Set amongst fairy-tale forests along the shores of the Zambezi River, Mana Pools is an emerald city of sparkling greens & blues in the rainy season, & a golden cathedral of warm dappled light during the dry months. It's an enchanting environment of pristine African wilderness so achingly photogenic that you will want to return time & time again.


Mana Pools is a photographer's paradise; a place where the light varies dramatically throughout the day. Early morning is accompanied by the golden glow of sunrise; a warm, iridescent light that spreads through the park & signals for the diurnal creatures that they are back in the relative safety of daylight. Rich yellows, reds, & oranges catch the mists above the Zambezi River & bathe the park in an otherworldly radiance.

Then there's the afternoon light; spectral, filtered through the canopies of the large Faidherbia Albida trees, giving off a surreal quality. It's the kind of light you'd expect to float through a stained glass window in a towering cathedral, bathing the wildlife below in prismatic splendour.

The blue light of late afternoon gives way to the softer tones of dusk; resplendent rays catch dust kicked up by herds of & other hoof stock. The tangerine-tinted air starts to cool, & the animals of the day start to settle down for an uneasy night. The call of a fiery-necked nightjar signals the dipping of the sun into a black night — perfect for predators.

Mana Pools National Park is home to most of the common safari animals, including four of the Big Five. are abundant & there is a large concentration of lion & in the south of the park. The park is most known for its elephants; big bull elephants steal the show when they raise themselves up on their hind legs to reach the top of the trees.

Mana Pools has a very high density of wild dog. There are currently six packs with 100 adult dogs in the park. Seeing these social animals interact while on a hunt or while denning is a real treat.

Birders travel to here from all over the world to see much sought-after bird species such as the African skimmer, long-toed lapwing, Pel's fishing-owl, Rufous-bellied heron, carmine & black-winged stilt among many others. With nearly 400 recorded species of bird in the park, Mana Pools is full of birdsong.

What animals can you expect to see in the Mana Pools National Park?


Amongst all the wildlife of Mana Pools, the park is best known for its elephants. The high population of this colossal pachyderm are famous not just for their abundance & lack of aggression, but also for their apparent ability to defy the laws of gravity!

In the dry season, many of the lower, easy-to-reach vegetation has been stripped from bushes & trees all over the valley floor. What's left of the succulent branches of the Faidherbia Albida are far out of reach for even the largest of the park's mammals. However, the elephants have learned how to gather their weight below, & heave themselves up onto their back legs. This allows them to extend their reach & gives them access to the lush foliage at the top of the trees.

This is a behaviour unique to Mana Pools, & to witness it will leave you breathless, & in awe that these animals can so seamlessly lift their huge expanse. Like much else in Mana Pools, it's a truly magical experience.

Our base for this ten-night photography holiday is an iconic & intimate private tented camp located on a bend in the Zambezi River that offers simple elegance, old-world style & unpretentious luxury in the wilderness. Situated in a particularly game-rich area of the park, it is not uncommon to see as much wildlife in the camp as on the game drives.

When is the best time to visit Mana Pools?


The most desirable time for wildlife viewing in Mana Pools is during the dry season, from June to October. Animals are more apparent because the dry weather thins the bush & wildlife concentrates around the Zambezi River & the pools on its floodplains. Parts of the park might become shut off for vehicles during the Wet season (from December to March).
An image typical of those which we hope you will have opportunities to capture during the Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday

Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools Photography Holiday Itinerary

The following is the proposed itinerary for this photography holiday, it should be considered provisional & subject to change.
  • Day 1 - Assemble Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka - transfer to Hotel in Lusaka - overnight Lusaka
  • Day 2 - transfer to our camp alongside the Zambezi River - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 3 - Morning & afternoon photography safaris in the Mana Pools National Park - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 4 - Morning & afternoon safaris taking photographic opportunities with the wildlife of Mana Pools - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 5 - Morning & afternoon photography safaris in the Mana Pools National Park - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 6 - Morning & afternoon safaris taking photographic opportunities with the wildlife of Mana Pools - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 7 - Morning & afternoon photography safaris in the Mana Pools National Park - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 8 - Morning & afternoon safaris taking photographic opportunities with the wildlife of Mana Pools - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 9 - Morning & afternoon photography safaris in the Mana Pools National Park - overnight our tented camp
  • Day 10 - Morning & afternoon safaris taking photographic opportunities with the wildlife of Mana Pools - transfer to Lusaka - overnight Lusaka
  • Day 11 - transfer to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka - overnight Flight to home location
An image typical of those which we hope you will have opportunities to capture during the Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday

Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools Photography Holiday Highlights

We have taken care to refine the itinerary for this wildlife photography holiday; as such, we consider the following to be amongst the highlights of this tour.
  • Mana Pools has a large concentration of animals, including many carnivores
  • This national park offers spectacular sights, including elephants being athletic and showing off their flexibility
  • The national park contains over 300 recorded species of birds, including Pel’s fishing owl
  • Mana Pools offers spectacular views & encounters, including wild lion kills
  • The dry season, from June to October, offers significantly better game viewing experiences
  • During the dry season, wildlife regularly congregates on the banks of the river to quench their thirst
  • Our itinerary is scheduled for the latter part of the dry season
  • We offer a great guide to client ratio of 1:4
  • Single occupancy accommodation is provided at no extra cost to you
  • May be combined with our Fantastic Wildlife of the Chobe River photography holiday for those who want a longer trip
An image typical of those which we hope you will have opportunities to capture during the Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday
An image typical of those which we hope you will have opportunities to capture during the Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday

What Is Included & Excluded on the Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday?

