiShona language, hence the name of the park. Mana Pools is also an International Heritage Site, which, in theory at least, offers it more robust protection than other national parks in Zimbabwe, although currently it is under threat from local mining interests
Mana Pools enjoys an exceptional diversity and concentration of wildlife, in particular during the dry season (June to November) when water is scare and many animals focus around the available water sources. The wide ecology is also unique, indicative of the Zambezi Valley, with forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs. It is one of the the most remote and least developed of Zimbabwe’s National Parks in Southern Africa. It offers the largest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and large dry season mammal populations of elephant and buffalo.
Thanks to Andrew Field for these excellent photographs