Mana Pools National Park is one of the lesser known gems of African wildlife reserves. Located along the Zambezi River between Lake Cahora Bassa and Lake Kariba, Mana Pools is one of the most watered parks in Africa, especially during the rainy season. Because of this it boasts some of the highest concentrations of Hippopotomi and Crocodiles anywhere in Africa. Mana Pools has been designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area along the Zambezi River has soared in the popular imagination ever since Stanley and Livingstone explored it in the 19th century. Constituting some of Africa’s richest wetlands, the Mana Pools area remained largely unpopulated and largely undeveloped. Only the construction of a hydroelectric damn impacted the area, prompting its protection as a national park. In 1984 Mana Pools was designated as a World Heritage Site in order to further discourage human encroachments.
Mana Pools has a wet season and a dry season. During the wet season, much of the park floods and then large numbers of hippos and crocodiles reign supreme. During the dry season, when the watery areas shrink down to a handful of smaller lakes, migrating herds of elephants, buffalo, zebras and antelope can be seen passing through. Unfortunately, poaching remains a large problem here, and some animals, notably the black rhino, can no longer be found in the area.
Mana Pools National Park is located along the south bank of the Zambezi River at the extreme northern end of Zimbabwe, approximately 150 miles northwest of Harare. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.zimparks.org (official website).