Spotlight on Hwange and Mana Pools National Park

This month we put the spotlight on two of Zimbabwe’s finest National Parks, each beautiful and unique.

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest game park. Its sheer size means that its scenery, vegetation and game vary hugely. 
The park is known for its large population of elephant and is very accessible. The highest numbers of animals are spotted in the dry season (August to October) when the wildlife congregates around the shrunken water holes.

Mana Pools National Park lies at the heart of the Zambezi Valley, where the Zambezi River meanders to the Mozambique border. It is a remote, beautiful place with spectacular views of the broad river, floodplains, riverine woodland and the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment. It is closed from January to March each year due to the rains.

Below is a summary of the main points of difference between the two:

Hwange National Park


  • Home to one of the world’s largest elephant population.
  • Located about an hour drive from Victoria Falls- easily accessed.
  • Accessible year round/
  • Hwange is not only Zimbabwe’s largest national park at 14,651-square kilometres and one of the 10 largest parks in Africa.
  • Known for hides alongside waterholes that allow you to view the many animals coming to drink.
  • Hwange is considered to be the most mammal diverse park in Africa with over 108 species. This is because it is the transition zone between the Kalahari and Mopane Woodland of Zimbabwe. Known for its large grassed pans where animals congregate.

Mana Pools National Park


  • A World Heritage Site.
  • Located in the extreme north of Zimbabwe.
  • Hard to access or closed in the rainy season.
  • Covers an area of 2196 square kilometres extending from the Zambezi River in the north to the escarpment in the south.
  • Water-based activities such as fishing, boating and canoeing are available.
  • Scenic with the escarpment of the Zambian side as the backdrop. From the landscape and photographic backdrop perspective, Mana Pools definitely has an edge.

Both Parks have a number of exciting new lodges, contact us to get the best rates and our full trip report on each of these.

New Lodges in Hwange National Park

  • Robins Camp a former National Parks Lodge has been refurbished and is under new management as a private lodge.
  • Verneys Camp is a private concession area in a typically un-used part of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

New Lodges in Mana Pools National Park

  • Chikwenya- the newest in Wilderness Safaris Camps situated on the eastern boundary of Mana Pools National Park.
  • Nyamatusi is the latest camp in the African Bush Camps Collection.