Travel Idea

Hwange and Mana Pools

Untouched wilderness


Zimbabwe is one of Africa's best safari destinations. With travel confidence restored, it remains untouched, unspoilt and has some of the most charming and hosts on the continent. It is also home to two of Africa's greatest national parks, Hwange and Mana Pools.

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Combining a trip to Victoria Falls with time in Hwange and Mana Polls is the ultimate itinerary, and if time allows, Zambezi National Park and Lake Kariba are worthy additions too.

Ben Nelson

Hwange National Park

Located in the northwest corner of the country, covering more than 14,600 square kilometers or 1,460,000 hectares, it is known for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife.

Wildlife: The park is home to a wide variety of animals, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and numerous bird species. Hwange is renowned for its large elephant population, making it a prime destination for elephant sightings.

Vegetation: The park also features diverse landscapes, including grasslands, woodlands, and savannas.

Conservation Efforts: The park has been actively involved in conservation efforts, including anti-poaching initiatives and community engagement programs. Conservation organizations work collaboratively to protect the park's wildlife and ecosystems.

Cultural Heritage: In addition to its natural wonders, Hwange has cultural significance. The area has historical sites with ancient rock art, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Accessibility: Hwange is easily accessible by road from major cities in Zimbabwe. The nearest airport is Hwange National Park Airport, which allows for air travel to the area.

Acitivity: Visitors to Hwange National Park can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and bird watching, experiencing the rich biodiversity of this African wilderness.

Best time to go

June to early November are considered the best months, with game viewing improving as the year goes on as the water inland becomes more scarce, so the animals naturally migrate to the bountiful river and pools of Mana. Towards the end of the year, the terrain does look very dry and in need of rain.

See The Big Five

A term coined by big game hunters to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The "Big Five" consists of the Lion, the African Elephant, the Cape buffalo, the Leopard and the Rhinoceros.

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Mana Pools

Mana Pools National Park in the Middle Zambezi Valley covers an area of 2196 square kilometres (848 square miles) extending from the Zambezi River in the north to the escarpment in the south. 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 kilometres. These extend several kilometres back from the river where, on fertile terraces huge mahogany and acacia trees cast luxuriant shade. Today Mana Pools, 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.

Mana Pools Wildlife

Here there are thousands of zebra, kudu, eland, impala, and other antelope species flourish among which the lion and the leopard, the hyena and wild dogs find easy pickings. This sanctuary is also home to 16,000 buffalo and more than 12,000 elephant and over 380 bird species.

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