Hippo, Mana Pools | Kanwar Deep Juneja

Mana Pools National Park

5 reviews

Safari suitability: 7/10

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4 of big 5 (no rhinos). Access is difficult, canoe safaris are the specialty and the fishing is exceptional.

Found in: Zimbabwe
Companies: 22
Tour packages: 31
Total area: 2,200 km² (850mi²)
Year established: 1984
Anti-malarial: Not required

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* Crowded parks have a lower rating


  • Four large natural pools of water

  • Shared wildlife reserve with Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park

  • Many options for safaris, tours and hikes

  • Best time to visit: June through September

About Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is in the northernmost area of Zimbabwe and shares a footprint with Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park and is bound on the east by the Mozambique border. The word mana means four in a local Bantu language, and refers to the four bodies of water located in this park. The pools, or bodies of water, are where hippos, crocodiles, zebra and other wildlife flourish.

Mana Pools wildlife

Four of the big five are represented at Mana Pools, with the last remaining black rhinos moved to other locations for their safety. 

Access to the park is difficult from within Zimbabwe. The roads leading to the southern entrance are their own motorized safaris. The closet city with an international airport is Lusaka in Zambia. 

When to visit Mana Pools National Park

Zimbabwe has a rainy season from October to April, when the roads can be impassable and the days are humid and sticky. The dry season is both hot and cool, but never very cold nor extremely hot. The ideal season for safaris and wildlife viewing is during the dry season: June through September. 

Mana Pools map
Articles on Zimbabwe

Most safaris postponed to 2021

When: Aug. 31, 2020


COVID-19 and safaris

When: April 22, 2020

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