Updated: Aug 16, 2021
As the sun rises, you are wakened by a distinctive call of fish eagles as well as the sounds of different bird calls fill the air. The baboons give a loud bark whilst still roosting in the tall trees. As you walk around, you will see the herd of impalas running away. This and many others, are what you wake up to every morning in Mana Pools. Each morning is unique on its own and you are reminded that you are in the wilderness.
Mana Pools National Park is situated in Zimbabwe’s Northern Region, on the banks of the Zambezi river, on the Zimbabwean side. The name ‘Mana” means four in Shona and this refers to the four large pools found in this area which normally hold water all year round. The meandering Zambezi River at Mana Pools is dotted with sandbanks, channels, islands, and oxbow lakes, illustrating nature’s geographic process in carving out landscapes as we come to know them. Viewing from the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi, you cannot help but notice the high escarpment made up of Zambia’s mountains, which give a stunning panoramic backdrop to the river. The landscape on its own is breathtaking with assorted trees, wild plants and flowers.
Because Mana Pools is quite remote, it is only accessible either by air (charter planes) or by boat transfers. If one prefers to go by air, they will use charter planes like Wilderness Air and their journey would start from either Harare International Airport or Victoria Falls Airport. Those who prefer to go by boat transfer can drive to Chirundu, the Border Town between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and from there they will be transferred by boat to Mana Pools.
The Ultimate Glamping Experience
As you arrive at Mana Pools, you are greeted by friendly staff, who check you in and accompany you to your luxurious room.
This amazing destination offers stunning accommodation in the form of tented camps which give a breathtaking view of the river. The camps are each unique, with different features and amenities. They are all solar powered which is beneficial to the environment.
Ruckomechi comprises of ten spacious and beautifully decorated en-suite tented camps, including two family rooms. The camp's central living space includes an inviting firepit for pleasant evenings under the African stars. Another unique feature includes a pool which overlooks the river. There is also a romantic Star Bed which is close to a busy waterhole. This allows couples to fall asleep while watching the stars and wakeup to a safari view of animals drinking water. Ruckomechi is very intimate, with an up-close and personal experience with nature.
Little Ruckomechi Camp,
This camp is located within the private Ruckomechi Concession. The small cottage style camps, with modern contemporary interiors, provide a gorgeous view of grazing animals and an exclusive safari experience. The living and dining room tents offer an incredible view of the Zambezi river.
This camp’s seven modern glamping tents look out over an open floodplain and the broad Zambezi River and the great Rift Valley in the background. Chikwenya Camp is a photographer’s paradise. The camp is surrounded by a dense forest of trees, which provide deep shade in the heat of the day.
Each camp has a dining and living area for guests to relax and enjoy their meals as they absorb the breathtaking scenery. Breakfast is served in the morning with continental options, before the first activity. Brunch is then served just before midday, afternoon tea before the second activity of the day, and then dinner in the evening. Guests also carry packed snacks with them as they embark on their various activities, which will be eaten during sundowners. This is a when they stop during their activity to watch the sunset. It is the most breathtaking part of the day; one dare not miss it.
For those who prefer self-catering, there are also some chalets provided by Zimbabwe Parks and Recreation, as well as some remote campsites for those who appreciate an authentic camping experience. However, this National Park is unfenced so guests should be aware of wild animals roaming freely around the accommodation areas at any time of the day. Fortunately, guests will have experienced safari guides who escort them to their rooms especially at night. As scary as this may sound, guests will have the opportunity to have an up-close and personal experience with the diverse wildlife such as buffalos, elephants, impalas, kudus, bushbucks, hyenas, and even lions and leopards, just to mention a few of the wild animals that make up the amazing ecosystem of Mana Pools.
In Mana Pools there is so much diversity of wildlife and a very rich in birdlife. This National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its beauty and pure, unmitigated wilderness. As an untouched Eco-tourism safari destination, the activities conducted in this National Park give one an unforgettable wilderness experience and will bring the adventurer at heart very close to nature.
This place truly is a paradise for those who are into photography. Guests can enjoy activities on both land and water. Land-based activities include game drives, guided bush walks, and bird watching. Water-based activities are catch-and-release fishing, canoeing, and boat cruises.
So, if you are looking for your next encounter with untamed Africa, visit Mana Pools and fall in love with the uniqueness of this remote destination. Those who have been can attest to the fact that this will be a trip you will never forget.