A F R I C A N F O O T S T E P S
Experience the real African Safari
Two of the resident bull elephants have the ability to stand up onto their bag legs in order to reach high into the tree canopy.
The elephants of Mana Pools are truly special.
MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK:
Mana Pools is a magical place situated in the north of Zimbabwe on the banks of the Zambezi River. It is a remote park far from any major town and it is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
Elephant, buffalo, hippo, eland, impala, zebra, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys and warthog are some of the herbivores to be seen regularly. Lions, leopards, cheetah and spotted hyena are present in the park, but due to their secretive nature more difficult to find. Sightings of leopard are never guaranteed when you go on safari in Africa, since they are very elusive animals. Therefore it is always very special if you do see a leopard.
The main attraction in Mana Pools is definitely the elephants. This is elephant country and you will be blessed with many sightings of these wonderful animals. Mana Pools has the most laid back elephants we have ever encountered and you must be very cold hearted not to fall absolutely in love with these gentle giants.
Mana Pools is the only national park in Africa where tourists are allowed to walk unaccompanied by guides. Walks should only be done in the open Albida woodland near the river terraces, where visibility is good and there is little danger of unexpectedly coming across dangerous animals.
The best time of day to do a game drive is in the early morning and the late afternoon. Just keep in mind that Mana Pools is not about ticking off sightings, but more about relaxing and enjoying the magnificent beauty of this park and soaking up the sounds of the wilderness.
Back in camp for the afternoon siesta there is always some entertainment in form of an elephant bull wandering through camp in search of fallen Albida fruit, or vervet monkeys trying to distract you long enough for their partner in crime to steel your afternoon snack.
Best months to visit: July - August - September
HWANGE NATIONAL PARK:
Hwange is Zimbabwe's largest game park and with an area of 14.600 km2 it is roughly the size of Switzerland. It is known for its large herds of elephants but it is also home to lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalo, giraffes, hyenas and wild dog. Over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species are recorded.
Wildlife is best spotted in the dry season when they gather around the shrunken water holes. Visitor number in the park are low which means you will have a high degree of privacy on your game viewing drives.
Hwange was declared a game reserve in 1928 and became a National Park in 1949. Before then the land was a hunting area and sadly the wildlife was slaughted by the thousands. By 1928 the wildlife was almost non-existent and the rhinos, both black and white, had been exterminated.
Due to the lack of water no larger number of wildlife migrated into the region and since water was a critical key to get wildlife back boreholes was drilled to create new man-made pans linked to the seasonal pans that already existed. Slowly the animals began to move back and today the number of elephants has grown to 30.000 - 40.000
Best months to visit: July - August - September - October
VICTORIA FALLS 'MOSI-OA-TUNYA':
The Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800's described the falls as 'Mosi-oa-Tunya', which means 'The smoke that thunders'
Situated on the Zambezi River forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In 1855 David Livingstone set out to visit the great waterfall of which he first heard of in 1851. Members of the Makolo tribe escorted Livingstone to the falls and he became the first person to spread the word of the existence of the falls to the western world on the 17th November 1855
"No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight" (Livingstone 1957)
He gave them their English name in honour of Queen Victoria.
The falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side where you can see the gorges face-on. It is truly a breath-taking experience to see this natural phenomenon.
Best months to visit: June - July - August - September