Saadani National Park Tanzania

Saadani National Park Tanzania

Saadani National Park was gazetted in 2003 and is the only park in Tanzania with ocean frontage. The park is unique to the rest of East African combining a variety of ecosystems. Some of them include; bush, beach and the river. One can easily view some animals as they come down the beach.

The park has plentiful games including the giraffes, hartebeest, waterbuck, wildebeest, buffalos, hippos, and crocodiles. It’s possible but harder to see lions, leopards, and the sable antelopes.

The game drives in the park are as rewarding as are boating safaris along the Wami River. At the river estuary, flamingos fill the salt pans; and the river is a birder’s paradise. To the north of the park is a green turtle breeding beach. This is currently supported by the lodges in the park.

Saadani National Park’s coastal location is ideal if you’re looking for both bush and beach in one destination. It is the only bush-meets-beach wildlife sanctuary in East Africa making it wonderfully unique and worth a visit if your route permits.

At 1100km-square, Saadani is a comparatively small park. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for with the variety of safari it offers as well as the diversity of its terrain. Saadani is steeped in history, located in the center of Bagamoyo to the south, Pangani to the north, and Zanzibar to the east. Relics of a long trading and cultural history can be identified, with a keen eye, around current small settlements and even within our Simply Saadani Camp. The coastal and river location features mangroves and salt flats.

A fantastic area just south of Simply Saadani Camp is the salt flats and the location of Babs’ Camp in the elephant Island private conservancy. This is a superb area for foot safaris where one can get out of the game drive car and wander the salt flats studying the myriad animal prints.

The park is home to about 30 species of large mammals including elephants, lions & buffalo. In fact, one unexpected discovery over the years is the huge herds of elephants that move together. The park might have lower numbers in total with fewer herds but greater numbers per herd making an elephant sighting here spectacular.

As well as healthy lion prides and large elephant herds, there are decent numbers of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck as well as smaller antelope such as red duiker and bushbuck. A boat safari here is something extra to make a visit to this park well worth it and never fails to please. Enjoy your picnic lunch amongst fantastic hippo pods and crocs lounging on the banks of the Wami River.

Expanding the diversity of this park further is the Madete marine park which forms part of the park and preserves the endangered green turtle. The best time for hatchlings is July through to September and a wonderful thing to witness as the baby turtles hatch and immediately take to the enormous

The Indian Ocean probably never to return to the beach of its birth for up to 50 years.

The unusual mix of this park with the salt flats, Indian Ocean, white sand beaches, Marine Park, river, and mangrove makes this an incredibly diverse and special place which can be explored by car, on foot, and by boat.

Size of Saadani National Park Tanzania

Saadani National Park is Tanzania’s 13th National Park. Tourists can view animals basking along the Indian Ocean shores. It has an area of 1062 km2 and was officially gazetted in 2005, from a game reserve which had existed from 1969. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea.

Location of Saadani National Park Tanzania

The park is situated between Dar es Salaam (200 km, 4 hours) and Tanga (75km, 3 hours) and borders the mainland coast. The Saadani National Park is home to a variable mix of both marine and mainland flora and fauna

How to get Saadani National Park

Saadani is the closest wildlife park to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. It’s a 4-hour car journey from Dar and a 30-minute flight. From Zanzibar, it’s a short 20-minute hop by plane over the Zanzibar channel, making this an obvious, easy, and less expensive safari destination and an obvious combination with Zanzibar beach.

Things to do in Saadani National Park Tanzania


Canoeing on the Wami River is an extraordinary activity that everyone should do while visiting the national park.


Swimming in the Indian Ocean is very great after a long day on safari in the park

Bird watching

Great birdlife in the area and on game drives you can record an incredible number of sightings.

Cultural experience

Visiting communities around the park can be arranged and you will have the opportunity to share the unique tradition of the people.

Boat cruise

A boat cruise on both the river Wami and the Indian Ocean to see wildlife and the sunset can be arranged and the experience is unforgettable.

Guided nature walks

Guided nature walks to see some of Africa’s big game is one of the highlights of visiting Saadani national park.

When to visit Saadani National Park Tanzania

The dry season of late June through October makes it easier to spot wildlife here that tends to gather around the various water holes scattered across the park. However, the Green Season months of January and February are a lovely time to visit when many young are born.

Where to stay in Saadani National Park

There is quite a selection of accommodation facilities and some of the picks include 1.saadani park hotel, 2. Saadani safari lodge, 3.Saadani river Lodge, 4.Tanganyika coastal Lodge.


Canoeing on Wami River
Swimming in the Indian Ocean
Birding safaris in Saadani national park
Cultural visits in Saadani national park
Boat cruise in Saadani national park
Guided nature walks in Saadani national park


How to get to Saadani national park


4 Days Saadani national park safari
6 Days Saadani and beach safari
7 Days Saadani beach and birding safari


Best time to visit Saadani national park


Saadani park hotel
Saadani safari Lodge
Saadani River Lodge
Tanganyika Coastal Lodge


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