Covering approximately 2,500 square kilometres in northern Zimbabwe, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mana Pools is situated at the bottom of the Zambezi Valley, where the Zambezi River flows down out of Lake Kariba.
Reclaimed from the decades-long effects of a hydro-electric project, Mana Pools is one of southern Africa’s most unspoiled reserves in southern Africa. Named after the four (‘Mana’ is four in Shona) ox-bow lakes that sprawl across it, it is a network of waterways, grasslands, river terraces and Faidherbia albida woodlands.
Contiguous with Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, and therefore a crucial larger animal migration corridor, Mana Pools is blessed with plentiful water. Flora and fauna thrives, the former including wild figs, baobabs and mahogany, the latter, hippo, crocodile, lions, elephants, baboon and zebra, as well as plentiful bird and aquatic life.
Home to a small selection of excellent camps, Mana Pools is a wild and fantastic alternative to over-the-river Lower Zambezi, and serves as fine example of the drive in Zimbabwe for a more eco-consciously operated tourism.