Mana Pools Zimbabwe

One week in November in Mana Pools Nationalpark in northern Zimbabwe. Visiting in dry season, a 4wd wasn’t necessary but the extra clearance of a Pickup / Ute might be handy anytime of the year. The road sneaking down into Zambesi valley is notorious for truck crashes and frequent road closures – there are several bushtracks though enabling you to take the (more or less short/rugged) bush detour. The locals not always mind and sometimes take those tracks with their sedans – we’ve been happy to be some of the chosen few who could rely on a high clearance pickup truck while doing the bush convoy passing by several troops of baboons and some really huge rocks. But no matter what car you’re driving, the corrugations of the entry/exit road might take the toll of one or two screws of your beloved (rental) vehicle.
Mana Pools is famous for it’s “No-Fence-Policy” meaning there aren’t any obstacles separating people and wildlife. Moreover, you’re even allowed to walk around wherever you want (at own risk) which offers tremendous opportunities of wildlife encounters both in the beautiful acacia forests and at the shores of the mighty Zambesi river. We haven’t been brave enough to leave our car for more than 200m but even that was well worth it.
Our homebase, Nyamepi Campsite, was also heavily trafficked by wildlife: ellies, buffalo, velvet monkeys and baboons every day as well as the occasional hippo and hyena during the night kept us well entertained. Some extra wood on the campfire kept two lions away when they settled down for the night 40m from our tent – you’ve got to love Mana.

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