Mana Pools National Park
After tumbling dramatically over Victoria Falls, the Zambezi continues its journey to the Indian Ocean, but it’s a rather different beast. Above the Falls, the Zambezi is broad and slow, but by the time it reaches Mana Pools National Park it begins to create a labyrinth of pools, islands and sand bars.These features are largely submerged when the river level rises after the rainy season, but as the dry season progresses, the river retreats from the floodplains and animals are drawn to the pools of water that remain.One of the best ways to explore Mana Pools is by canoe (steering around the hippos and crocs, which occur here in great numbers). One of the most remarkable experiences you can have here is to approach elephants on the river bank by canoe, as you will be looking up at them – a completely different perspective to most other sightings! Mana Pools is also renowned for walking safaris (which can be combined with canoe excursions) and the beauty of its teak woodlands. It’s also one of the best places in southern Africa to see wild dogs.