Located right in the heart of the historic triangle composed of Bagamoyo, Pangani, and Zanzibar, Saadani National Park boasts an impressive 1100km square, making it one of the most expansive and majestic wildlife sanctuaries in Tanzania. What makes Saadani even more special is the fact that it remains the sole wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania that directly borders the sea. Due to its unique location, the climate is typically coastal, decidedly hot, and slightly humid – perfect for exploring and soaking up the sunrays. Get ready to revel in a genuinely unique blend of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally exhilarating setting. Wildlife enthusiasts will be particularly delighted to know that over 30 species of larger mammals are present in the area alongside various reptiles and birds. If you are fascinated by the ocean, you’ll be glad to learn that there are over 40 species of fish, green turtles, and even humpback whales and dolphins to admire.
If you are keen to gain insight into the rich history of Saadani National Park, then it may interest you to know that it was gazetted in 2005. The park incorporates a preserved ecosystem that includes the former Saadani game reserve, the former Mkwaja ranch area, the Wami River, and the Zaraninge Forest. Notably, various villages exist around the borders of the park, lending it a sense of community that makes any visit feel like a homecoming. Before being included in the national park, the Zaraninge forest was managed by the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) with the primary goal to preserve the high botanical diversity of one of the last remaining coastal rainforests found in Tanzania. So, if you’ve been wondering where to head out to for your next leisure trip, Saadani National Park makes for the ideal choice.
Saadani National Park can be reached by road, air, or sea. To drive, take a rough 271km road from Dar-es-salaam – Mandela village via Chalinze town. Daily buses commute from Dar-es-salaam/Bagamoyo/Saadani to Tanga City and Mkwaja village. From Tanga, it’s a 3-hour drive via Pangani River on a public ferry. Alternatively, light aircraft can fly passengers to Mkwaja or Saadani airstrip from anywhere in Tanzania. Finally, Saadani can be reached by boat from Dar-es-salaam, Tanga, Pangani, Bagamoyo, and Zanzibar. Note that travelling in the southern parts of the park may be difficult during the rainy season (March-April), so it’s best to check road conditions before travelling.
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Take a boat safari at Wami Delta and see hippos, Nile crocodiles, water birds, and mangrove vegetation. Visit Madete area to see green turtle breeding site. Explore Mafui sandbank island for snorkeling and sunbathing. Take a walking safari on natural trails in Saadani. Enjoy day and night game drives to see animals. Relax on the pristine beaches of Bagamoyo and Tanga and witness the sunrise.
The Park has different types of accommodation for both Residents and Non-residents visiting the park. Rest house is available near the beach while Bandaz is located along the beach. Single rooms for couples with outside dining and fully equipped kitchens are also available. Special campsites are Kiwandi, Kinyonga and Tengwe. Public campsites are also available along the beach of Saadani.