saanane island tanzania africa

Saanane Island National Park

This island takes its name from its former owner Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman.
It came into possession of the government in 1964, initially occupying an area of 700 m2, when it became a National Park the islands of Chankende Kubwa and Chandkende Ndogo, both south of the main island, were annexed to the territory of the park.
It is the smallest park in Tanzania.
In the Park we can find some mammals such as: the impala, the cercopithecus and some wild cats.
The presence of Brazza's cercopithecus points out that the park has an enormous potential, in fact this species lives only here. Their habitat is the rainforest and the species has never been observed at a greater distance than 1 km from the water.

The easiest species to encounter are reptiles: there are many crocodiles, varans, agama (African lizards), African flatbread tortoise, leopard tortoise and many snakes, especially pythons.

The "aquatic" part of the park is inhabited by various species of fish, especially tilapias and the Nile perch.

The island of Saanane is the ideal place for bird watching, boating, picnicking, fishing and hiking.

What to do

Low cost safaris (budget safaris), bird watching, climbing, boat safaris, fishing, walking safaris, and safari weddings.


The island of Saanane covers an area of 2.18 km², which includes both the three islands and the surrounding aquatic environment.
The park is 2 km southeast of the city of Mwanza, which lies on the Gulf of Lake Victoria.

Getting There

You can travel by car or by plane from Dar es Salaam or from Kilimanjaro International Airports to Mwanza.
It is also possible to reach Mwanza from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Tabora, by car or train.
People can travel by boat to the port of Mwanza from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba and neighboring islands.
The island is accessible with a 5-minute boat ride, starting from the park offices on the mainland.

When to Go

The dry season runs from July to September, while the wet season, instead, goes from mid-October to mid-May.

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