Saanane Island National Park
Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18km2 comprises of three islets located on an island in Lake Victoria and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.
- 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.
- SaaNane Island was named after its previous owner, Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman who turned into a farmer and later shifted to another island (after being compensated) to pave the way for conservation efforts in the early 1960’s.
- Was officially owned in 1964 as the first ever Tanzania government owned zoo.
- Originally its territory measured some 0.7km2 comprising both dry land and water.
- However, Saa Nane National Park annexed and includes two other smaller islets known as Chankende Kubwaand Chandkende Ndogo both located in the southern part of the main island into the bargain thus increasing its protected area to 1.32km2.
There are several options for Hotels and lodges within the City of Mwanza. The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City
Best time to visit
All year round
- Nov to March, the birdlife is most varied and scenery greenest
- June-August is the dry season and great for picnics, game viewing and rock hiking.
Saanane Island can be reached by park boat and airplane from two different locations. By road, railway or air from either Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International airports or Zanzibar to Mwanza airport or town. Moreover, people can travel by ship/vessel to Mwanza Port from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba and nearby Islands.
- From Mwanza port, the Island is accessed by a regular short boat ride, for about 5 to 10 minutes from Park Offices, on the mainland. Park Offices are easily accessed about 15 minutes short walk from the City Centre.
- Saanane Island is an ultimate place for;
- Game viewing,
- Birding Safari
- Rock hiking/adventure
- Boat cruise, walking,
- Picnics, bush lunch,
- Photographing and filming,
- Meditation and sport fishing.
- Engagement, Wedding, Anniversary