Saadani National Park is the only wildlife habitat sharing borders with the ocean in the whole of East Africa. Its bushes are met by the waters of the great Indian Ocean, offering holiday makers that visit this park a chance to relax on the sandy coast of the ocean as they watch various birds and animals along the coast line. The bottlenose dolphins are normally seen off the southern coast, while in several whales go through the Zanzibar Channel. Moving on north at Madete, there is a breeding ground for the green turtles.

The Saadani was first opened back in 1962 as a game reserve, however, in 2005, it was declared a national park, and today it’s the latest national game park to be listed on Tanzania’s portfolio. Its ecosystem comprises of the former Mkwaja ranch area, river Wami and the Zaraninge Forest. Currently it covers a total area of 1100 square kilometers and a shore line of 15 kilometers making it the thirteenth (13th) largest national park in Tanzania. Although part of the park touches the sea, its highest point is at an altitude of 350 meters.

The park is situated 130 kilometers north of the city of Dar es Salaam, between Pangani and Bagamoyo. It is surrounded a number of villages including Saadani village a once very busy port town as well as market for slave trade; which today remains a basic town with about 800 people whose livelihood majorly depends on fishing.

Waterbuck Saadani
Waterbuck in Saadani National Park

The coastal vegetation of this park comprises of palm trees, and a tidal mangrove-forest which forms a barrier between the ocean and the land. Moving on inland of the park is semi-open woodland that resembles that in the Selous Game Reserve, a grassy area and River Wami all offering safe habitat to the park’s wildlife.

The Saadani National Park is one of the very unique paradises on the African continent where the wild jungle meet with the ocean’s beaches. This rewards tourist opportunities to unwind on the beautiful beaches, swim and explore the plant and animal life found both on the mainland as well as in the ocean. It is a very beautiful natural scenery.

Best time to Visit Saadani National Park | When to go

The park can be visited all year round. However for the best wildlife views we safari supremacy recommend our guests to visit during the dry season which starts in June and ends in June when the vegetation is thinner and visibility is good.

The park generally experiences a tropical hot climate with the average annual temperature range between 25⁰C to 27⁰C, however during the day it drops to an average range of 20⁰C to 24⁰C.

So June and September are the best months to visit the park.

How to get to Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park can be accessed either by air transport or by road transport.

If connecting from Dar Es Salaam city, there is a good tarmac road covering about 160 kilometers that will take approximately three (3) hours taking you through Chalinze and Mandera village until you eventually reach the Mvave Park. From there, there is a 65 kilometer rough road that will take you to the headquarters of the park. Those from tanga town can reach the Mkwaja park gate after a 4 to 5 hours’ drive.

If using air transport, there are flights connecting from Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

Accommodation in Saadani National Park | Where to stay

The park has various accommodation facilities inside and around its boundaries varying from the budget, mid-range to the luxury facilities. They include the luxury lodges like Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge, guest houses, campsites and the basic bandas.

Activities in Saadani National Park | What to do?

A safari in Saadani national park offers tourists a number of different tourists activities among which are:

Game drives: these start very early in the morning as well as in the afternoons so will get a chance to see different animals such as Lions, zebras, spotted hyena, sable antelopes, buffaloes, big-eyed Rondo Galago, elephants, waterbucks, wildebeests, warthogs, giraffes and hartebeests. You  can sample our 3 days Saadani National Park that starts from Dar es Salaam.

Bird watching tours: there are guided birding tours conducted within the park as well as on the shoreline which is normally visited by various migratory birds.

Guided nature walks: the nature walks give you a better opportunity to have an up-close experience and encounter of the flora and fauna in the park.

Boat Trips: there are boat trips conducted on River wami during which you will see crocodiles, hippos, and birds like the greenshank, the Eurasian oystercatcher and the flamingoes

Visit the Fishing villages: you will have a trip to Saadani village a lively local trading center were you will see very many fishers.

Sun Bathing: the Saadani beaches offer tourists an opportunity to sunbathe and relax at the end of the end of their safari in the park.

So if you are interested in exploring Saadani National Park, contact us today as we Safari supremacy have specialized in organizing tailor-made Tanzania Safaris  and Tanzania Holidays not only in southern Tanzania but across the rest of Tanzania and Zanzibar as well.