Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is one of the various national parks of Tanzania. Saadani National Park is where the beach meets the bush, and is indeed the only park in East Africa with an Indian Ocean beachfront, making it one of those few places in the world that could see your sunbathing hours interrupted by an elephant strolling away, or even a variety of animals going for a drink or dip in the waterholes nearby. Travellers who do get to visit Saadani National Park get to relish the palm trees as they beautifully sway in a cooling oceanic breeze, with you enjoying scenic sights of the white sand and blue waters sparking under the horizon of the tropical sun.

Saadani National Park was first gazetted as a game reserve in the 1960s, and in 2002, the reserve size was increased to cover larger parts, to cover twice the former size of the game reserve. Saadani National Park was established as a national park of Tanzania in 2005, covering about 1062 square kilometers of space. Saadani National Park derives her name from the village that dwells in the park known as the Saadani village.

Saadani National Park Location

Saadani National Park is located in the eastern part of Tanzania, and is one of the protected areas that form the eastern safari circuit of Tanzania. Saadani National Park is found on the north coast, about 100km northwest of Dar es Salaam, with almost the same distance southwest of Tanga Port. Saadani National Park can easily be reached from Zanzibar, as well as Dar es Salaam.

Attractions in Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park has a variety of attractions that do bring travellers visiting the park every other year. The most sought after and the reason that travellers do visit the park is to see four of the African big five especially lions, buffaloes and elephants with herds of up to 30 elephants being seen by travellers, together with leopards, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, primates including vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, as well as other animals in Saadani National Park like reedbucks, zebras, hartebeests, wildebeests, warthogs, among so many others. Apart from animals in Saadani National Park, the amazing scenery and views of dolphins, humpback whales, green turtles, are also great attractions that cause travellers to visit the park. bird species and the various lake and rivers in Saadani National Park all make the park one of the most amazing park to visit for a Tanzania safari tour, for travellers especially after beach safaris but yet not entirely beach like but blended with safari and jungle like experiences all in one.

Saadani National Park
Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park Activities

There are a variety of activities in Saadani National Park that travellers can do. Below are some of the different activities in Saadani National Park that travellers can do;

Boat cruises

One of the most amazing activities in Saadani National Park is a boat cruise on the Wami River which is streamlined with Mangrove trees. During a boat cruise in Saadani National Park, you have an opportunity to see a variety of animals including hippos and crocodiles as well as a variety of water birds.


Canoeing in Saadani National Park especially during the dry season is one of the most amazing and calming activities you would do in the park, giving you clear and beautiful views.

Bird watching

Bird watching in Saadani National Park is one of the most done activities in the park, mostly done at the Mangrove lined canopy of Wami River banks and grasslands. Some of the birds in Saadani National Park that travellers can spot include flamingos, little bittern, lanner falcon, bateleurs, and eagles, among so many other bird species.

Guided Nature Walks

Travellers can take guided nature walks in Saadani national Park and get to explore the park and the mangrove forests seeing a variety of wildlife including green turtles, doves, bats, monkeys, butterflies.


Travellers can also get to swim in the fresh waters of the Indian Ocean, cooling off after scotching hours of sunbathing or even nature walks in the park.

Visit Saadani Fishing Village

Get to visit the Saadani Fishing village which lies within the park. You shall see the historical ruins of the 19th century major trading port.

How to get to Saadani National Park

Travellers can take charter flights from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam, or even scheduled flights, which is probably the easiest way to get to the park. By road, there are thrice weekly road shuttle transfers from Dar es Salaam taking about 4 hours of road drive. Travellers should note that there is no road access from Dar es Salaam long the coast, travellers are advised to follow the Moshi road for about 160km on tarmac and then 60km or murram road. Be sure to use 4×4 wheel drive vehicles to access from Tanga and Pangani especially after heavy rains.

Best time to visit Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park can be visited all throughout the year, with the best time to visit Saadani National Park being during the dry season in the months of June to August as well as January and February, when animal viewing is very easy given that they do congregate in the few available waterholes to hydrate. The best time to visit Saadani National Park for birding safaris is during the wet season, when there are migratory birds.

Saadani National Park
Wildlife in Saadani

Saadani National Park Accommodation

Saadani National Park accommodation can be found both in and around the park, ranging from luxury to budget. Rest houses near or along the beach, bandas, lodges like Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge, Saadani River Lodge, Tembo Kijani Lodge, as well as special campsites like Kiwandi Campsite, are some of the various Saadani National Park accommodation to stay in while on a Tanzania safari in Saadani National Park.

Saadani National park is not your usual Africa or Tanzania safari destination; it is a blend of bush and beach which shall keep you captivated for all the time you can spare for a holiday. Saadani National Park offers an alternative bush and beach experience all at the same destination unlike other national parks of Tanzania like Serengeti national Park and Tarangire National Park among others, which offer only wild safari experiences with an option of extending one’s safari to Zanzibar to blend a bush safari with a beach holiday. Get in touch with a reputable tour operator to help you pitch together an amazing Tanzania safari tour and get to visit Saadani national park.

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