Zambia Mana Pools National Park

Many travellers fall in love with UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mana Pools National Park, in northern Zimbabwe.

That may have something to do with the scenery – a series of pools on the Zambezi River floodplain, an escarpment backdrop, semi-arid plains sprinkled with baobabs. Or the wildlife – all of the major predators (including African wild dog) are present and commonly seen here, with a full suite of prey animals for them to choose from.

But in my experience, what makes Mana Pools especially thrilling is that here you feel like you’re a part of the food chain. That’s because Mana Pools is one of few major parks in Africa where you are free to go walking wherever you want around the park, including without a guide. Canoe explorations are also popular.

Zimbabwe safaris

An expert guide to the best safari camps in Zimbabwe

I first came on safari in Zimbabwe in 2003 and I’ve been coming back as often as I can, in my role as a travel journalist and guidebook author. When it comes to Zimbabwe, the question people most often ask me is: why? In a region of safari big-hitters, what makes Zimbabwe stand out from neighbouring South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana?For me, safari in Zimbabwe has always felt like a double-concentrated version of the Southern African experience. The country is considerably smaller than its neighbours, with a small but elite portfolio of national more

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