How to get to the Mana Pools in Zimbabwe
Most likely you will enter the country from Victoria airport (VFA), just a short distance from the town of the same name - Victoria Falls.
The remote “Mana Pools National Park” is located in the northern part of the country, aprox. 388km from Harare and far from any human settlement.
Alternatively, you can fly to Harare International Airport (HRE) directly from VFA and drive from there.
- You wont be able to drive in the park any other vehicles from November to April except 4WD (if you even will be granted to enter it, as at this time of year the park is closed to strictly limited access)
Most people fly into Mana Pools Airstrip from Kariba, although charters can be booked from other destinations in Zimbabwe.
- Also you can send an email to Wilderness Safaris (they run these places) and ask them about transport availability. Most likely they will have shuttle services and options to help you plan, especially as they are running safari company and logistics is what they do
- As alternative – I can recommend flying to Harare from Joburg and renting a car there. Places as Wild Geese and Imire are good choices to stay for a night or two. Ask them to pick you up from the airport. Most likely they have a tourist service for you to see the sights of Harare, too.
- Then get your place booked in Mana Pools and plan your way to the park, either a road shuttle or a flight. You can drive yourself there but if you haven't been before, I wouldn't recommend this because driving in the national park to get to the camp could be tricky, challenging and hard.
When to go
- The best time to visit the park is between May and September, however the best game viewing is between late September and early October. Although this time of year is not recommended due to the intense heat - temperature reach up to 38°C or higher with extreme humid.
- Between December and March the park is usually closed
- Mana Park is home to the biggest concentration of Hippos and Crocodiles in Zimbabwe. You might also enjoy the herds of Elephant and Buffalo. Zebra, Baboons and Waterbuck are also regularly seen in the area.
- A walking safari is an incredible experience where you will be able to walk through the wild bush on foot with a guide and view animals only a few meters away.
- The largest of the pools is Long Pool and has large populations of Crocodiles and Hippos in it and is watering hole for Elephant
- A canoe safaris is considered to be one of the best ways to experience the game reserve. It also can be combined with walking safaris, especially in the rainy season.