SAA NANE NATIONAL PARK
Saa nane national park is a small wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 2. 8 square km. The park is located on an island, on Lake victoria. It was previously a normal Island that was whole owned by a fisherman and later turned farmer, before being turned into a zoo by the then Tanganyika government.
Its previous owner mzee Saanane chawandi was then compensated and given another island nearby to move to.
The park is a man-made and its conservation efforts began in the early 1960's and later on a few wild animals were moved onto the island. Animals such as buffalo, bush-back, dik dik, elephant, eland, impala, black rhino, topi, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, monkeys, giraffe, porcupine and crocodiles were added to the area.
Saanane Island National Park was named after Mzee Saanane Chawandi who was the owner of the island. It was established as the first zoo in Tanzania in 1964. The main objectives of Saanane were firstly to promote interest and conservation education in Wildlife, secondly was to promote recreation to the people of nearby Mwanza city.
In 1991 the area was gazetted as a game reserve and in 2013 it was then upgraded in to a national park level.
It is the best place for a day trip from Mwanza city. It provides visitors with a panoramic view of the area and the magnificence second largest lake in the world and the source of the longest river in the world, the great Lake Victoria.
Also, Saanane national park is home to many awesome African animals such as zebra, small antelopes, hippos, crocodiles and the birdlife (migrant and residency).
TO DO IN SAANANE.
Guided nature walks.
Visitors can take guide nature walk to the sunny beaches as well as explore the whole saanane national park on foot. This will give you opportunities to come in contact with a wildlife and nature.
This is the one of the best rewarding activity a tourist can engage. Saanane national park is rewarded with a lot of wildlife such as elephants, impalas, warthog, zebra, bushbucks, buffalos and many more including primates such as velvet monkeys, colobus and patas monkeys.
This will give you a chance to feel the African wilderness in every sense. There is so much to see in this unspoilt forest that our guided nature walks can last anywhere from one hour to a full day.
You can even opt to spend several days within nature with an overnight stop at our treehouses or camps.
Saanane is the bird’s paradise. A bird watching activity in the area will bring you close to the birds such as cormorants, herons, storks, ibises, kingfishers, geese, bee-eaters, flycatchers, parrots and birds of prey to see including the largest population of ospreys in the world gets.
Hike up to the island and have gorgeous view of the oust spreading out Lake Victoria and come across a lot of game such as velvet monkeys. The rock beacons will give you very majestic views of the lake especially when you view it from the Bombay cave.
Boat trips will give you a chance to view African animals from different point. Also, you will experience a catch-and-release fishing (sport fishing) from a boat or from the shores of Lake Victoria, or from Rubondo Island Camp’s site.
There are number of tourist’s picnic sites where tourist can enjoy their packed lunch while enjoying Victoria’s cool breeze.
BEST TIME TO VISIT.
The best time to visit Saanane island National Park is during the dry season, from late June to October. During the time game viewing is more rewarded as animals can easily be seen as vegetations are thin.
Also visiting the area during the wet season is more advised to the bird lovers. The wet season starts from November to March when migratory and residency birds are on peak during this period.
HOW TO GET THERE.
The park is located on an island that is situated next to the Mwanza town. Can be reached by a short 5-minute boat ride from the nearby TANAPA offices located on the mainland, with a fee being charged for entry and the whole tour.
Getting to Mwanza is either by car or flights from the main tourist hub, Arusha city. It is a 6hrs drive from Arusha to Mwanza.