This unique park is a World Heritage Site, based on its wilderness and beauty, together with the full range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana pools are one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. Easily accessible by road from Harare or Lusaka (although you will need a good 4 x 4 for driving in the park) or by light air charter from Harare or any of the parks in Zimbabwe

The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago as it changed its course northwards. Hippopotamus, crocodiles and a wide variety of aquatic birds are associated with the pools. As one moves northwards towards the Zambezi River from the forests on the Karoo sediments, the vegetation changes to open Faidherbia Albida woodlands on the old river terraces. This vegetation gives a unique look to the area and a surreal light filters through the trees giving Mana Pools its distinctive cathedral-like atmosphere. The old river

Elephant, eland, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, zebra, warthog and hippo are some of the larger herbivores to be seen regularly on the river terraces as they come out to eat the fallen Albida fruit. Lions, leopards, spotted hyena and cheetah are present in the area, but their secretive nature seeing at least one of these large carnivores. Northwards, off the river terraces, is the mighty Zambezi River flowing sedately on its way to the Indian Ocean. Mana pool is 2,196 square kilometer in extent but is part of the 10,500 square kilometer parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.

This vast area is without physical boundaries, and the wildlife is free to move throughout the region even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

John’s Camp

The mana pools national park is situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River where you will find John’s camp nestled amongst canopies of Trichelia and Mahogany trees. It is a genuinely natural wilderness and the only wild, walking National park in Africa. Across the vast floodplain one can walk with the giants – our African Bull elephants, dine amidst herds of buffalo, gaze upon points of pride of lion, enjoy sundowners with hippos on the banks of the Zambezi River and bird watch over 400 species of birds. The camp comprises of 12 beds, made up of 6 twin or double en-suite Meru style tents, a common dining area and a stargazing sleep-out platform for the more adventurous safari traveler.

The camp

6 Meru style canvas tents under a double fly sheet make up the complement of 12 beds. Each tent has en-suite bathrooms facilities with flush loo and overhanging safari-style bucket showers. Inside the tent is a lit changing area complete with a running water basin. With privacy in mind, the tents are generously spaced out along the floodplain adjacent to the Zambezi River. The dining area is centrally located between the tents, positioned in the thick shade, and there is a campfire overlooking the floodplain for evening cocktails and snacks before dinner.

Activities at John’s Camp

Game drives: all conducted from Toyota Land cruisers, 9-seater bench arrangements on a 3-tier frame with an overhead shade for comfort, a ‘window’ seat (i.e., two people per row) for everyone.

Walking: All walks are led by professional, armed and licensed guides who are passionate and knowledgeable, Fly/Platform Night.

Guests can be genuinely wowed with a night under the stars sleeping in a ‘mozzie dome’ tent, away from the main camp, or spending an evening under the wild and magical Africa skies on our rustic platform.

Bush lunch: enjoy a delicious meal prepared in the main camp and set up in a remote and beautiful part of the park, overlooking either the Zambezi River, one of the many inland pans, a gully or the majestic floodplain itself.

Fishing: Land-based fishing. Catch a variety of species from the African Tiger Fish to the tasty Tilapia (bream). All Tiger are strictly caught and release, and we have a bag limit of 5 Tilapia per day.

Parks office and Village Tour: We can arrange a private tour of the National Park Headquarters where guests can interact with the rangers who work tirelessly to protect and maintain not only wildlife but also the park itself. Here guests will witness first-hand a remote parks station working in harmony with nature.

Changa Safari Camp

Lapped by the waters of Lake Kariba, shaded by mopane woodland and hidden from the world, Changa Safari Camp is an oasis of tranquility and an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Changa has been designed to blend in with the environment using natural materials. The camp furniture has been built using Zimbabwe’s most beautiful teak, and the bar has been fashioned around the hull of an old boat.

Features and Amenities

We have six standard tents which accommodate two people. The camp also has two sets of interconnecting family tents, which allow children to move freely between their shelter and their parents’ in complete safety and privacy.

Each one of the eight luxury tents has been created to reflect the environment, providing you with an authentic bush experience. The unique landscape surrounding Changa delivers each shelter with its breathtaking view of the unspoiled environment. Discreetly positioned in the front facing trees, are small sprinkles that may be turned on, inviting a flurry of feathers to your doorstep where you can watch the colorful birdlife darting in and out the spray.

Changa Safari Sunrise from the rooms

  • Each tent has been individually and tastefully decorated with an East African influence and come with:
  • An open netted front with views from both the bed and bathroom
  • Private deck with a seating area and a hammock under the trees
  • Bathroom vanity with double basins, separate toilet, and a shower and luxury guest amenities
  • Outdoor bathtub and shower, with candles and decorative tiles
  • Dressing table, with locally made mirrors and ample cupboard space
  • Universal plug points
  • Chilled water in a flask with glasses
  • Lockable safety deposit bag for all your valuables
  • Hairdryers on request at check-in

Changa Safari Camp

Things to do at Changa Safari Camp

There are several activities at Changa Safari Camp, providing guests with a choice of how they wish to spend their day. From early morning game walks, fishing for the famed Tigerfish and photographing wildlife whilst on a game drive – these are just a few of the adventures on offer. For those that want to take some time out to relax, you do not have to venture too far from the camp to see wildlife as there are regular visitors including elephants, bushbabies, monkeys, squirrels and on the rare occasion, a resident leopard.

Game Walks

One of the best ways to experience and feel a part of the African bush. Our professional guides have expert knowledge of the area and accompanied by them; you can be introduced to the Matusandona National park in a completely different way. Walks are best in the early mornings or late afternoons when it is not too hot. We recommend wearing neutral or “bush” colored clothing, and as the terrain can be uneven and rocky, comfortable walking shoes and socks are required.

Fishing

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest human-made lake, covering almost 5,600 square kilometers and this vast expanse of fresh water is home to some fantastic fish species including the famous Tigerfish, Tilapia bream, Catfish and the mighty Vundu. For most of the year, Lake Kariba is genuinely one of the highest places in Africa for fishing. For those guests who like to have a go at catching their lunch or dinner, your daily catch can be returned to you ‘a la’ snacks deliciously prepared for you by the chef. Fishing is available throughout the day, and we have experienced guides specifically for this activity.

Sanyati Gorge Trips

A short boat ride across the lake will bring you to the scenic Sanyati Gorge, where you can meander peacefully through the cliffs for up to 10km. The Sanyati Gorge is both unspoiled and undisturbed with an abundance of birdlife, the occasional sighting of antelope and great fishing. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars for this activity as the dramatic landscape will leave you speechless.

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