Harare, Lake Kariba & Mana Pools

About Harare, Lake Kariba & Mana Pools

Those that travel to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, will find a laid-back city of wide, tree-lined boulevards, parks and gardens. The National Gallery is a highlight and houses traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean art, including the famed Shona stone carvings found at Great Zimbabwe. 

Mana Pools National Park in the north of the country is on the southern bank of the Zambezi River and is a pristine wilderness area of floodplains, riverine forest and woodland.  The river and the four ("mana") pools which are remnants of old river channels attract large numbers of animals including elephants, buffaloes, numerous antelope species, hippos and predators such as lions, leopards and wild dogs.  With few camps, this remote park provides an exclusive safari experience and for those with an adventurous side, there are opportunities for walking safaris and canoeing trips, either for a few hours or even for a few days, camping in tents on the river bank.  Mana Pools is a superb safari destination and its beauty and wildlife have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. 

When the Kariba Dam was completed in 1958 the resulting Lake Kariba which straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe became one of the world's largest man-made lakes. It has long been a popular playground for fishing, particularly for the fighting Tigerfish, and for spending a few days on a houseboat enjoying the serenity, views, prolific birdlife and game viewing. Matusadona National Park extends inland from the lake with game-rich floodplains, woodland and rugged mountains and is home to elephants, predators and a variety of antelope species. Game drives and boat trips in the company of experienced guides allow visitors to experience this beautiful part of Zimbabwe on both land and water.


  • This unique Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site based on its superb wildness and beauty
  • Immerse yourself in the remote wilderness of Mana Pools, one of the worlds most preserved ecological areas
  • Canoeing safaris and walks are popular and allow a different perspective of the wilderness
  • Tigerfishing on Lake Kariba
  • Boat trips to explore the islands and inlets of Lake Kariba to view game
  • The bird life in the Mana Pools and Kariba is prolific and rewarding for bird enthusiasts. Bring along the binoculars for a day out on the Lake, or exploring by canoe to spot the feathered rarities


  • Elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, eland, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog, hippo, wild dog and prolific bird life
  • Tigerfish in Lake Kariba. Fantastic bird life with over 350 recorded species including the iconic African Fish Eagle, Kingfishers and Hammerkop


  • April to November - This is dry season offering peak game viewing time
  • November to March - This is rainy season, Kariba and Matusadona remain open but Mana Pools is closed 

In The Know

    • Mana Pools is only open from April to November and has limited accommodation so book early
    • Prepare for up-close animal sightings on the water, on game drives and on foot
    • Lake Kariba is a popular sports-fishing destination and fisherman will be delighted with the energetic Tigerfish which is the prime catch

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"We had a great trip to Zimbabwe, everything worked out well. Both camps were amazing. We liked that none of the camps had more than six tents and that none of them provided public wifi which forced you to relax and be away from it all. Fantastic -we will definitely return." - Mr & Mrs Fonseca

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