There are certain destinations in Africa that just have to be on your bucket list, and Mana Pools is without a doubt one of those destinations.
This beautiful park nestled in the the Lower Zambezi Valley, has been documented across all social media platforms and has become famous for its breathtaking Albida Forests and the gorgeous golden light that passes through it in the early morning and late afternoon hours.
Naturally I was extremely excited to head back to Mana Pools with six guests, none of whom had been to Mana before. If you haven’t been to Mana Pools, it is so different. Firstly the ability to approach big game on foot willingly is something to get used to, mostly not for the potential dangers that go with it, but purely not having to feel guilty for doing so. Secondly, to work the Albida forests at the right time of the day, with the right subject in order to maximise your photographic opportunities can also take a few days. For the first few days first time visitors are totally overwhelmed! Everything looks beautiful as the golden light passes through the Albida Trees and I mean everything!! By day three everyone had a better understanding of Mana, and we slowly went about our business with certain photographic goals in mind.
From a game viewing perspective, Mana is not really known for producing mind-blowing sightings of big cats. We did however come across two male Lions who had taken down a young elephant on our first afternoon. The photographic opportunities weren’t great, but it was a reminder of how wild this area can be.
There are a few things that Mana Pools is known for however. As I mentioned before the beautiful golden light passing through the Albida Forest, Elephant Bulls standing on their hind legs, the beautiful Zambezi River with the escapement in the background and of course the endangered African Wild Dogs.
During our 5 nights at Mwinilunga we were fortunate enough to capture most of the “Mana Magic” scenes, with most of our time spent looking for the famous Bulls who stand on their hind legs (its just an image you have to try and capture when you are in Mana) as well as working the forest during the late afternoons, photographing anything from Waterbuck to Vervet Monkeys. We were also fortunate to get a few good sightings of African Wild Dogs and although the original pack had split up, the little pups still provided us with endless entertainment.
Here are some of the images that our guests managed to capture during the 5 nights in Mana Pools.
Jaco Marx ( Instagram: jacomarx)
Devin Springer (Instagram: devinspx)
Alice Peretie (Instagram: alice_peretie)
Karthik Ramamoorthy (Instagram: ungal_nanban)
Until next time…