Saadani National Park is situated on the north coast of Tanzania, approximately 100km North West of Dar es Salaam. This is a place where the bush meets the ocean, the only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa bordering the sea with romantic palm trees, beautiful white sandy beaches and spectacular views of the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
The park is home to an amazingly wide variety of plains game and primates, in addition to general game. Boat trips on the Wami River offer exciting wildlife viewing as well as fantastic bird watching, while the beaches offer one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on mainland Tanzania. A site so typical of this area is the Swahili fishermen casting their nets with a magical African sunset in the background.
The reserve is a mere boat ride from the island of Zanzibar, which is a beach-goer's paradise. Saadani is wonderfully located between island relaxation and safari excitement.
Saadani National Park is special because of its unique location on the Indian Ocean. It is the only wildlife reserve one can visit in East Africa that doubles as a beach destination. It offers a unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally fascinating setting.
The beaches at Saadani are the only places North of Dar es Salaam where sea turtles still go to lay their eggs. The most common species is the Green turtle, the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles. This is a very special location that contributes to the conservation of these reptiles.
Salt tolerant tidal forests provide a resting and feeding place for many bird species, bats, monkeys, hippos and reptiles, making Saadani home to a plethora of animal species.
Saadani National Park covers an area of approximately 1100 sq km and is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the ocean. It offers a unique mix of both marine life and mainland flora and fauna. Approximately 30 species of larger mammals can be found here, as well as numerous reptiles and birds. Apart from many species of fish, Green turtles, Humpback whales and dolphins can also be found in the ocean nearby.
Tanzania's magnificent Wami River is home to plenty of hippo and crocodile close to Saadani Lodge. Flamingos are often seen in the shallow estuarine waters, as well as flocks of pelicans.
The park is also home to a diversity of birdlife and variety of vegetation. Saadani's wildlife is abundant with lion and other predators, as well as a range of plains game including elephant, giraffe, kudu and large herds of buffalo. Activities include classic game drives, watching the waterhole from a hide, sleeping out on the beach, and of course reclining in the sun.
The main rainy season, or the 'long rains', lasts during March, April and May. Afternoon downpours are the norm, which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30s (degrees Celsius).
The long dry season lasts from June to October, during which time the rainfall is unusual. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather.
During November and December there's another rainy season, which is known as the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the long rains and less reliable. If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months in January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.
Saadani Safari Lodge offers a warm and friendly atmosphere with only six tented cottages situated along the beach underneath the trees offering rustic luxury. The cottages are spacious and romantic with en-suite bathrooms, sand floors and shell mosaics. Guests can enjoy sleep-outs under the stars with 'al fresco' beds located on the beach-front veranda. A carefully placed hide overlooks a waterhole close to the camp and offers superb game watching.
Sanctuary Saadani River Lodge has 18 stilted suites situated on the southern shore of the Wami River close to the Saadani National Park. The guest treehouses camouflage into the natural scenery with traditional thatched roofs. The spectacular Wami Suite is a private villa with its own infinity pool, two bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room and dining room. Guests are offered a range of activities including game drives and river excursions, while the in-house spa provides indulgent massages to enjoy between activities.
Safaris in Tanzania begin at Arusha, which is situated close to the northern safari locations.
Sun Safaris will fly guests to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is the primary receiving airport in Tanzania. This airport is only a few kilometres away from Arusha airport, which is the safari node of the country and where most light air transfers take off from.
Once guests have landed at Kilimanjaro, they will connect with a road transfer that will take them to Arusha airport. Depending on timing of guests' itinerary, they might spend a night in Arusha before heading off on a scheduled flight to an airstrip or airport nearer their safari destination.
Saadani National Park is located on the north coast of Tanzania, opposite the island of Zanzibar. Guests visiting Saadani will take a scheduled flight from Arusha to a local airstrip, from where their hosts at Saadani will collect them and drive them to their booked accommodation.