Located in the centre of the historic triangle of Bagamoyo, Pangani and Zanzibar, Saadani National Park covers 1100km square. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea. The climate is coastal, hot and humid. It offers a unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally fascinating setting. About 30 species of larger mammals are present as well as numerous reptiles and birds. Besides many species of fish (over40), green turtle, Humpback whale and dolphins also occur in the ocean nearby.
Gazetted in 2005, it encompasses a preserved ecosystem including the former Saadani game reserve, the former Mkwaja ranch area, the Wami River as well as the Zaraninge Forest. Many villages exist around the boundaries of the park. Before being included in the national park, the zaraninge forest was managed by the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) whose goal was to preserve the extremely high botanical diversity of one of the last coastal rain forests remaining in Tanzania.
Saadani National Park is located roughly 45km North of Bagamoyo. The park can be easily accessible through Wami River from Dar es Salaam via Bagamoyo when the bridge that is under construction is complete. However, currently in order to reach the park from Dar es Salaam one has to drive a 200km via Chalinze-Msata road.
From the north, one can reach the park from Tanga city by crossing Pangani River with a ferry (75km /3hours drive). Zanzibar Island is about 40km away from the park.
There is a daily bus connection between Dar-es-salaam and Saadani village as well as Tanga and Mkwaja village.
Transfer by air can be arranged to Mkwaja or Saadani airstrip.
NOTE; In rainy season (March-April), the muddy roads can make travelling in the southern parts of the park very difficult. It is advisable to inquire about the condition of the road before traveling.
TANAPA rest houses and bandas are available near Saadani village and at the park HQ at Mkwaja. There are several camping sites in the park such as along the nWami River (kinyonga), Tengwe and beach campsites.
There are other privately owned accommodation facilities inside and outside the park such as Saadani Safari Lodge, KISAMPA and a tent with the view.
Park Rules and Regulations
Because of the situation on the coastal part of Tanzania and many conflicting interests in the development of this region. Saadani National Park faces many threats to its survival. The most serious are poaching and ever increasing demand for land to feed a large and growing human population that border the park. Your behavior can be damaging as that of a poacher’s snare.
Driving off road where it is not allowed damages the fragile soils and plants of these sensitive ecosystems and can disturb species during critical breeding periods. You can help preserve Saadani National Park and its unique character by respecting our general rules and regulations hereunder:
- Keep to the 50kph speed limit. This is for your safety and the safety of the wildlife
- Driving at night is not allowed (7pm to 6am)
- Stay on the designated roads/tracks.
- Do not harass, feed or interfere with wildlife.
- Do not get out of/ stand on/ hang out of the vehicle near any animal
- Green Turtles are endangered and their breeding sites are limited. Do not disturb the adult, hatchlings or nests on the beach.
- Coral reefs are sensitive habitats for marine life. Do not break off or walk on the fragile corals.
- Leave all plants, animals, skulls, bones, rocks, or any object in the park where they belong.
- Do not bring any animal, plant and /or any object into the park
- Picnic at authorized places.
- Do not leave any trash behind: take it with you or dispose it properly.
- Extinguish cigarettes in your vehicle’s ashtray to avoid bush fire
- Do not start fire unless at authorized camps
- Remember that the park gates open at 6am and close at 6pm.