Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park

Eastern Circuit

Saadani National Park

National Parks 1,062 km² Eastern Circuit, Pwani, Tanga

Covering an area of 1,062 sq km (415 sq miles), Saadani National Park is sited on the north coast of Tanzania, approximately 100km North West of Dar es Salaam. The Park is home to a variable mix of both marine and mainland flora and fauna. Saadani is an ideal blend of island relaxation and safari excitement.

Saadani National Park is a one of a kind paradise with unique ecosystem 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.

The name Saadani has a close link to the Arab settlement in the area during the 19 Century. The name of a fishing village that, origin ally known as Utondwe which changed to Saadani. Saadani is such an important name in the country’s history since the time immemorial centuries or more, mentioned in chronicles of the Portuguese and notable travellers like Johannes Rebman, El-Masoud, Ptolemy, and Richard Burton among others. The historical Saadani leaves us with the evidence of not only visits of these travellers, but also of a former town which was once a trade centre coordinating overseas and hinterland bather trade, including slave trade.

Wide range of grazers and primates are seen on game drives and walks, among them include giraffes, buffaloes, warthogs, common waterbucks, reedbucks, hartebeests, wildebeests, red duikers, greater kudus, elands, sable antelopes, yellow baboons and velvet monkeys. Herds of up to 30 elephants are encountered with increasing frequency, and several lion prides are inhabitants, together with leopards, spotted hyenas and black-backed jackals. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come along with a high chance of sighting hippos, crocodiles and a selection of marine and riverine birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo. The beaches form one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on mainland Tanzania.

Boat Safari

Explore the wonders of the famous Wami River, a paradise for bird lovers and nature lovers. The Wami River is an example of overwhelming natural beauty, full of birds and wildlife.

The boat safari starts right from your lodge, as there are many hippos in front of the suites, and takes you from there to the river mouth. Along the way you see groups of hippos, many crocodiles, osprey, colobus monkeys and dozens of bird species. No trip on the Wami is ever the same.

Madete Beach and green turtle breeding site

The green turtle has one of the most substantial breeding populations in Madete Beach. 

Green turtle females lay their eggs along the shore before heading back into the water. A moderate season runs from January to March, with the peak months being July through November. 

There may be around 8 nests accessible during the season. The buried-egg incubation period lasts 45 to 60 days, following which the eggs hatch.

Zaraninge Forest

It is a lowland coastal forest with a closed canopy that is evergreen. Some endemic, uncommon, and threatened plant and animal species have been found in Zaraninge. During the dry season, it largely supports elephant life.

Mafui Sandbank

It is located in the park’s maritime section, where vibrant coral reefs serve as crucial breeding grounds for numerous fish species. Tourists love snorkeling, scuba diving, and learning about a variety of Indian Ocean living creatures while on the sandbank. The likelihood of witnessing dolphins and humpback whales performing in the Indian Ocean is extremely remote.

Visit Saadani Village and Slave Building Ruins

Visit Saadani fishing village, which lies within the reserve, where a collection of ruins pays testament to its 19th century heyday as a major trading port.

Saadani Village Slave buildings ruins is a site where slaves were held temporarily before they were shipped. 

Saadani National Park

Getting to Saadani National Park

By Air: Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha or any other major town landing at all seasons Saadani Airstrip in the South or Mkwaja Airstrip in the North.

By Road

  • 131km from Dar es Salaam via Bagamoyo off Makurunge to Gama Entrance Gate
  • 146km from Tanga via Pangani and Mkwaja to Madete Entrance Gate
  • 225km from Dar es Salaam off Chalinze and Mandera junction via Miono to Mvave Entrance Gate
  • On the Arusha – Dar es Salaam road, off Mkata Junction via Kwamsisi to Madete Entrance Gate 79km from Mkata to Madete.
  • On the north coast, roughly 100km (60 miles) northwest of Dar es Salaam, and a similar distance southwest of the port of Tanga.
Best Time to Visit Saadani National Park

Generally accessible all-year round, although the access roads are sometimes impassable during April and May. The best game-viewing is in January and February and from June to August. 

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