Nature in Saadani NP
Why is Saadani Special?
In the centre of the historic triangle of Bagamoyo, Pangani and Zanzibar, Saadani Game Reserve is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries bordering the sea. It offers the unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a historically and culturally fascinating setting. Elephants have been rumoured to bathe in the Indian Ocean off the Reserve’s coast, green turtles come to its beaches to breed, black and white colobus monkeys frolic in the canopy of the evergreen Zaraninge Forest. Roosevelt Sable Antelope too have their home here.
Besides game drives visitors can relax on the beach, go on foot safaris or venture up the Wami River by boat, braving waves and hippopotami, past crocodiles and flamingos.
Located in the centre of the historic triangle of Bagamoyo, Pangani and Zanzibar, Saadani National Park covers 1100 km2. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea. The climate is coastal, hot and humid. It offers a unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally fascinating setting. About 30 species of larger mammals are present as well as numerous reptiles and birds. Besides many species of fish, Green turtles, Humpback whales (nyangumi) and dolphins (pomboo) also occur in the ocean nearby.
Gazetted in 2005, it encompasses a preserved ecosystem including the former Saadani game reserve, the former Mkwaja ranch area, the Wami River as well as the Zaraninge Forest. Many villages exist around the boundaries of the Park. In 1969, when Saadani Game Reserve was officially created, Saadani village elders were consulted and the loss of cultivated land was compensated for. Before being included in the national park, the Zaraninge Forest was managed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) whose goal was to preserve the extremely high botanical diversity of one of the last coastal rain forests remaining in Tanzania. The Mkwaja area is the reminder of a large cattle ranch which has been run from 1952 to 2000. The presence of many dams and paddocks attest to the former existence of the ranch.
- Vegetation map of Saadani National Park by M. Tobler & R. Cochard (Integrated Institute of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich)
- TANAPA (2003). Saadani National Park. Management Zone Plan. Tanzania National Parks.
- GPS mapping software (OziExplorer)