Southern tanzania

Hippo tours
Saadani Game Reserve
Zanzibar / Unguja
Zanzibar Stone Town
Beaches in Zanzibar
Best time to visit
Conversely, Saadani is good after the rains when water is plentiful and the wildlife stay within the protective confines of the park. Look at June, July, August but if you are simply interested in the ambiance of this most peaceful of parks, then year-round is good.

Saadani is Tanzania's newest National Park, finally gazetted at the end of the 1990's and as such is still very much a new frontier in the safari world. Located north of Bagamoyo on the Tanzanian coast, the much-touted "bush meets the beach" environment is of sufficient novelty as to be worth a visit should time allow. Granted, it is not a full version of either, and the promises of elephants frolicking on the beach are likely to remain denied to most visitors, but as a relaxing environment with the possibility of wildlife, it more than lives up to its promise.

There are two main areas, each with its own accommodation. The South, close to the park gate, is close to the Wami river, where a boat safari will always ensure sightings of hippo, small crocodiles and a wide selection of water birds. Similarly, a trip to the historic Saadani village, a former colonial outpost and pre-colonial port is an interesting walk out for a couple of hours. The Northern sector is of a different ecological cloth altogether, more palm-forested in regions and opening out into an area that was once a former ranch. Visits here have generally encountered better game, including some reasonable-sized groups of elephant, but it is very much seasonal depending on the water. The beaches here are, however, of a perfection worthy of the name, and if you consider the game-viewing to be part of a wider package, with beaches and solitude thrown in, then Saadani is a recommended addition to any safari itinerary

A few more days…
The Northern Circuit

Saadani Safari Lodge
The first camp in Saadani, although then under different ownership, a process of continued improvement has raised this camp to a standard equivalent to any of the luxury camps elsewhere on the safari scene. Nicely-sited beachside, amidst a crowd of walking palms, the bandas, raised dining area, swimming pool and treetop bar are joined by wooden walkways that give it a very jungle feel. A laudatory eye for detail has incorporated various bits of driftwood, dried plants and shells into the décor to give it an overall definition worthy of its location.
Good food is plentiful and hospitality first-rate whilst the proximity to the village and the river delta allow for a wider experience (village visits and river safaris) than is found in National parks elsewhere .

Tent With a view
This relatively new lodge built on the Northern edge of the park, close to the Mkwaja border, is operated by the original management of Saadani 's other lodge, their knowledge of the park revealing itself in the choice of location. Spread out along an idyllic stretch of beach, a series of treehouses of dodgy nomenclature and palatial bathrooms sit amongst rustling palm-fronds overlooking the ocean. Food is of a high standard, reliant very much on the jumbo prawns that are the region's speciality, and a well-stocked bar hints at the recreational pursuits of the owners.

Wildlife is very much a seasonal affair, but the warm and friendly management team know the park better than anybody and can be relied upon for a privileged introduction to Tanzania's newest park.