Saanane Island National Park is a Tanzanian national park that is situated in Mwanza city-Tanzania second largest city after Dar es Salaam. It is the second national park in Tanzania to be situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, and you can get there by boat from the TANAPA offices at Capri Point in Mwanza Town. The former owner of the park, local farmer and fisherman Mzee Saanane, is the source of the park’s name.

In order to encourage and strengthen conservation, the government designated Saanane Island National Park as a game reserve in 1991. It was later established as a national park in 2013, making it the only national park within the city limits.  To thrill while on Tanzania Safaris Tours, visit Saanane Island National Park, which has an area of 2.18 square kilometers (0.84 sq. mi).

Size and Location of saanane island national park

  • 2.18 square kilometers and is situated 2 kilometers southwest of the City Center, which is in the Gulf of Lake Victoria (Latitude 2.5 S and Longitude 32 E).

  • It takes a boat to get to Saanane Island National Park. From Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi (Kilimanjaro Airport), Kenya’s Nairobi, or Uganda’s Entebbe, one can fly to Mwanza Airport. Road travel connects Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, and Tabora to Mwanza City. By ferry from Uganda, Bukoba, and neighboring islands to Mwanza Port. These routes will all take you to the city of Mwanza. From there, it will only take you a short drive or walk to reach the park’s entrance gate.

Attractions in Saanane Island National Park


Mammals found in Saanane Island National Park include Impalas, Rock Hyraxes, Velvet Monkeys, and Wild Cats. The presence of the De-brazzas monkey suggests that the park may be the only place in the nation where the species is found. Along with crocodiles, monitor lizards, agama lizards, pancake and leopard tortoises, and snakes, including the Python, Saanane Island National Park is home to a variety of reptiles. Saanane Island National Park’s aquatic area is home to a variety of fish species, primarily tilapia and Nile perch.

Bird species.

With more than 70 bird species reported, including resident, migratory, and water bird species, the park is one of the best places in Tanzania for birding safaris. Common birds to see in the park include the African grey parrot, pied kingfisher, egrets, cormorants, fish eagles, and many others.

Saanane Island National Park
Birding in Saanane

Things to do at Saanane Island national park. 

Sport fishing

Saanane Island National Park organizes sport fishing for park visitors or guests in the approved areas within the park, along with a knowledgeable guide to assist and demonstrate how to conduct the sport while wearing their fishing gear. The most commonly caught fish with the catch and release method of fishing are the tilapia and Nile perch species.

Game viewing

In order to see the entire park’s attractions, one of the main activities tourists engage in is game viewing. While game viewing in Saanane Island National Park, a variety of park animal species, including the dik-dik, elephants, crocodiles, buffalos, wildebeest, zebras, impalas, rock hyrax, wild cats, warthogs, velvet monkeys, De-brazzas monkeys, and many others, can be spotted.

Bird watching

The park is Tanzania’s best birding destination because it provides visitors who love birds with the most beautiful, colorful bird species. The best place to go bird watching is along Lake Victoria’s shores because it provides the best views of water birds.

There are over 70 different bird species in the park, including resident, migratory, and water birds. The pied kingfisher, egrets, cormorants, fish eagles, hornbills, and many other birds can be seen in the park. When bird watching in the park, birders are asked to always bring binoculars to see distant bird species and cameras to take pictures of different bird species to remember the different species of birds.

Boat riding

Since the park is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, boat rides are always taken by visitors to the area. During the activity, visitors can explore animal species like crocodiles, hippos, various fish species, and water birds. The activity lasts about an hour and a half and is accompanied by an experienced boat ride guide.

Rock climbing

Visitors can climb up to the island for stunning views of Lake Victoria’s expanse and to see a variety of animals, including vervet monkeys, elands, impalas, elephants, buffalos, zebras, and many more, as well as numerous plant species.

Nature strolls.

The park includes nature walks for visitors, which they can do on foot while traveling the park’s authorized routes. These walks provide visitors the ability to get closer to some of the area’s wildlife, particularly the bird species that provide the best moments in the park.

Saanane Island National Park
Saanane Island National Park


Tourists are given the chance to go to their designated picnic locations in the park and spend their time there with their packed lunches and the coolest breeze in all of Africa coming off Lake Victoria.


The island offers lovely camping and the best amenities, and the park exposes visitors to the night wilderness’ natural beauty. Visitors bring their own tents to this location, where they pitch them close to the island to take advantage of the island’s cooling air.

How to Get There

To get to the Saanane National Park, you can either take a car trip or an airplane from either Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Airports to Mwanza. In addition, trains run from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, and Tabora to Mwanza City. Additionally, individuals go by ship from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba, and neighboring islands to Mwanza Port. Regular short boat rides take around five minutes from the park offices on the mainland to the island. From the City Center, it takes about 15 minutes to walk to these park offices.

Saanane Island National Park Price

Tickets for access to the Saanane Island National Park are reasonably priced here. A visitor must pay $30 in park fees in addition to $35 for the boat’s return. Make the most of your Tanzania safari tours by traveling to Saanane Island National Park, which is a singular and wonderful place.

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