Saadani National Park Tanzania is here the beach meets the bush. It is the only best park in East Africa with an Indian Ocean beachfront. It’s the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or animals coming to drink at the nearby waterhole. Also, a sight to behold is the Swahili fishermen casting their nets at sunrise.
Wildlife isn’t abundant, and the park is more a beach destination within the bush. Commonly seen on drives are elephant, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, common waterbuck, reedbuck, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, wildebeest, yellow baboon, and vervet monkey. Hippo, crocodile, and a selection of water birds can be encountered on boat trips. Saadani’s wildlife specials are the shy red duiker, the endangered Roosevelt’s sable and green turtles, for which the park is a breeding site. Saadani National Park Tanzania
The park has been hit hard by poachers in the past, wildlife numbers are increasing. Animals you are likely to encounter on a drive are giraffe, buffalo, warthog, common waterbuck, reedbuck, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, wildebeest, greater kudu, eland, yellow baboon, and vervet monkey. Herds of up to 30 elephants are occasionally seen.
Mangroves separate the most idyllic palm-lined beaches & the watercourses are fringed by woodland. The habitat inside the park is mostly grassland interspersed with acacia thickets. Part of the extensive Zaraninge coastal forest, bio-diversity hotspot in Tanzania, is also located within the park boundaries.
Saadani harbors a small population of Roosevelt’s sable, an endangered species found otherwise only in Selous and Kenya’s Shimba Hills. Another coastal special is red duiker. The beaches in and around Saadani form one of the last major breeding sites for green turtle in Tanzania. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come with a high chance of seeing hippo, crocodile, and a selection of marine and riverine birds.
Birds Species found in Saadani National Park
Saadani offers excellent birding in a variety of habitats. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River offer a good selection of marine and riverine birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo. The interior of the park is great for seeing some of the grassland species, and a variety of raptors such as bateleur and crowned eagle. Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Birding in Saadani is good year-round. Migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa can be found from November to April, making this the best time for bird watching. Saadani National Park Tanzania
Additionally, this is nesting season for resident birds, and many can be spotted in their breeding plumage. The months of June through October are considered the Dry season, which is the best time for watching wildlife Safaris & Tours.
The park is open all year-round, but the access roads are sometimes impassable during April and May. The best wildlife viewing is after the rains, in January and February and from June to August, when there is still plenty of water on the plains, and the wildlife stays within the park.
Saadani’s tropical climate is governed by a warm Dry season (June to September) and a hot, sticky Wet season (October to May). The drier months are distinguished by little, except sunny days. Things get a bit more varied when the rains begin. The landscape is teased by some showers before the precipitation diminishes for a few months. Then it starts to rain in earnest, though rarely for days at a time.
Being located close to the equator and on the coast of the warm Indian Ocean, Saadani experiences tropical climatic conditions. There are two Wet seasons. The ‘long rains’ (March to May) and the ‘short rains’ (October to November). Thunderstorms are common during the afternoons in the Wet season, but it seldom rains all day. Average temperatures stay high year-round.
Dry season –June to September
June, July, August & September – It’s mostly sunny and rain is at a minimum. This is the coolest time of the year. Afternoon temperatures average 31°C/88°F. It cools off at night with temperatures of 21°C/70°F at the lower end of the range.
Wet season –October to May
Just as the rest of the year, temperatures vary little throughout the Wet season. Afternoon temperatures are usually around 33°C/91°F, and night temperatures are around 23°C/73°F.
October, November & December – a rainy period lasting about a month generally happens within this time. However, it isn’t possible to know exactly when. Short afternoon rains are likely but will rarely extend through the day, making it unlikely to affect your trip. Saadani National Park Tanzania
January & February – A spell of dry weather, the timing of which cannot be predicted, occurs between the two Wet seasons.
March, April & May – the rain almost every day, but it would be unusual for it to last all day. Heat becomes a burden, and the humidity is high, although an ocean breeze does a lot to alleviate this.
The interlude between Saadani’s two extended periods of rain (January and February), as well as the opening months of the Dry season (June and August), are the best times to come here. This is when animals use the water pooled on the plains to hydrate. The Wet season months are best to see migrating birdlife. The best time for watching wildlife in Saadani is after the rains, in January and February, and from June to August, when there is still plenty of water on the plains and wildlife stays within the park. As a general bush/beach break destination Saadani is good to visit most of the year, except during the peak of the rains from April to May.
Saadani is usually visited from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, and there are scheduled flights connecting all three. The lodges in Saadani also organize road and boat transfers from Dar es Salaam on request. Your entry point in Tanzania is usually Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) near Dar es Salaam. In most cases, Chartered flights from Arusha town, the base for the northern safari circuit, are also available.
Saadani National Park is a very safe destination in our opinion. Crime against travelers in Tanzania’s parks and reserves is virtually nonexistent. If you are driving here, normal safety precautions are relevant in towns and cities where petty theft can happen (see ‘Cities & Other Urban Areas:
Malaria is present in Saadani NP, so some precautions are recommended. Make sure to take antimalarial medication and use a mosquito repellent (repellents with the ingredient DEET are most effective) while you are here. Covering bare skin in the evening is a wise idea. Also, find out from your local doctor about the vaccinations that are required before coming to this part of Africa.
Wildlife Safaris Trips and Travels are generally very safe as long as you pay close attention to the safety instructions given by your guide. Self-drive visitors should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the park, and stay within their vehicle apart from in designated areas. Saadani National Park Tanzania