Forgotten Mana

This week's Forgotten Region takes us north-east of Lake Kariba into the Zambezi Valley to Mana Pools. Measuring 2,196 square kilometres in length, Mana is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.


This large area is without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move where it will, making this part of Zimbabwe possibly the wildest and most beautiful.
The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language, aptly naming the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River which are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Long Pool, the largest of the four pools extending some six kilometres, has a large population of hippo and crocodiles. It is a favourite for the large herds of elephant drawn out of the densely vegetated areas in the south to satisfy their insatiable thirst.
Mana Pools is third in size after Gonarezhou and Hwange National Park and is home to over 350 species of birds and most of the region’s larger species of mammal, including the “big five”. Accommodation in Mana Pools extends from private, more luxurious safari lodges to well equipped National Parks lodges and campsites. The National Parks lodges all have a bathroom and shower with hot and cold running water; a fully equipped kitchen with stove and deep-freeze and all utensils.
The campsites are equipped with communal ablution blocks with hot showers, but visitors to these sites need to be fully self-equipped and prepared to cope with the remoteness and solitude of these unique camps. Various luxury options are available from [email protected] and Venues4africa.com ZW team.
Rated by the Getaway magazine in 2006 as the 5th Best Park in Africa, Mana experiences include unique guided and self-guided walks in this renowned World Heritage Site as well as canoe and fishing safaris. So if you are still dreaming of catching that record Tiger Fish why not make it a reality? Visit Mana Pools National Park and see for yourself why this park is a corner stone of Zimbabwe’s rich heritage. Venues4Africa.com
[email protected]


Tafika on the Lower Zambezi
The newest Zimbabwean-based camp on the lower Zambezi, Tafika Lodge offers discerning fishermen and women the opportunity to experience some of the finest tiger fishing in Southern Africa. Situated approximately 15km upstream of the mouth of the Mupata gorge, this 14-bed camp nestles under a forest of Tamarind and Leadwood trees. Seven brick-under-thatch chalets, each carefully positioned for complete privacy, are well situated so as to give the most amazing views of the river. The décor is simple; rich teak dressed with earthy pinks, browns and cream. Open gauze and wire windows stretching almost from the floor to the thatch form the whole of the front wall as well as part of the side walls. This gives maximum view and also allows circulation of the cool air coming off the river. For those who prefer to contemplate the beauty of the Zambezi River in seclusion, two large teak chairs are conveniently placed on the thatched verandah. At the back of each chalet, a stylish en suite bathroom provides all the necessary facilities for the client’s comfort.
Every evening, a fire is built on the front patio area of the lodge. Open to the stars but partially sheltered by Tamarind trees, this is a perfect place to sit in the evening, relax with a sundowner in hand; enjoy the company of friends; boast about the day’s fishing exploits or sit quietly star-gazing. A swimming pool next to the lodge provides a welcome respite from the heat during the warmer months.
Access is either by road or air. We recommend an air charter from Harare, which, depending on the type of plane, takes between 40 minutes and an hour and a half. The airstrip is a mere 15 minutes drive from camp. Air charters can be arranged by Tafika. The drive into camp is for the adventurous only – is a long, hard eight-hour drive from Harare via the National Parks office at Marongoro, near Makuti. A four-wheel drive vehicle is mandatory as there are two large sandy river beds to cross en route to the camp.
For rates and availability on both camps, please contact Julie on 011 606514 or Paul on 091 236703 or email [email protected].
Winner of Dinner for two at Amanzi – Mr. T Dada
Winner of Dinner for Two at The Lodge, Wild Geese – Gabriel Vusanimuzi Nkomo

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