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Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is a very unique place. Palm trees sway alluringly in the cool ocean breeze. White sand is continuously kissed by sparkling blue water. Traditional dhows sail slowly past the shore and Swahili fishermen cast nets under the rays of a brilliant red sunrise. Wildlife meanders across the sand. Here is where the bush meets the beach and two very different worlds come together to make a beautiful whole.

Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to feature coastline on the Indian Ocean. It possesses gorgeous white sands that make it an ideal spot for sunbathers. Be aware, though, that peaceful hours of soaking up the sun may be interrupted by an elephant strolling past or a lion coming to drink.

The park has been protected as a game reserve since the 1960s. Unfortunately, Saadani suffered greatly from illegal poaching until the 1990s. Recent years have seen a decrease in the illegal hunting of wildlife in the sanctuary due to the integration of adjacent villages into the conservation drive.

A wide range of grazing animals is commonly seen on game drives and walks through the park. These include giraffe, buffalo, warthog, waterbuck, reedbuck, hartebeest, wildebeest, greater kudu, eland, sable, yellow baboon, and vervet monkey. Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in the diversity of life to be seen in Saadani.

Herds of up to 30 elephants are encountered with increasing frequency, and several lion prides are resident, together with leopard, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come with a high chance of sighting hippos, crocodiles and a selection of marine and riverine birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo, while the beaches form one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on mainland Tanzania.

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