Palm trees sway in a cool ocean breeze.
White sand and blue water sparkle alluringly beneath the tropical sun.
Traditional dhows sail slowly past, propelled by
billowing white sails, while Swahili fishermen cast their nets below a
brilliant red sunrise.
Saadani is where the beach meets the bush.
This is only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to boast an Indian Ocean
beachfront it possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical
coastline and islands so popular with European sun-worshippers.
Yet it is also the only place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be
interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the
Protected as a game reserve since the 1960s, in 2002 it was expanded to
cover twice its former area. The reserve suffered greatly from poaching
prior to the late 1990s, but recent years have seen a marked turnaround, due
to a concerted clampdown on poachers, based on integrating adjacent villages
into the conservation drive.
Today, a surprisingly wide range of grazers and primates can be seen on game
drives and walks, amongst them are giraffe, buffalo, warthog, common
waterbuck, reedbuck, plus the hartebeest, wildebeest, red duiker, greater
kudu, eland, sable antelope, yellow baboon and
monkey, quite an extensive list I think you will agree
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 hippo’s, crocodile’s and a wide selection of marine
and river birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo,
while the beaches form one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on
About the Saadani National Park
Size: 1,100 sq km (430 sq miles)
Location: On the north coast, roughly 100km (60 miles) northwest of
Salaam as the crow flies, and a similar distance
southwest of the port of Tanga.
What to do
Game drives and guided walks.
Boat trips, swimming.
Visit Saadani fishing village, which lies within the reserve, where a
collection of ruins pays testament to its 19th century heyday as a major
When to go
Generally accessible all-year round, but the access roads are sometimes
impassable during April and May.
The best game-viewing is in January and February and from June to August.