Mana Pools National Park is a wildlife conservation area in north-western Zimbabwe. It sits beside the lower Zambezi River, where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after each rainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making it one of Africa's most renowned wildlife-viewing regions.
The national park stretches across 2,500 square kilometres of river frontage, islands, sandbanks and pools, flanked by forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs. It is one of the least developed parks in Southern Africa and is one of the few places where you are likely to see elephant go up on their hind legs to reach the greatly favoured pods of the ana trees.
The number of lodges and tented camps is carefully restricted. The best way to explore this magnificent area is on foot across the plains or by canoe safari. The sensation of slowly gliding past the colourful colonies of birds, whilst watching elephant swim over to reed-covered islands is indescribable.
Mana Pools National Park has recently expanded to the east, thanks to the creation of the 118,000-hectare Sapi Concession. Formerly reserved for hunting, this vast expanse of wilderness has now been turned over to conservation and tourism. Just two small camps sit within the concession, which is bordered by the Zambezi River, making it likely you will never see another vehicle.