Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. It's a place of amazing beauty...with ancient forests filled with Ana and Acacia trees, floodplains with huge termite mounds, iconic wildlife and of course, the Zambezi river coursing along its northern border.
The place has a primal feel to it...it really made me feel like I was walking in a piece of Africa that time had forgotten, something reminiscent of the Africa described by legends like Livingstone and Hemingway. I was awe-struck and inspired by every moment of my 4-day stay.
One big advantage for photography here is that you are allowed to leave your vehicle and explore on foot. This obviously creates the opportunity for some very unique images and angle on your photos...but this is not something to be done without the presence of someone who knows African wildlife behaviour and how to react to potentially dangerous situations. We had amazing encounters with African Elephants, African Wild Dogs, a large male Lion and many more.
Here are a few images to try and convey what I experienced...
My photographic companion on this trip was Marlon du Toit, who plies his trade as a FGASA Level 3 Guide/Ranger in the Singita group (currently at Singita Sabi Sands). Our host and guide was Will Jansen, whom I can highly recommend for his knowledge of the area, his hospitality, his personality and just about everything he did to get us there, in the right spots for the best shots, and safely back again.
Unfortunately, there are a number of severe threats to this pristine location...the most notable being the granting of mining exploration rights (in classical dubious African fashion) for heavy mineral deposits in two tributary rivers along the Park's borders. Read more here at the official Avaaz petition, and please do sign your name, as this will go some way towards creating awareness and a call to action from the various role-players. This place deserves to be protected for future generations, and it deserves to be left in this primal pristine condition!
Until next time...keep those cameras ready!