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Saadani National Park

Incomparable Luxurious Safaris to Africa's Top Wildlife Viewing Parks

Saadani is a one of a kind paradise where beach life meets wilderness. This gives you not only the opportunity to plunge into the Indian Ocean straight after your safari, but also to be submerged in a unique display of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a naturally fascinating setting.

 Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the Indian Ocean. Gazetted in 2005, it encompasses a well-preserved ecosystem including the former Saadani game reserve, the former Mkwaja ranch area, the  Wami River as well as the Zaraninge Forest. Many villages are dotted around the boundaries of the park. Saadani village itself once was an important harbour—town and slave-trading centre in East Africa. Nowadays it is a small Swahili village of about 800 inhabitants whose livelihood is mostly fishing.

Bird watchers will be treated to not—often—seen migratory birds that love the shore

 The coastal vegetation zones range from seashore full of palm trees, through the tidal mangrove forest that form a buffer between ocean and land, to the Wami River shore where the huge sycamore fig is found. Its semi open woodlands closely resemble Selous game reserve, while the vast grassy area close to the tourism office is named ‘Serengeti Ndogo’ (Small Serengeti) and lives up to the expectations.

Saadani is where crab meets elephant and the roar of a lion might interrupt your tanning. All the usual suspects, such as zebra, buffalo, elephant, warthog, giraffe, wildebeest and waterbuck are present. But you also stand a high chance of capturing different types of hartebeest, the big-eyed Rondo Galago and the elusive sable antelope on camera during your jeep or walking safari. Lion, leopard and spotted hyena might be harder to find, but this makes a sighting an even greater joy.

The vast grassy area is named ‘Serengeti Ndogo’ (Small Serengeti) and lives up to the expectations

Taking a boat on the Wami River will definitely add to the fun; here you are as close as one likes to get to hippo, crocodile and flamingo. Birds watchers will also be treated to not-often-seen migratory birds that love the shore, such as different kinds of sandpiper, Eurasian oystercatcher and the common greenshank. On the beach you get to enjoy even more special sightings; breeding green turtles - Saadani’s beaches are one of Tanzania’s best breeding sites - with dolphins and humpback whales putting on their show in the Indian Ocean beyond.

  • Starting as a Game Reserve in 1962, Saadani became the 13th National Park in Tanzania in 2005.
  • Since the nineties several new areas have been added to the park, resulting in the Saadani ecosystem that covers 1,100 km2 (around 15 km shoreline). From south to north it stretches 69 km.
  • Height: the majority of the park is at sea level. Although the highest point is 350 m, most elevations don’t go beyond 40 m.
  • Tides: spring tides of up to 1,5 m can flow inland.
  • Saadani has a tropical, hot climate with an average temperature of 25-27 °C all year round (30 °C daytime, 20 - 24 °C night-time).
  •  Dry season: July — September, wet season: November — May (less rainy in December — February)
  •  Best time to visit: June - September.
  • The park is accessible by road or air.

 

What to do

Game drives, boat trips, guided hiking, bird watching, sunbathing and visiting the Saadani fishing village which used to be a buzzing trading centre.

Saadani National Park