Each National Park in Tanzania has their own unique elements that attracts tourists. The Saadani National Park is not exception in this, itself endowed with several unique elements making it distinct from other parks in the country.
Saadani has conjoined natural (wildlife and marine), ocean and historical elements togethers, that place it highest on uniqueness.
When you visit Saadani National Park whether you travel through Bagamoyo, Mandera or Tanga, you will pass through historical landmarks and monuments, for which you need to spend sometime if not days to relish.
On the Mandera-Miono route, you will pass by one the oldest Roman Catholic Church buildings and stations, Mandera, built in 1890s.
The Dar-es-Salaam-Bagamoyo and Saadani route will afford you the opportunity to visit the historical Bagamoyo town on through Utondwe (Kitame) where an old Mosque built around 1400 still stands although not in use as that old village has been deserted.
If you choose to enter the park through Pangani-Mkwaja road, it means you are driving from Tanga.
Tanga itself presents you an opportunity to know about herself, as the Deutsch Ostafrica’s favorite. Amboni caves will be waiting for you to visit. When you leave get a brief visit of the 15th Tongoni Shiraz ruins at Tongoni.
The old fishing village village also has other Arab historical relics. You then arrive at Pangani and will tour the many attractions connected with the history of the town.
The Pangani River has its own unique place in both the history and tourism industry in this region, too.
You can ride up-stream to about seven kilometers and learn about historical sites dotted along both banks of the river, not to forget the site of hippo families.
And you will pass by a neglected place where Bushiri, the Anti-Germany resistance organizer 1888-1890 lived.
Once you can cross River Pangani you land at Bweni Kuu, a very old coastal and river side village, with some residents claiming their genealogy to early Yemen Moslem Missionaries who came to this part of the world preaching the religion.
The old mosques at Bweni Ukuu and Bweni Ndogo attest to that. The drive from Bweni to Saadani National Park sees you through some earliest sisal plantations and old sea side villages like Mikocheni, Kipumbwi, Buyuni Ukuu and Mkwaja.
On the South of Saadani National Park you have Wami River as its border. Wami River is home to various species of flora and fauna.
And tourists will have the opportunity to watch and photograph birds, hippos and crocodiles. But also, to come to the mouth of Wami River where she enters Indian Ocean.
What a site. If you prefer, you can ride deep into the Indian Ocean to watch the flying dolphins.
Saadani National Park is home to majority of species of animals one can find in other parks,but this is where the green sea titles are hatched and,again,come back thirty years after to hatch after travelling as far as New Zealand and Australia.
Saadani is geographically the closest reserve to Dar es Salaam (130km) and Zanzibar, even considering the present situation of no coast road, it is still a similar distance in terms of time to Mikumi National Park, the next closest wildlife destination.
Saadani is the closest wildlife destination to Dar and Zanzibar especially for families with children, will offer an irresistible combination of beach and wildlife viewing.
Saadani also sits almost directly opposite Zanzibar’s Stone Town, located just 27 km away. Flights from Zanzibar to Saadani take just 15 minutes, making both day trips as well as longer stays an appealing and easily accessible wildlife option from Zanzibar, Arusha or Dar es Salaam.
Saadani National Park (SANAPA) is accessible by road, air and boat. Driving time from Dar es Salaam is roughly 4 1/2 hours.
Pangani is about 1hour drive north and from Arusha is a 6hour drive. Saadani is the closest National Park to both Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
By air can take roughly 20 minutes from Zanzibar and 30 minutes from Dar
It is better, if you visit Saadani between April and October if you want to witness and hatching and the struggle into the wild Indian Ocean before the kid turtles go adrift and disappear for thirty years.
It is normal, when you walk along the shore to see wild animals enjoying the see breeze and watching fisherman paddling to or from their work.
Saadani host various species of birds and animals.