Why visit Mana Pools National Park?
Mana Pools? What is that you might ask? Where is it situated?
I am going to try to explain why Mana Pools is the place to go to if you want to experience something extra next year.
Most people have never heard of Mana Pools. This national park is situated in Zimbabwe and that might mean you back away directly. This I find a little sad because you will then miss a true gem on the African continent.
Mana Pools is a place that most die-hard safari goers have on top of their bucket list. It is easy to understand why if you know what Mana Pools has to offer. I hope I can shed some light on the subject in this blog post.
Mana Pools is situated along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River acting as the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a dramatic landscape physically protected by the Zambezi river to the north and the steep escarpment to the south. This provides shelter for a healthy population of animals which concentrate on its flood plains.
Some facts about Mana Pools
The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are associated with these pools.
As one moves northwards towards the Zambezi River from the forests on the Karoo sediments, the vegetation changes to open Faidherbia albida woodlands on the old river terraces. This type of vegetation give the area a unique and a surreal light that filters through the tree canopy giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere. Here, you might be able to find the big Elephant bulls standing on their hind legs. You won´t find these type of bulls in many places on the continent.
On the old river terraces you can walk unaccompanied by guides. The visibility in the open Albida woodland is good and there is little danger of expectantly coming across wildlife. This is a unique privilege that you don´t find elsewhere. It is not something I recommend as it is much better to do these excursions together with a knowledgeable ZimPro guide. You will find truly exceptional guides in Zimbabwe due to the long training they have to conduct to earn their marks. I am not 100% sure of the length, but I think it is four or fives year of training. ZimPro guides are dedicated professionals in my eyes.
I hope you now have a better feeling for the area and that you are grasping the uniqueness that you won´t find elsewhere.
A photo expedition to Mana Pools
The aim with my photo expedition is to explore Mana Pools together with a small group of people. The setup will give us plenty of time to explore the area. Just the fact that you will be inside the national park for eight days will be hugely beneficial towards our goal of giving you the best possibilities to get the unique photos that only Mana Pools has to offer.
We want to meet most animals on foot as we aim to do most of the photography during game walks. Low-angle photography is not common in Africa as most pictures are taken from inside a vehicle. That tend to give you a background that is too close, which is bad for photography.
Our aim is to give you the opportunity to improve your skill in the field of photography. The emphasis will be hands-on photography instruction while shooting in the field. There will be no classroom sessions, no slideshows or lectures and most important of all no big egos.
You can read more about the expedition here: Zimbabwe Magical Mana Pools
If you have any questions then please send me an email.