Most Unique Saadani National Park
Saadani Game Reserve was gazetted in 1964, covering an area of some 350 sq km from the Wami river in the south to the Mligaji river in the north, with the Arusha-Dar es Salaam railway line as the western boundary. Wildebeest, zebra and eland joined the resident populations including buffalo, elephant, giraffe, lion wild dog and the extremely rare Roosevelt’s sable antelope. Saadani is Tanzania’s only protected coastal wildlife preserve. i.e. only park with beach experiences. The reserve has since expanded to include a further 300 sq km of land north of the Mligaji. This is an important area containing the only permanent elephant population in the area as well as sable antelope. To the west of the old boundary lies the Zaranyingi forest, another important area for its variety of indigenous vegetation and animal and birdlife. This is also now included in the Saadani boundaries, creating a substantial reserve of 1,100 sq km (430 sq miles). In 2002 Saadani was gazetted to become Tanzania’s 13th National Park and it is hoped that the upgrade to National Park status will bring improved infrastructure development, access and anti-poaching activities, as well as the reintroduction of few animal species from other country’s parks.
Saadani is geographically the closest reserve to Dar es Salaam (130km) and Zanzibar, even considering the present situation of no coast road, it is still a similar distance in terms of time to Mikumi National Park, the next closest wildlife destination. Saadani is the closest wildlife destination to Dar and Zanzibar especially for families with children, will offer an irresistible combination of beach and wildlife viewing. Saadani also sits almost directly opposite Zanzibar’s Stone Town, located just 27 km away. Flights from Zanzibar to Saadani take just 15 minutes, making both day trips as well as longer stays an appealing and easily accessible wildlife option from Zanzibar, Arusha or Dar es Salaam.
Saadani is where the beach meets the bush. The combination of beach and big game is unique in Tanzania. It 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 one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole! Game numbers and visibility do not at present match the more popular parks in the north and south but, especially with the upgrade to National Park status, there is improvement in both aspects. The diversity of animals is comparable to many parks but numbers. Large game currently seen include giraffe, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, sable antelope, eland, hartebeest, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck, greater kudu, Oryx, warthog, mongoose, civet, serval, baboon, black and white Colobus, crocodile, hippo, three species of duiker as well as a great variety of birdlife. Saadani is dominated by acacia woodland, coastal thickets and miombo woodland. It also protects a large area of mangrove swamps around the mouth of the Wami river on the south boundary, and includes several species of palm including the mysterious looking ‘walking palm’, not actually a palm at all! Dolphins are sometimes seen offshore and whales pass through the Zanzibar channel on their migration. Of particular interest is the green turtle project at Madete, this endangered species is under particular threat from fishing practices offshore from Saadani and a conservation project has been established to help protect both turtles and their eggs.
Saadani National Park (SANAPA) is accessible by road, air and boat. Driving time from Dar es Salaam is roughly 4 1/2 hours. Pangani is about 1 hour drive north and from Arusha is a 6 hour drive. Saadani is the closest National Park to both Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. By air can take roughly 20 minutes from Zanzibar and 30 minutes from Dar.
When to visit:
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.
5 Day Tours to Saadani National Park and 5 days trekking in the Usambaras so called Galapagos of Africa is a wonderful moment to enjoy our best game drive, walking and boat safari that will enable you explore the unique parties of the country as Usambaras considered to be amongst the 23 hot sport biodiversity on the earth.
DAY 1: Arrival Arusha/Dar es Salaam-Saadani National Park
Transfer from Arusha, Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar to Saadani National Park, Game drive on arrival dinner and overnight at the lodge
DAY 2: Saadani bird watching and cultural tour
After breakfast bird watching by canoe on the Mafue River. Lunch at the lodge followed by late afternoon cultural tour to Saadani village. Dinner and overnight at the lodge
DAY 3: Mkwaja Saadani game drive
After breakfast half day game drives in Saadani. After lunch relax on beach. Dinner and overnight at the lodge
DAY 4: Full day game drive, boat safari on Wami River
With lunch boxes full day game drives and boat safari on Wami River. Dinner and overnight at the lodge
DAY 5: transferred to Lushoto for 5 days trekking, check inn in the Lawns hotel
DAY 6: 6-7hrs trek
After breakfast at the hotel, start walking with your packed lunch through the villages uphill to the Magamba rain forest and sleep over night at Papaa Moze Lodge in Lukozi. This is the day of trekking through the natural forest, home of black Columbus monkey, chameleons on the way and nice landscape. The lodge is basically local sharing the toilet but very clean.
Day 7: 4-5 hrs
Trekking through the villages of Manolo, Sunga, farming areas and spend the night at Rangwi sisters convent - lovely landscape and a chance to interact with the locals in traditional villages and learning traditional local way of living, visiting traditional irrigation practices by the shambaa. Accommodations are basic sharing the toilets.
Day 8: 6-7 hrs
Trekking through the villages, to pottery village for the workshop, visit traditional healer and learn about traditional healing practicing with local and along the escapement of the mountains to Mtae – World class (The world class view point is because you will view about 180 degree over the Tsavo west Kenya and Kilimanjaro), The name of the local guest house is Mwivano Guest house, This is basically local sharing the toilets but other Optional can be Mamboviepoint lodge see www.mamboviewoint.org, Lunch with Ernest family well known for best serving lunch, however our sheaf is travelling along with group throughout
Day 9: 7-8 hrs
Climb the roof of Usambara Mountains Shagayu peak 2400m. Trek through the Shagayu Forest home of black and white Columbus monkeys and back to Mtae for Overnight at the same guest house, Mtae as highlight is work spending another night by doing the peak.
Day 10: 4-5 hrs
After breakfast catch the private visit the local school and interact with kids and take private transport back to Lushoto get off in Magamba and descending and visit Irente view point and eat lunch at Irente Biodiversity farm.