Would you like to be sunbathing with lions? Saadani is where the beach meets the bush. The only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa with an Indian Ocean beachfront, it possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical coastline and islands so popular with European sun-worshippers.
Yet it is also the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past, or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole!
Saadani can be included in your southern Tanzania wildlife adventures, and/or as a part of your beach holiday along the coast of the Indian Ocean.
The park you now go to visit was protected as a game reserve since the 1960s; in 2002 it was expanded to cover twice its former area.
The reserve suffered greatly from poaching prior to the late 1990s, but recent years have seen a marked turnaround, due to a concerted clampdown on poachers, based on integrating adjacent villages into the conservation drive.
Palm trees sway in a cooling oceanic breeze. White sand and blue water sparkle alluringly beneath the tropical sun as you watch he traditional dhows sail slowly past, propelled by billowing white sails, while Swahili fishermen cast their nets below your lodge in the brilliant red sunrise.
Today you can enjoy a surprisingly wide range of grazers and primates on the game drives and walks, among them giraffe, buffalo, warthog, common waterbuck, reedbuck, hartebeest, wildebeest, red duiker, greater kudu, eland, sable antelope, yellow baboon and vervet monkey.
Herds of up to 30 elephants are encountered with increasing frequency, and several lion prides are resident, together with leopard, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal.
Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come with a high chance of sighting hippos, crocodiles and a selection of marine and riverside birds, including the mangrove kingfisher and lesser flamingo, while the beaches form one of the last major green turtle breeding sites on mainland Tanzania.
Our packages that includes Saadani National Park: