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Game counts down in Mana Pool?

Cleveland, Ohio
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Game counts down in Mana Pool?

My wife and I have been researching a trip to Mana Pools. On another forum I follow, there are comments that game counts at Mana Pools are down compared to past years. That has discourafed me a bit. Anyone care to comment?

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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1. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

The game count is organised over a weekend early-mid September. Last years count was made 13-16th Sept. I visited Mana in the 2nd week of October and based on previous visits at this time of year (11 over the last 14 years) the weather was unusually cool, there was plenty of grazing / browsing, and most notably, water standing in inland pools where I have never seen it standing before.

Game numbers certainly seemed to be down on the area of the park adjacent to the river (where most visitors spend most of their time) - in hotter, drier years, game numbers soar in Set / October due to lack of food / water inland. Based on no more than the observations I note above, I would say that games numbers were down last year as many animals remained dispersed far from the river.

Maine or Africa
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2. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

When are you planning on visiting Mana Pools?

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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3. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

Zimbabwe game parks are mostly not fenced. Animals move depending on rainfall.

Game counts are also not always accurate. They are usually done from the air (not sure about Zim), and you can only count, what you can see i.e. what is not hiding beneath a bush or a tree. If the vegetation is thicker than normal, less will be seen. Game Counts really only give rise for concern when they show a significant reduction over a number of years.

Mfuwe
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4. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

The Mana Pools game count is done by 160 volunteers made up 37 teams who walk across the flood plain on north–south transect lines 500m apart. The aim is to count all the game within the 250m zone either side of each team. Each team walks four different transects and each transect is counted four times.

Edited: 4:16 am, March 31, 2014
Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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5. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

What luangwablondes said!

The Mana game count has been running since the mid 90's in this consistent and (as far as is possible over a long weekend) rigorous manner.

It is noted in the summary of results that "The annual counts show stable or slightly increasing populations of most species. There are marked annual variations and the relationships between these and rainfall, food supply and other factors are being studied."

Results can be seen here:

http://www.managamecount.co.zw/results.html

6. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

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Port Elizabeth
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7. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

Interesting info whyone - especially from my perspective as I saw 11 lion in one pride in November/December and they only seem to have 14 regulars (am I reading that right?). So I nearly saw them all!

Mfuwe
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8. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

At the same time, across to the other side of the country, Hwange is doing their game count.

Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

Tim, we are planning for late August or early September. We would likely visit other parks such as Hwange, Matsuadona, and/or perhaps Chobe as a short hop from Victoria Falls. I'm also interested in South Luangwa in Zambia, tho one of my guide books suggests its already getting hot there in September? We are not the sort of folks that like to jump around and see "as much as possible." We'd rather just make a few stops, stay a bit longer at each, yet still have a variety of experiences. We are active people, so I think at least a walking safari is in order. And we woud stay at lodges, not camping. As someone who has never been to Southern Africa, its quite a challenge to develop an itinerary. Its a question of prioities, going to a few parks, not a bunch. We'll have just under three weeks for this holiday. If you have ideas, please pass them along. Thank you. Tim Stevens, Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
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10. Re: Game counts down in Mana Pool?

luangwa blondes, greetings. So there is a game count in Hwange as well, what does it show? Are results published for the Hwange count as they are on the website noted above by Whyone is Sussex, which is very interesting? Thank you