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Saanane Island National Park

  • Zebra on Saanane Island National Park Tanzania by Pavlo Kuzyk

Saanane Island National Park was designated in 2013, a prestigious title that is justly earned. The park has both land and water on its 2.15 km2 of space. Chankende Kubwa and Chankende Ndogo are the two islets that make up Saanane National Park.

The island is a genuine jewel, with lush riverbeds, rocky hills that have formed spontaneously, and sceneries around by a tropical sea. The Spectacles are further enhanced by a singular perspective of Lake Victoria and the landmarks of Mwanza City, all of which are ornamented with a riotous assortment of  fish, insects, birds and flowers.

Saanane is the smallest national park in Tanzania, East Africa, and maybe the whole globe. It is also the only national park to ever be situated inside a city. You may discover a quiet retreat here, surrounded by Africa’s largest lake, far from the bustle of Mwanza.

Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a local farmer and fisherman, was honoured with the island’s name. Here, the government built Tanzania’s first zoo, which opened its doors in 1964. The goal is to encourage conservation education and offer Mwanza residents entertainment. Saanane was teeming with fauna in the late 1960s; many of these creatures were later moved to Rubondo Island, also in Lake Victoria.

Wildlife in Saanane Island National Park

To reinforce and further conservation, the island was designated a game reserve in 1991. Present-day inhabitants of the island include wild cats, vervet monkeys, zebra impalas, rock hyraxes, and zebra impalas. Additionally, it is the only location in Tanzania where De-Brazza’s monkey may be found.

Be ready to enter a playground for reptiles. Crocodiles on the island utilise floats as nesting areas, so you can eat in close proximity to them,

Alternatively, keep an eye out for pythons, leopard and pancake tortoises, monitor agamas, and other kinds of reptiles.

You could love the island much more if you’re a bird watcher. Over 70 bird species have been identified, including migratory and permanent birds drawn to the region’s unusual combination of aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Be ready to enter a playground for reptiles.

How to get to  Saanane Island National Park

You may go to Mwanza by car, train, ferry, or aeroplane and then take a boat to Saanane.

Take a flight to Mwanza from either Kilimanjaro International Airport or Dar es Salaam.

By car and boat: From Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, and Tabora, to name a few, you may drive to Mwanza. You can also take a ferry from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba, and surrounding islands. It is merely a short boat journey from Mwanza (about 10 minutes).

Best time to visit the Saanane Island National Park

365 days a year. Saanane’s dry season, which lasts from June to August, is ideal for picnics, wildlife viewing, and rock climbs. November to March offers the most variety of bird species and the greenest landscape.

Accommodation in and around Saanane Island National Park

Luxury and affordable hotels and lodges in Mwanza are located outside the park.
Exclusive camping inside the Park (looking through the Park).

What to do at Saanane Island National Park

Game viewing, bird watching, (rock) hiking, picnics, canoeing, boat trips (need advance planning), sport fishing, and water locations