Located only 130 km north of Dar es salaam and directly to the west of Zanzibar, Saadani is the only coastal wildlife sanctuary in East Africa, which not only means relaxing on Indian Ocean beaches after each safari, but provides the opportunity to observe Africa's big game and birdlife interacting with the sea.
Saadani has a diverse population of mammals and birds. Elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, colobus monkey, hippo, crocodile and the rare Roosevelt sable can be seen here. Saadani offers a choice of a driving safari, nature walk, and boat safari.
Saadani National Park is Tanzania's youngest national park, covering 1,000 sq km in the east of country, north of Dar es Salaam. The park has the distinction of being the only coastal wildlife sanctuary of its kind on the eastern coast of Africa.
It offers a completely unique safari environment, combining that most rare of recipes - river, bush and beach. The extraordinary Wami River forms the southern boundary of the Park. From the open sea, you can boat into the river mouth and within minutes, you are passing pods of hippo and basking crocodiles. The game is plentiful in the inland bush: lions and other predators jousting with a wide range of plain animals.
The entire eastern boundary of the park is set along the Indian Ocean where white beaches stretch to the horizon in both directions, and Sand Island offshore provide good for snorkeling and swimming.
Saadani National Park is the perfect union of beach and bush. Located just 70 km north of Bagamoyo and immediately accessible by paved road from Dar es Salaam, Saadani has recently become a fully protected national park and is a popular day-trip from beach resorts scattered along Tanzania's northern coast.
The Wami River, which passes through Saadani National Park and empties into the Indian Ocean, hosts a large population of hippos, crocodiles, flamingos, and many large bird species. Elephants are often viewed bathing and playing on Saadani's beach, especially in the early hours of the morning.
A good choice for visitors based in Dar es Salaam who don't have time for longer safaris to visit more remote parks around the country, Saadani is easily visited on a day trip or short weekend safari. It's elephant population frolics in the sands and sometimes ventures into the crashing surf, which alone makes Saadani one of the more special and unique parks to visit in Tanzania.
Best time to visit:
June - Sept: The coolest time of the year and best hippo and crocodile view. This is an ideal time for game driving and forest walks.
Oct - Nov: Warmer temperatures and towards the end of the dry season. Buffalo and migratory birds start arriving from the north and are most active.
Dec - March: The warmest time of the year when guests are invited to sleep under the stars in the cool sea breeze. Snorkeling and swimming is at its best.
Getting there: A 5 - hour drive from Dar es Salaam
Accommodation: In luxury tented camps.