By Nkosinomusa Nyoni
A park renowned for its unique self-guided safari walks and special elephants that can stand on their 2-feet when feasting on their favourite delicacy ‘seed pods’. Mana Pools is a remote and untouched national park situated on the banks of the Zambezi with great cliffs overlooking the river and flood plains. It was named a World Heritage Site based on its truly remote and rugged wilderness experience.
Mana Pools boasts of a remarkable concentration of wildlife such as the cape buffalo, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, wild dogs, Nile crocodiles, not forgetting the 350 bird species scattered around the park. A lot of people have always asked where the name ‘Mana’ is derived from, Mana means ‘four’ in Zimbabwe’s local dialect Shona and this name was chosen as a result of the four large pools; Green Pool, Chisasiko Pool, Long Pool and the Chine Pool. These pools were formed by the meanderings of the middle of the Zambezi River.
When is the best time to visit Mana Pools?
Mana Pools is a seasonal Park and it’s always important to take note of these important dates if you want to experience the rugged wilderness. Always visit Mana during the dry season; beginning of May to Mid-November because you are guaranteed of great sightings of wildlife congregating near the Zambezi in search of water.
How to get there?
Drive along Harare/Chirundu highway for approximately 310 km from Harare and collect a free Mana Pools entry permit from the Marongora reception. Marongora reception is in the midst of the Zambezi escarpment and after collecting the permit descend the Zambezi escarpment for a further 10km then turn right on the dirt road, where you will drive a further 77km in pristine bush to Nyamepi Camp.
When coming from the direction of Chirundu border post, you collect the same free permit from the Zimparks office that’s situated at the Chirundu border post. When you have collected the permit proceed from Chirundu border post to the Mana Pools turn off which is 40 km along the Harare highway.
© NZiRA Travel Zimbabwe http://www.nzira.co.zw