Mana Pools is one of my favourite wild places, especially because of the abundant wildlife and incredible scenery. The magic of Mana is hard to define, however. There’s something deeply meaningful about this place.
It may have something to do with the Zambezi River…all that energy, life-force and freshness, flowing alongside a massive floodplain full of albida and mopane forest, with elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, impalas, zebras, leopards. The cast of characters is endless, and the script to this epic wilderness is being rewritten every day. Always something new happening, always something to admire.
I’ve been treated to some heart-shifting moments on my recent, short trip. Great sighting of a leopard, then a pack of wild dogs, and of course, the elephants in camp. And I made friends with guide Honest Siyawareva, who is one of the best guides I’ve met, and one of the nicest too. And the flight into Mana was spectacular in itself, because of the aerial views of the floodplain. We also went on a short, but brilliant night drive. Below are few random photos from the rest of my time at Little Ruckomechi in the Wilderness Safaris concession in the northwest of the famous national park. I will be back, soon, to immerse myself in the magic of Mana!
I honour and respect all the rangers and committed people who have done so much to protect this sacred place. Someone like Tendai Sanyamahwe, a ranger who spends most of his time on patrol in the escarpment, where temperatures and conditions are challenging, to say the least! And many more, largely unrecognised and unacknowledged rangers, who give so much, for so little financial reward. Other people I’ve met who have inspired me enormously…John Stevens, Norman Monks, Dick Pitman, Stretch Ferreira, the team at Wilderness Safaris, African Bush Camps and so many other smaller safari operators…and again, the rangers, who patrol every day. Much respect.
They need help, however. Elephant poaching in the Zambezi Valley has soared, and some estimates suggest that 40% of the elephants have been poached in the last ten years. Best thing to do? Go to Mana! Your presence and your tourism money goes a long way to ensuring that Mana is properly protected and managed.