If you have any questions about the following, please contact us prior to making a booking.

What Is IncludeD In The Cost Of This PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY

What ExcludeD FROM THE COST OF THIS Wildlife PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY

An image typical of those which we hope you will have opportunities to capture during the Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance – it is a requirement when booking on any wildlife photography holiday scheduled by NaturesLens that you have adequate travel insurance, we suggest a policy from TrailFinders or Campbell Irvine.

Camera Insurance

Insuring your camera equipment before embarking on any wildlife photographic holiday is crucial. Our trips often involve venturing into remote, & sometimes unpredictable environments where accidents & unexpected incidents occur. Insuring your camera gear provides financial protection against theft, loss, or damage, ensuring your investment is safeguarded.

Wildlife photography involves capturing unique & irreplaceable moments, & without proper insurance, any unforeseen mishap could result in significant monetary losses. By insuring your equipment, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you’re covered in case of any unfortunate events, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring world of wildlife & capture stunning photographs without worry.

We recommend PhotoGuard for amateur photographers or Glover Howe, who we use.

You are invited to join us for our ten-night itinerary to photograph the awe-inspiring wildlife of Mana Pools; the Bull Elephants, Buffalo, Hippo, Hyena, Wild Dog, Zebra, plus a plethora of other African Wildlife

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday is a ten-night duration event, that costs £8749 & takes place in Lusaka in Zimbabwe, between the dates of 21st September - 1st October 2024. It is ideal for photographing the fantastic African Wildlife of Mana Pools, including African Elephant, Bee-Eater, Buffalo, Eland, Hippo, Hyena, Impala, Leopard, Warthog, Wild Dog & Zebra. This photography holiday is led by David Miles for NaturesLens.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday is offered on a full board, single occupancy with no single supplement payable basis.

Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 6 participants & a maximum of 6, plus David.

We consider this to be a photography holiday requiring easy effort or exertion, if you have any questions about your suitability for this photography holiday, please contact us before making a booking enquiry.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday starts & ends at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. Transfers are included between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka & Lusaka then onwards to Mana Pools.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday requires a deposit of £1750 to secure a place.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday is a ten-night duration event, that costs £8749 & takes place in Lusaka in Zimbabwe, between the dates of 21st September - 1st October 2024. It is ideal for photographing the fantastic African Wildlife of Mana Pools, including African Elephant, Bee-Eater, Buffalo, Eland, Hippo, Hyena, Impala, Leopard, Warthog, Wild Dog & Zebra. This photography holiday is led by David Miles for NaturesLens.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday is offered on a full board, single occupancy with no single supplement payable basis.

Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 6 participants & a maximum of 6, plus David.

We consider this to be a photography holiday requiring easy effort or exertion, if you have any questions about your suitability for this photography holiday, please contact us before making a booking enquiry.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday starts & ends at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. Transfers are included between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka & Lusaka then onwards to Mana Pools.

The Awe-inspiring Wildlife of Mana Pools photography holiday requires a deposit of £1750 to secure a place.

NaturesLens photography holidays do not include flights unless it is explicitly stated on the event page. When it is time to book your flights, we will send you the details in plenty of time to allow for bookings at the best available price.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants in order to be viable. If this minimum number is not met, the photography holiday may not go ahead.

In the event that the minimum number for a photography holiday to go ahead is not reached, NaturesLens reserves the right to cancel any given photography holiday. In that event 100% of monies received will be returned. However, NaturesLens is not responsible for expenses incurred by its customers.

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling. International or western cuisine is often NOT available. If you have any concerns over the food arrangements or have any special dietary requirements, please contact us prior to making a booking.

All personal luggage are the responsibility of the owner & we request that photography holiday participants limit their luggage to the equivalent of one suitcase, one flight bag, one camera bag & tripod. We do not wish to appear dictatorial in this matter & the request is made to ensure space & comfort for everyone in our vehicles.

NaturesLens & its agents act only as agents for the passenger in all matters relating to travel arrangements, & as such, do not assume responsibility for injury, accident, damage, loss, delay or irregularity which may occur via defect of transportation or any other cause.

NaturesLens reserves the right to substitute hotels, & other previously outlined arrangements as necessary, to either improve or equal the travel experience.

NaturesLens reserves the right to pass on to photography holiday participants any additional & unplanned expenditure incurred during a photography holiday, via events beyond the control of NaturesLens. NaturesLens reserves the right to accept or decline any person as a member of any photography holiday.

Payment of deposit by photography holiday participants or their representative constitutes their acceptance of all conditions contained herein.

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.

NaturesLens

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