Mana Pools National Park

IMG_4199eSlide thumbnail
Lre-3949Slide thumbnail
IMG_4291Slide thumbnail

Mana Pools Overview

Manapools National Park  is a  WORLD HERITAGE SITE based on its pure wilderness and  beauty, It  is home to a wide range of mammals, over 350 bird species  and aquatic wildlife. 

Manapools National Park is rated the 5th best park in Africa by Gateway magazine. It is a

-Renowned World Heritage Site for its pure wilderness and beauty-(still has dinosaur spoors)

-TFCA- Transfrontier Conservation Area

-Ramsar Site

-IBA – Important Bird Area.

-MIKE Site-Monitoring of Illegal killing of elephants.

-Bio-Sphere reserve- One of the world’s wildest and preserved natural ecological areas

 

During the rains, most of the big game animals move away from the river and into the escarpment. They start returning to the riverine areas from around April, as the pans in the bush dry up. As the year progresses, increasingly large herds of elephants and buffalos are seen, as well as kudu, eland, waterbuck, zebra, impala and many other antelope.The game is very relaxed about people on foot, making Manapools one of Africa’s best national parks for walking safaris

The Park is at the Centre of a network of protected areas in Zimbabwe which stretch from Kariba to the Mozambique border. Manapools  is located in Mashonaland West Province and falls under the ambit of the Hurungwe Rural District Council for higher level administrative purposes. There are over 20 000 km² of wildlife protected land in the vicinity of Manapools. It is in the Middle Zambezi Valley covering an area of 2196 square kilometers (848 square miles) extending from the Zambezi River in the north to the escarpment in the south. A timeless wilderness considered by many to be the Jewel of Zimbabwe and  a Treasure for Africa.

 

Featured Attractions

The park offers  unique guided and self-guided walks amongst many wild animals, excellent canoeing and river fishing

It’s  an area of outstanding natural beauty and phenomenal wildlife. Here the Zambezi River, flowing   slowly eastwards for thousands of years, has left behind the remains of old river channels forming small seasonal ponds and pools spread over an area of several hundred square kilometers. These extend several kilometers back from the river where, on fertile terraces huge mahogany and acacia trees cast luxuriant shade.

Today Manapools, one of Zimbabwe‘s four World Heritage Sites, is the stage for one of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles – a classic theatre of the wild, attracting hordes of animals during the long, hot African summer, drawn by the abundance of water and the lush grazing along its banks.

Lots of zebras, kudu, eland, impala, and other antelope species flourish among which the lion and the leopard, the hyena and wild dogs find easy pickings.

The sanctuary, one of the only two pockets of nyala in the country, is also home to over 16 000 buffalos and more than 12 000 elephant –one of Zimbabwe’s largest concentration. Many female elephants in the region do not have tusks and are much more aggressive than those with tusks.

Along the river bank where one of the greatest varieties of bird life in the world flourishes, hippos warm themselves in the morning sun. Later in the day, they keep cool by remaining all but submerged in the river, sharing their hidden sandbanks with silent and almost unseen crocodiles.

More than 350 bird species are enough to draw the breath of any ornithologist. Its banks flutter with Goliath herons, Egyptian and Spurwing geese, cormorants, storks, brilliantly coloured bee-eaters, and kingfishers.

Vultures, plovers, Nyasa lovebird, yellow-spotted nicator, white-collared pratincole, Livingstone’s flycatcher, banded snake-eagle, and the cliché symbol of Africa, the black and white fish eagle, haunt the riverine forest and mopane woods.

In the river, tiger fish, bream, tilapia, vundu, nkupi, chessa, electric fish, eel fish, cornish jack and lung fish sport and prey upon one another.

The richness of the forest trees and plants is the vital link in Mana Pools chain of continuity. The apple ring acacia keeps the elephant herds alive during the fierce October-November dry season. These handsome trees paint a unique picturesque landscape which this park is famous for.

Mana Pools national park offers a unique unguided walk in the wilderness, it allows experiencing nature at its best. Guided/unguided canoe is one major attraction along Zambezi River.

Accommodation

Tourist facilities include lodges, a communal campsite with ablution facilities and exclusive campsites where the visitor can be alone.

Lodges
There are 5 lodges in the Park, all located along the Zambezi River. There are 2 large lodges situated a short distance upstream from Nyamepi Camp, Musangu and Muchichiri. These lodges have a bathroom and shower with hot and cold running water; 2 toilets and a fully kitted kitchen with stove and deep-freeze and all utensils such as cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. All bedding and towels, etc are supplied. There is a large dining room and lounge, an outside braai area with seating where one can view the river and the wildlife coming down to drink or simply watch the African sun setting over the Zambezi River.

There are also 3 four-bedded lodges, all under thatch. Each lodge has 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each, a shower and toilet and seating areas outside near the Zambezi River. The kitchen is supplied with a deep-freezer, cooker, crockery and cutlery and other cooking implements. Bedding and towels, etc are supplied.

Camping Sites

There is one large communal campsite along the Zambezi River, and
a number of exclusive campsites where visitors can ensure their solitude.
Communal Campsite

The Nyamepi Camp camping area located along the Zambezi River is situated near the Mana Pools National Park reception office. Visitors need to bring their own camping equipment, bedding, toiletries, cooking implements, etc. There are ablution blocks nearby with hot and cold running water, flush toilets and laundry basins. Visitors can buy firewood at the reception office, and each campsite has a braai area. This camping ground has 30 sites.

