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Zimbabwe's Mana Pools

October 16, 2018

There is no place on the planet that summons up a deeper and more stirring nostalgia within me than Zimbabwe. Everything that we do at ROAR AFRICA is subconsciously informed by the unscripted and uncontrived bush experiences I had growing up. And what a childhood it was, from water skiing on crocodile-infested Lake Kariba to an unlikely friendship with a lioness. A highlight were our holidays at Mana Pools, a landscape that offers a true Zambezi Valley experience. It’s a wild and pristine place on a wide stretch of the Zambezi river where four inland pools (mana in Shona) have formed oxbow lakes famed for canoe trails and walking safaris.

I am thrilled to report that guests are now able to explore this area by way of the Greater Mana Expedition from Great Plains Conservation. This incredible experience became a reality back in December 2016, when Great Plains was awarded this former hunting concession and they immediately started the implementation to transform this stunningly beautiful land into a prime wildlife reserve.

So magnificent is this wilderness area that it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It was a move that further cemented the area’s importance locally and internationally, contributing towards a conservation ethic that saw the opening of a new 120,000 hectare wilderness area this year, called Sapi Private Reserve. The importance of Sapi Private Reserve is best understood by its location in the center of not only the Greater Mana World Heritage Site – with Mana Pools National Park to its west and the Chewore Reserve to its east – but by its proximity to Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park directly opposite, with 22 miles of private Zambezi River frontage – ensuring that wildlife is now able to move freely through a huge and contiguous wildlife area. This is an outstanding feat for conservation in Zimbabwe.

Every second day of the month, between May and November, the Greater Mana Expedition, a six-night, seven day journey of adventure takes place in three distinct camps. Each of the camps has just three accommodation units, taking just six guests with the same highly-skilled Zimbabwean professional guide throughout. Guests not only explore the Sapi Reserve, but they also have a day in the neighboring Mana Pools National Park. Guests focus on getting back to nature with guided walks, canoeing, boating, and catch-and-release fishing. Whilst the first and last of the three camps are authentic, tented bush-camps-with-style on the banks of the Zambezi, the middle camp is set deep in the interior, a raised tree-camp, with star-bed platforms that overlook the dry bed of the Sapi River. This is your opportunity to see pangolins, lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo, and wild dogs, amongst a variety of other animals. Not to mention the stunning landscape.

To learn more about this incredible new experience in Zimbabwe email welcome@roarafrica.com.

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