Saadani National Park in Tanzania

Saadani National Park is one of the few places in country where you can enjoy a relaxing beach vacation while seeing safari animals. While it may not compare to some of the major parks in terms of wildlife sightings, you can still see plenty of exciting animals in this wonderful stretch of land. From mangrove forests and winding rivers to palm trees and beachfronts, Saadani National Park offers a tranquil and unique safari experience.

  • Best Time to Go

    January - February and June - August

  • Average Safari Cost

    $200-$600 pp/day. Park fee: $30 (adult), $10 (child).

  • Highlights

    Game drives, lovely scenery, walking safaris, boat safaris, historical and cultural tours.

Why Visit Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is the perfect destination if you enjoy both beach and safari getaways. It offers an interesting and enjoyable combination of two very different types of holiday destinations, which makes it a perfect place for people who enjoy both! See animals wander around as you sunbathe on the beach, explore the meandering Wami River on a boat safari and keep an eye out for the elusive big cats that can occasionally be seen in the park.

Enjoy historical and cultural tours of the old villages and local tribes for a truly enriching and educational experience. Take in the beautiful, sparkling beach views and swim in the refreshing waters of the Indian Ocean. Wake up bright and early and bask in the glorious sunrise over the calm seas as fishermen cast their nets. Saadani National Park is a very special safari destination, filled with wonderful adventures and beautiful sights to see!

Pros and Cons

  • A unique blend of beachfront and safari landscape
  • Good wildlife viewing
  • Great birdwatching destination
  • Many activities
  • Easily accessible
  • Lacks many typical safari animals
  • Not a complete wilderness destination

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit the Saadani National Park is from January to February, which is a dry period between the short and long rains of the wet season, and from June to August. These are the best months for wildlife viewing as there is water in the park after the rains. The dry season is from June to September and consists of hot and sunny days, averaging 88˚F(31˚C), followed by cool nights with temperatures lowering to about 70˚F(21˚C).

The wet season is from October to May and consists of the 'short rains' from October to December, a dry period from January to February, and the 'long rains' from March to May. March, April and May are the wettest months, with frequent rainfall. It is very hot and humid during these months with daytime temperatures averaging 91˚F(33˚C). This is the best time for bird watching as migrant species can be seen.

For more information when to visit see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife and Birds

From hippos and crocodiles dwelling in the river waters, to giraffes and elephants roaming through the land, there is plenty of wildlife to see in Saadani National Park. Many different antelope species thrive on the land, as well as baboons, colobus monkeys and warthogs. Lions and leopards are very rare sightings but be sure to keep an eye out for them!
List of Animals
  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Giraffe
  • Crocodile

Rare Animals

  • Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Giraffe, buffalo, hippo, crocodile

Saadani National Park is a great birding destination as its diverse landscape provides many different habitats for a number of bird species to thrive in. Beautiful, bright kingfishers dart around the river, while palm nut vultures and various eagles soar over land in search of prey.

Endangered birds:

  • African skimmer, white-backed vulture, hooded vulture

Getting There and Safety

The best way to get to the Saadani National Park is to fly to the Julius Nyerere International Airport of Dar es Salaam, from where scheduled flights to the park can be booked. Transportation to and from airports is often included in safari packages so check with your tour operator.

For the flights to Tanzania, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Tanzania.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Tanzania.


For more information on visas see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Country Guide.

Vaccinations and Malaria

The vaccinations recommended for Tanzania are typhoid, rabies, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Having a yellow fever vaccination certificate is advised. There is also a risk for malaria, especially from November to May, so anti-malarial drugs are recommended as well as using insect repellent.

Check your local travel health authority for more information:

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Tanzania. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What to Pack

Pack for warn and cold weather as temperatures are warm during the day and quite cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours and white. Other essential items are a hat, sunglasses, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, first aid kit, binoculars and camera.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

The sea is quite warm and shallow and perfect for a dip!