The essence of the experience
Remote and beautiful, Mana Pools is famous for its walking safaris. With the park’s sparse vegetation allowing for good visibility and relatively relaxed wildlife, you can expect close encounters with species such as elephant, wild dog and even lion, something rarely encountered anywhere else in Africa. Walking safaris have been conducted in the area since the park opened in 1963, so many animals have become accustomed to seeing humans exploring the area on foot.
Many of the river terraces are covered with sparse woodland, where the lack of undergrowth means that visibility is good and the danger of encountering wildlife unexpectedly is low, so that travellers are frequently able to walk alone. However, the best way to experience the magic of Mana on foot is with an experienced guide who knows the local wildlife and can get you to within a few metres from a variety of animals.
Elephant, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboon, monkey and zebra are all species that are regularly encountered on walking safaris. Incredible elephant encounters can be had on foot, as many of the guides known individual animals well enough that they can get guests very close on foot, sometimes even coming up to the elephants while they are standing on their hind legs, stretching to reach the last remaining seed pods from the tops of the albida acacia trees. Other guides have come to know Mana Pools’ lions and wild dogs so well that they are able to approach them relatively closely in safety, a truly unprecedented experience.