WATCH: “He warned us not to go outside”, A Zimbabwean’s Lion Encounter At Mana Pools

Zimbabwean entrepreneur and festival organiser Walter Wanyanya, shared his unforgettable experience at Mana Pools, one of Zimbabwe’s largest game reserves. Wanyanya, who visited the tourist destination with the band Mokoomba, shared that while they slept, five lions hunted and killed a buffalo right in front of their chalet.

“If we had got out we would have walked right onto the breakfast table of this woman [female lion] here”, Wanyanya narrates in a video shared as part of the thread.

Here’s the full thread below:

A few friends and I spent 3 nights in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, I couldn’t share the pics, here coz there is ZERO network there and you really don’t need to be in touch with the rest of the world while you are out there, anyway
Zimparks and African Bush Camps hosted us.

We started off the trip by car from Harare to Chirundu, then from Chirundu we got on a boat on the Zambezi River to Mana Pools National Park which is located in the northern region of Zimbabwe, on the southern banks of the Zambezi River, the park is a UNESCO world heritage site.

If you drive to Mana Pools and you have a car that is suited for the off-road terrain you can turn into the park, drive up to the camp but our car wasn’t built for that so we took the boat.On arrival we met Kuda our professional guide from African Bush Camps, the man was ready.

This was a trip taken as a time out / work vocation with the band that @marcusgora works with called Mokoomba, the band tours extensively all over the world, and gets to raise the Zim flag on some of the biggest stages and they have a unique opportunity to sell Zim.

Music group, Mokoomba, at Mana Pools

As part of that work and partnership with Zimparks we had to experience one of Zimbabwe’s and Africa’s most loved Safari destination that has been preserved for the vast numbers of animals that roam this land, with over 12000 elephants, lions, hippo, leopard, hyena, it’s magic.

Kuda picked us up, he took us to a few camps around the park and we had our very sign that this trip was going to be a very unique experience. At one of the camps run by African Bush camps, we had refreshments before we were taken to Nyamatusi Camp where we would stay.

Walter Wanyanya at Nyamatusi Camp inside Mana Pools

This time of the year because it’s the dry season and the animals move closer to the river for water so many elephants and other animals are found around campsites near the river, anyway as we had drinks waiting to go to our camp we witnessed an elephant give birth and wow.

Oh the park is named Mana Pools because ‘mana’ being the Shona word for ‘four’, the park has four pools which provide an abundance of water and which in turn attract a number of big game and result in some stunning game viewing. So the park is named Mana Pools meaning 4 pools.

After a few drinks and a drive through the park Kuda takes us to our home for the next few days. Nyamatusi Camp right on the banks of the Zambezi River, this camp is operated by African Bush camps and I wasn’t ready for what was ahead.First a warm Zimbabwean welcome party.

Nyamatusi was build using all natural materials and is fully solar-powered,off the grid and everything here is done with preserving this park and the animals first and foremost, it has six luxury tented suites with killer views of the Zambezi,outdoor shower, pool, it’s heaven.

You wake up in the morning and you have the Zambezi River right in front of you. It’s insane. I love Zimbabwe.

After that long car ride,the boat ride,the game drive ,the arrival of a new baby elephant it’s time to rest. Kuda briefed us that we don’t walk around the camp without a guide coz LIONS. They have radios in each suite for comms and they are all on standby 24 hrs a day it’s safe.

Our first night was awesome, incident free but we could hear all sorts of sounds through out the night, hippos right outside walking and yes it’s the ultimate safari experience, nothing that I have done before prepared before for the second nights experience, for now breakfast.

The team at this camp is the best I have experienced in hospitality so far, they think of EVERYTHING even before you ask for it. Kuda picked us up and we came to the dining, bar, breakfast, hang out,pool all purpose area, it’s incredible how they have managed to build this here.

I don’t know what else they do to make this peace of heaven on earth any better, I really don’t because Becks and his team went all out and everything you need when you are out here is here. ZERO cell signal cos you don’t need that. You are here to relax and have a good time.

After we had lunch it was now time for a game drive. Kuda took us around the park and we then ALL, I left Mana Pools with about 15 GB of photographs and videos, all I am sharing now is stuff from my phone only, if you love the outdoors,animals etc Mana Pools and Nyamatusi is IT!

As we drove back from the game drive about 1 km from camp we saw lions “relaxing” under the trees and Kuda our guide said the lions are hunting, what kind of hunting is this under a tree, he warned us to be extra careful at camp. “What could possibly happen” I thought to myself.

Oh on the game drive Kuda drives good a carefully chosen “safe” spot right by the river for late afternoon WHATEVER, tea, coffee,whisky, shampopo, those Safari Toyota trucks have EVERYTHING from guns to medication, they are always prepared. Hospitality like no other.

Struggling to make sure I show you everything,so much to share.The boys and I definitely had a good day, after dinner Kuda again warned us about the lions that are on the hunt near the camp, he was to pick us up at 530 for another game drive the next day.Bed time day 2

So at 5 AM, Kuda is calls on the radio and he is outside, he is early! no, he is here to give us a warning not to go outside until it’s safe to do so, he would come again in 30 minutes to get us, the lions from last night killed a Buffalo right outside our suite, WHAT IS THIS

I heard the “sounds” etc during the night so I thought it was the hippos walking around again but this time thou the sounds were kinda different and lots of movement, ignored it and slept through the night only to discover the lions dinner still fresh outside our suite #TIA

I won’t lie I was sacred. These aren’t zoo animals. Real lions that are very wild. This was an experience and a half, Kuda and all the guides carefully told us what to do to not disturb them and stay safe, 5 lions killed this thing buffalo and they are about to feast on it.

This was something out of those documentaries. Lions feeding right there. Wow wow wow wow Kuda took time to explain everything, they will eat the guts first because the guts decompose faster and If that happens it attracts other predators, vultures, etc incredible stuff. #fearFace with tears of joy.

So we left for our early morning game drive and when we got back, miss no tail lion was still feeding,the other 4 were nowhere to found, Kuda said they are around we just couldn’t see them, they will feed on this buffalo for days, we had to adjust ourselves around them from now

When they tell you stories about the different experiences you can have in Zimbabwe believe them, it’s crazy wild out there, so much to see and experience. This for me is one memorable one. Glad I documented it all. Zimbabwe is a world of wonders that for sure. We are blessed.

That Zimbabwean sunset is unmatched, and out here it comes with natural effects, no need to edit clips in snap chat etc the sun shines differently out here. THIS is Zimbabwe my home, we have much to work on and improve but let’s not forget how blessed we are already.

Much gratitude and thanks to Mr Dube and team from Zimparks. our amazing guide Kuda and all the staff at Nyamatusi. To the amazing people that work the hospitality industry in Zimbabwe, thank you for hosting all our visitors with such grace. You make us as a people look good.

All Photos by Walter Wanyanya

More: Walter Wanyanya on Twitter

Back to top

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


RSS Recent Profiles Created

Satisfaction survey
How likely is it that you would recommend Pindula News to a friend or colleague?
SuggestionsHow can we improve?
You have already submitted your feedback. If you would like to add more feedback please write us on hello@pindula.com.