Saadani national park is the Tanzania’s 13th national park, the park is managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority. Saadani national park covers an area of 1062 km2 and it was officially gazatted in 2005 from a game reserve which had existed from 1969. Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea, the park is located administratively in southeast, Tanga Region and northeast Pwani Region.

Climate of Saadani National Park.

The park experiences an Eastern African coastal climate with bimodal rainfall, which ranges 800 to 1200 millimeters annually. Long rains fall from March to June and short ones from October to December. February and July are the best driest months with peak temperatures reaching up to 29C. The best period for visit is the dry season, although the park remains attractive year-round.

Attractions in Saadani national park.


Saadani’s wildlife population is increasing during recent years after it has been gazetted as a national park and was a hunting block beforehand, the park has four of the big five making it the best tour in Tanzania like lions, African bush elephants, cape buffaloes and leopards. Other animal species in the park includes the Maasai giraffes, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, waterbucks, blue wildebeests, bohor reedbucks, common and red duikers, Dik-Dik, yellow baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, mongooses, genets, porcupines, sable antelopes, warthogs, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and Nile monitors are also found in the park to thrill while on Tanzania Safaris Tours.

Saadani national park
Maasai Giraffes

Bird species.

Saadani national park has various bird species, which are over 250 species Saadani is at the Mangrove lined canopy of the Want river banks and the grasslands, the notable bird species in the park are the mangrove kingfisher, Lesser flamingoes, little bittern,, kestrel, Goliath heron, Pel’s fishing-owl, Purple heron, lanner falcon, avid birds, African skimmers, crowned eagle then the grassland species and raptors such as bateleur and crowned eagle and many others. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Mafui Sandbank.

Mafui Sandbank is within the marine extension of the park whose colourful coral reefs are important breeding sites for many fish species, while in the sandbank tourist enjoys snorkeling and diving underwater and learn on many different types of Indian Ocean living organisms. The chances of seeing dolphins and humpback whales putting on their show in the Indian Ocean are beyond.

Madete beach and nesting site foe Green Turtle.

Madete beach is one of the most significant breeding sites for the Green turtle the largest of the hard shelled sea turtles in Tanzania. Female’s Green turtle lays eggs along the shore and return to the sea, the high season is in July-November and a moderate season in January-March. Approximately 8 nests can be available during the season, the incubation time of the eggs buried in the sand is 45-60 days after which the hatching emerge.

Wami River and Estuary.

Wami River is among few African coast where large Tanzania wildlife is still present in an estuarine situation, here you are close as one likes to get to hippo, crocodile and other wildlife, as well bird watchers will also be treated to not often see migratory birds that love the shore, such as different kinds of sandpiper, Eurasian oystercatcher and the common greenshank. Evergreen mangrove trees along the river provide resting and feeding place for many bird species, bats, monkeys and other reptiles.

Zaraninge Forest.

Zaraninge Forest is an ever green lowland coastal forest with closed canopy in the Saadani National Park, the forest is known to be a home to some endemic, rare and threatened species of plants and animal life, and it mostly supports elephant life during the dry season.

Pangani Town.

The name Pangani owes to the river that runs through northern part of the Historical town. Pangani is a very old town, it is believed to be established before 6th Century BC as a coastal dhow port, but later became a station on the caravan route from Tanganyika for exporting slaves and ivory. But several historical sites in and around the town serve as reminders for the strong Arabic influence and the later German, British colonial  era in Tanganyika, the town served as port when  sisal plantations were set up in the colonial period, before the Tanga Harbour constructed. Nowadays it is mainly a fishing town a lot of coconut trees, providing nice beaches for quiet vocation. Pangani is close to the Saadani National Park only 440kn to Madete entry gate which is approximate 1 hr. drive on rough road.

Saadani national park
Pangani Town

Activities in Saadani national park.

Bird watching.

Bird watching in Saadani national park is best done during the period of November to April thus offering the most amazing birding safari in Tanzania, that’s when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa can be found in the park as well as the nesting season for resident birds, and many can be spotted in their breeding plumage. During the bird watching various bird species can be spotted like the African cuckoo hawk, African skimmer, Greater flamingo, Lanner falcon, lesser kestrel, little bittern, Long-crested eagle, Pel’s fishing- owl and many others.

Visit to Mafui Sandbank.

Visitors who are interested to picnic, swimming and sighting different marine organisms goes to this sandbank, organisms like the star fish, corals can be easily encounter. Professional snorkeling and diving activities are conducted with own tourist tools.

River Cruising at Wami River.

The tourists enjoy the river cruise at Wami River, where they spot various species that live in the water and others on the shores on the river, the estuary area and takes maximum of 2 hours.

Saadani national park
River Cruising at Wami River

Best time to visit Saadani National Park.

The best time to visit Saadani National Park for watching wildlife is after the rains, in January and February, and from June to August, when there is still plenty of water on the plains and Tanzania wildlife stays within the park.

Where to stay in Saadani National Park.

Saadani national park has a great accommodation facilities for the guests who come to visit the park, the accommodation in the park ranges from the Budget, Mid-range, luxury as indicated, Simply Saadani camp, Kisampa Bush Retreat, Saadani River Lodge, Kuro Maringo, Saadani park hotel, Barry’s Beach Resort, Oceanic Bay Hotel and Resort, Barcelona Lodge, Firefy Boutique Lodge, Downtown Bagamoyo lodge, and many more. Saadani national park has got camping sites that provides accommodation to the guests, they  include both the special and public campsites, the public campsites are the  ( Beach and Kinyonga) with basic facilities water, kitchen, washrooms providing accommodation in the park with a capacity of 50 campers per day in each camp, here campers should come with their camping gears. The special campsites are two that is (Tengwe and Kiwandi)

Entrance fees of Saadani national park.

Category JULY- JUNE
  EA (Tshs) Non EA Citizen (Tsh) Expatriate/Residents(USD)
Of above the age of 16 years 5000 30 15
Between the age of 5 and 15 years 2000 10 5
Children below the age of 5 years Free Free Free

How to get to Saadani National Park.

Saadani national park can be accessed by both the Air and Road means of transport from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar or Arusha to the park.

By Air Transport.

Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha or any other major town landing at all seasons Saadani Airstrip in the south or Mkwaja Airstrip in the North.

By Road Transport.

The distance to reach Saadani national park is 131 km from Dar es Salaam through Bagamoyo off Makurunge to Gama Entrance Gate. Then 146 km from tanga through Pangani and Mkwaja to madete Entrance Gate.

225km from Dar es Salaam off Chalinze and Mandera junction through Miono to Mvave Entrance Gate.

On the Arusha-Dar es Salaam road, off Mkata junction through Kwamsisi to Madete Entrance Gate 79km from Mkata to Madete.

Saadani national park is the only bush-meets-beach wildlife sanctuary in East Africa, making it wonderful unique and worth a visit if your route permits. At 11ookm-square, Saadani is a comparatively small park, however what it lacks in size, making it for a variety of safari it offers as well as the diversity of its terrain.

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