saanane island national park

Saanane Island National Park

Background Information

Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.


Saanane Island National Park was named after Mzee Saanane Chawandi who was then the owner of the island. It was established as the first Zoo in Tanzania in 1964. Its main objectives were firstly to promote interest and conservation education in wildlife, secondly was to promote recreation to the people of Mwanza town the park cover an area of 0.5 sq km.

Between 1964 -1966 different species of wild animal were ferried to the Island these include:- Buffalo, Bushbuck, Dik Dik, Elephant, Eland, Impala, Black Rhino, Topi, Warthog, wildebeest, Zebra, and Monkeys like Pats and vervet, Giraffe, Porcupine and crocodiles. Dangerous animals like Rhino and Buffalo were caged while other was in free range. The Island was given the status to be Game Reserve in 1991.

The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species. Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python.

The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.

Where to find Saanane Island National Park

About Saanane Island National Park:
The Park is located 2km Southwest of Mwanza city centre, which lies in the Gulf of Lake Victoria (Latitude 2.5 S and Longitude 32 E).

Getting there:
Saanane Island National Park is accessed by boat. One can travel by air to mwanza Air port from either Dar-es-salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Nairobi and Entebbe.
By road:- To Mwanza city from Dar, kigoma, Tabora.
By Ferry:- To Mwanza Port from Uganda, Bukoba and Nearby Islands.
All this ways will lead you to Mwanza City, from there you will be transfer to the Island National Park main entry gate.

What to do:
Saanane Island is an ideal place for game viewing, bird watching, rock hiking, boat cruise, walking, picnics, bush lunch, photographing/filming, meditation and sport fishing. Special occasions like wedding, engagement, team building, family day and birthdays can also be organized.

When to go
All year round. Through June-August is the best time when its dry for picnic. Also September-December when short rains starts the vegetations acquire greenish color which attracts many visitors.

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