saadani national park coast tanzania africa

Saadani National Park

The Saadani National Park is a park where the beach meets the forest, in fact it is the only park in East Africa that also develops along the seafront.
It is the only place where a "sunbath" can be interrupted by the passage of an elephant, or a lion that is going to drink.
It is a protected reserve since 1960, but officially became a National Park only in 2002.
Saadani suffered much for episodes of poaching towards the end of the 1990s, but in recent years there has been a sharp decline as adjacent villages have become an integral part of the National Park, when its surface was increased in 2002.

Today, surprisingly, a multitude of primates and grazing animals can be seen during walks and hikes, including: giraffes, buffaloes, warthogs, water antelopes, reed antelopes, hartebeest, gnus, red cephalus, great kudus, oryx gazelles, black antelopes, yellow baboons and green vervets.
You can easily find herds of elephants reaching 30 members, some herds of lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and silver-backed jackals.

During boat trips along the Wami river there is a high possibility of encountering hippos, crocodiles and various sea and river birds, including the kingfisher of mangroves and small flamingos, while on the beaches it is possible to meet the large earth and marine turtles.

Peculiarities of Saadani National Park:

  • it is the only national park overlooking the sea;
  • you will be able to see a unique combination of species, both marine and dry land animal and vegetable;
  • you can observe sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach;
  • you can explore the Swahili ruins of the Saadani village which was a famous 19th century commercial port;
  • groups of dolphins can be observed.

What to do

Bird watching, hot air balloon safaris, boat and canoe safaris, fishing, walking safaris, wildlife safaris, camping, luxury safaris.


It covers an area of 1,100 km² and is located in the center of the historic triangle Bagamoyo, Pangani and Zanzibar.
The nearest city is Tanga.

Getting There

Charter flight from Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam (with the possibility of scheduled flights in the future).
Shuttle three times a week from Dar es Salaam (4 hours journey).
No road access from Dar es Salaam along the coast, to get there you have to follow the Moshi road ascending for 160 km, then 60 km on the dirt road.
Road access from Tanga and Pangani except after heavy rains.

When to Go

The coastal climate is hot and humid, with some rains coming from the savannah.
The best excursions are made during the "dry" period of the year, between January and February and from June to August.
Generally you can visit the park throughout the year, but the access roads are often inaccessible during April and May.

Where to Stay

The park offers various types of accommodation and facilities for both residents and non-residents who visit the park.

Rest House: near the beach, with a furnished living room, a master bedroom, three single bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.

Bandas: they are located along the beach, each has two four-bed rooms and single rooms, an outdoor dining room and a kitchen equipped with gas, freezer and kitchenware.
These facilities offer campers the opportunity to sleep on public campgrounds located along Saadani beach.

Camping: there are several campsites within the National Park.

Other facilities: there are other privately owned accommodation facilities inside and outside the park.

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