I do hope that you are all fabulously well and have had another splendid weekend. Here in the Luangwa, well I am going to leave you in suspense of what has been happening here because this week we are heading over to John’s Camp to catch up with Fergus Mansfield who is currently at John’s Camp for the season. Over to you Fergus:
It’s been a long two years dealing with Covid-19, we’ve had to reshape the way we live and travel, we’ve missed having our beloved international and local guests. But with so much change, there is one thing that has gladly remained constant – the beauty and serenity of Mana Pools!
John’s Camp, our beautiful 12-person tented camp in the heart of Mana Pools, right on the floodplains of the Zambezi, finally re-opened in 2022 after a long stint of closure since from the pandemic and so far we have welcome back guests from all across the world, who were looking to take in some of the best wildlife in Africa.
Not only have guests been welcomed back by the incredibly friendly staff, but our rotating daily and nightly residents of lions, elephants, eland and hippo have been in full voice, reminding us what makes safaris in Africa, and especially Zimbabwe, so special.
You can jump on sunrise and sunset game drives with our experienced guide, Mark Van Zuydam – who has over 33 years of experience guiding, canoeing and walking Mana Pools – and spend many glorious hours exploring the park in your vehicle and on foot, getting sightings of predators like our famous African Wild Dogs (also known as the Painted Dogs), who have been made famous from the BBC’s Dynasties series, several prides of lions, leopards, hyenas and even the rare sighting of the park’s cheetah population.
There is plenty of other wildlife to take in, including the incredible standing elephants, which are unique to Mana Pools and one other park.
If birdwatching is more your thing, Mana Pools has you covered with regular sightings of a wide variety of eagles and other birds of prey, humongous storks, emerald-coloured Lillian Lovebirds, singing Hoopoes and just about every aquatic bird that you would expect to find along the length of the great Zambezi river that runs through Congo, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
What makes Mana Pools so special is the extra care that is taken to ensure animal conservation. Several park rules and etiquettes are put in place to ensure that the wildlife can flourish and rival the wildlife of the Serengeti, Masai or any of Zambia’s national parks. Whilst game drives at night provide excellent viewing of nocturnal animals, the Mana Pools national park does not allow any vehicles to travel after 6pm, this is to ensure that the abundant wildlife has a chance to play out their nightly routines without the interruption of people and vehicles that may hinder their hunting or survival efforts. Off-roading driving is also forbidden, in order to protect the pristine bush and diverse flora that makes up the park, instead guides will park up and will take you on an incredible walking safari to get closer to the wildlife, without encroaching unnecessarily. All of these measures contribute to an incredible experience where you can truly have the most authentic safari experience in Africa, seeing how animals have existed and behaved long before safaris became a thing.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this whistle stop tour of Mana Pools and its wildlife, geography and conservation measures Our tents, staff and nightly visitors are excited to welcome everyone back to John’s Camp and the whole of John’s Camp!”
Absolute bliss – thanks so much for sharing this with us Fergus, we are so happy that John’s Camp is back in full swing and that the animals are showing off to all the guests. Also special thanks to Nathan Willi for the wildlife shots.
We cannot wait for more updates as the season progresses. For now though I am going to bid you all a very fond farewell for today and hope that you all have a fabulous week ahead with plenty of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after one another.