Saanane Island National Park
Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.
The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. 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.
The Park is located 2km Southwest of Mwanza city centre, which lies in the Gulf of Lake Victoria (Latitude 2.5 S and Longitude 32 E).
One can travel by road or air from either Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Air Ports to Mwanza. Also can travel by road or railway to Mwanza City from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Tabora. to mention a few. Moreover, people can travel by ship/vessel to Mwanza Port from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba and nearby Islands.
The Island is accessed by a regular short boat ride for about 5 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 ideal place for game viewing, bird watching, rock hiking, boat cruise, walking, picnics, bush lunch, photographing/filming, meditation and sport fishing. Special occasions like wedding, engagement, team building, family day and birthdays can also be organized.
Best time to visit the island
All year round, birdlife is most varied and scenery greenest over Nov-March. June-August is the dry season and great for picnics, game viewing and rock hiking.