Exclusive Campsite

There are a number of exclusive campsites situated along the Zambezi River. These camps are for the visitor who seeks solitude and who wants to truly experience the wildness and challenges of the bush. There is a braai stand at each site and rudimentary toilet. Water is collected from the river or the reception office. Visitors to these sites need to be fully self-equipped and be able to handle the remoteness and solitude of these unique camps. The camps are only allowed 2 vehicles and 12 persons per stay. Water may be drawn from the river.

Mucheni

8 kilometres west of Nyamepi and has 4 secluded camp sites

Nkupe

Just over 1 kilometre east of Nymepi and has 1 camp site

Ndungu

Just east of the carpark area and has 2 campsites

Gwaya

A short distance upstream from the lodges has 1 campsite, with cold-water shower, flush toilet and basin and a braai stand.

Wild Exclusive Camp Sites

There are 2 completely wild camping sites located in the southern sector of the Park – close to Chitake Spring, near the foothills of the Zambezi Escarpment. The check-in point for these camps is at Nyakasikana Gate. Both campsites are without any facilities and are accessible only with four-wheel drive vehicles.

Chitake Camp 1 (Nzou)

Located 150 metres downstream from the Chitake River crossing under a large Natal Mahogany near the river.

Chitake Camp 2 (Shumba)

Situated on top of a small hill near a number of baobab trees and has a magnificent view south to the escarpment, north to the far off Zambezi, east to Mangangai and west to the Rukomechi River. The camp is about 1 kilometre from the spring.

Tour Operator All-inclusive Tours

Visitors can book with a number of registered tour operators who will take care of all requirements including transport, food, accommodation, activities, safety and transfers. Visitors will need to make their own arrangements to hire a tour operator.

Park Fees

Amenities

The Park is generally remote and far from any business centre. The nearest shops and fuel supplies are nearly 100 kilometres away, therefore visitors should be fully equipped for their visit.

How to get there

Manapools is a truly remote park. Situated in the extreme north of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, The park is far from any major town or human settlement.Drive along Harare/Chirundu highway for about 310 km from capital city of Zimbabwe (Harare)and get a free Manapools entry permit from Marongora reception. Marongora reception is in the midst of the Zambezi escarpment. After getting the permit you descent the Zambezi escarpment about 10km you turn right on the dirt road  that will take you about 77 km into unspoiled bush to Nyamepi  Camp

When coming from Chirundu border post, you obtained again the same free permit from Zimbabwe Parks office at the Chirundu border posts. Proceed from Chirundu border post to Manapools turn off which is 40km along Harare highway.

Activities

The following are some of the main activities offered at Manapools National Park:

Camping

Available around the Park at developed, minimum development and exclusive sites

 

Wilderness trails

These walking safaris are offered at full moon. Parks staff will take visitors on a 3 day hike in the wild of Manapools National Park. Visitors will need to be fit, provide their own rucksacks, food and toiletries. This is a unique experience for the nature lover and those who enjoy the challenge of facing nature one on one. A rare and exclusive activity in a park with dangerous animals like this in Africa.

Guided Walking

You book a day before at the tourist office, you pay after the walk, and the price is per hour per person.

Unguided Walking

An exclusive for Manapools, clients are allowed to walk without a guide. We have walking permits which you pay per day, you obtain it at tourist office

Lion Tracking

This is a limited activity at Manapools. Visitors are guaranteed a close view of the lions in most instances. This activity is unique and also assists in data collection for research projects.

Fishing
Visitors can fish in the Zambezi River and experience the excitement of hooking large fish for the pot. Half of the joy is experiencing the quiet, solitude and beauty of the unspoiled bush around you.

Game Drives

Usually most rewarding in the early morning and late afternoon. Long Pool is often worth visiting soon after sunrise (Currently clients are advised to bring their own game drive vehicle or to make use of the tour operators in Manapools which they have to book in advance.)

Canoeing

You book a day before, at the tourist office, you only pay after the canoeing, the rate is per hour per person. This is one of the major activities in Manapools.

 

Curios Shopping

Souvenirs can be bought at the office or at the Nyakasikana entrance gate .Most of them are Manapools branded. Remember to drop by and pick something to take home with you.

What to take with you

-The Park is generally remote and far from any business centre. The nearest shops and fuel supplies are nearly 100 kilometers away, therefore visitors should be fully equipped for their visit

-Strictly 4×4 vehicle

-Camping equipment for campers

-Mosquito & tsetse fly repellent,

-Enough food and fuel as there are no shops nearby

-Binoculars, Camera, guide books

 Firewood

Available for sale at the office and at Nyakasikana entrance gate

lodges

These are self-catering lodges with linen, cutlery, fridges and stoves. Visitors will have to bring their own food stuffs and particular drinks they prefer as only generic beverages are available.

For campers

Camping equipment if possible, picnics items, food stuffs,

Ablution Facilities are provided, and hot showers are available.

Exclusive campers.

Only a drop toilet and braai stand will be availed to those who would want to experience pure African wilderness in solitary.

Tour operators

These are private operators in Manapools. They offer similar activities, visitors will have to conduct them directly for booking.

Share with us about your experience at the Zimbabwe Parks and wildlife

..
 

Contact Details

Like us on facebook

Videos

Featured images of animals and the parks

WHAT YOU FIND AT OUR LODGES, CHARLETS AND CAMPSITES.

Book for a facility Online with ease

Web Design MymensinghPremium WordPress ThemesWeb Development

Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.