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Tembo Kijani

Safaris to Saadani National Park

Come and join us on a wildlife treasure hunt and get to know this unparalleled national park first hand.
Saadani National Park is full of surprises; going here on safari you will get a glimpse of Saadani's uniqueness. You will be a spectator of nature rather than a visitor, and a discoverer of wildlife rather than a tourist. Exploring the park by car, foot and boat makes it an unforgettable experience.
Hear the elephants roaming through the bush and see their trunks up high picking leaves from their favorite trees; pass herds of reedbucks, waterbucks and hartebeests grazing in the sun; be stunned by giraffes taking shelter under trees and camouflaging as branches of a doum palm. Face 300 buffaloes with their horns pointing at you, snorting and just not moving an inch to the side. Get into spitting distance of hippos and crocodiles on the boat trip at the Wami River and enjoy the many different kinds of birds, monkeys and gazelles watching you from the high grass or the trees when passing by.
A first impression of the wildlife in Saadani you can get in our clips on YouTube - Best of Saadani

Wildlife in Saadani National Park

Saadani is home to four of the Big Five of Africa. You will find here elephants, lions, buffaloes and even with lots of luck you will get to see a leopard hiding between the high grass. The highest mammals, giraffes, are a very common sight in Saadani National Park and wander in groups of up to 25 animals. Different gazelles and antelopes, monkeys, birds and more bring this park to life.

Big Mammals
The Masai Giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis Tippelskirchii) with a height of up to 5.5m, a neck length of almost 2m, four stomachs and a tongue of half a meter, is one of the most unique species in the animal kingdom. See them running as if in slow motion and you will be astounded by their grace.
Being able to sense earthquakes by the pads under their feet, like humans having five toes, cooling their body temperature by the means of their ears and having more than 100,000 muscles in their trunk, the African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) is one of the most sensitive animals on the planet.
The African Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer) is one of the few animals that do not feel threatened; with the boss of their horns being bullet-proof and their "one for all and all for one" motto, they also have good reason not to. These herds of hundreds and hundreds of animals symbolize a healthy eco-system.
With the reputation as the shiest animal in the world, the African Leopard (Panthera Pardus Pardus) is not easy to spot and once seen, can also disappear just like a ghost.
Searching for Lions (Panthera Leo) in Saadani, you should not only look down between the bushes, but also up between the branches. The young and steadily growing population of lions is not only hunting on the ground but climbing trees as well. Being the most sociable cat in the animal kingdom, you can see prides of up to 15 lions.

Herbivores
To keep the big cats healthy, Saadani offers a great variety of grass eaters. The big antelopes like Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), Lichtenstein's Hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii) and the Ellipsen Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) are a good catch for the lions, while the leopard prefers the smaller ones like Bushbuck (Tragelaphus sylvaticus), Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca) or Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis). Also Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) might be a good snack. Still, most of the time you will see all of them peacefully grazing between the bushes and in the high grasses of Saadani. The Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger roosevelti) is part of the grass eaters in this National Park as well and can sometimes be seen in the northern part of Genda-Genda.

At the River
With the sun becoming unbearably hot in the park and most of the animals start to take shelter in the thick bush or in the shade of the trees, the Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus Niloticus) and the Hippos (Hippopotamus Amphibius) are the luckier ones being in the cooling water of the Wami River all day long. Don't mistake the pinkish color of the hippos for a sunburn, because the opposite is true - it is secretion that functions as sun lotion.

Monkeys
The Yellow Baboon (Papio cynocephalus) is seen throughout Saadani National Park in troups of up to a hundred animals, sitting in the grass and high up in the trees, seeing and hearing everything. This also makes them the number one enemy for the lions - warning everybody else when a pride is getting closer. Besides the baboons, Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) and Sykes (or Blue) Monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) make their way through the park and watch the cars passing by. But the most outstanding of the monkeys in Saadani is the Black-and-White Colobus Monkey (Colobus angolensis) with its black and white fur, which almost led them to extinction in the past.

Birds
The variety of birds in Saadani is great and with a good eye, it's possible to spot many of them. The species dwelling mostly around the Wami River include weavers, kingfishers, the African Spoonbill, Flamingos, storks, egrets, herons, Hammerkop and ibises. Driving through Saadani, it's possible to spot vultures, bee-eaters, eagles, the Lilac breasted Roller, hornbills, oxpeckers, falcons, guineafowls, hawks and many more.


History of Saadani National Park

Saadani started out as a Game Reserve in 1969. From then on throughout different projects more area was added - like the Zaraninge Forest, which used to be managed by the WWF to preserve one of the few coastal rain forests in Tanzania. The area around Mkwaja was added as well when the cattle ranch of Amboni Plantations was dissolved after almost half a century. Saadani National Park was established only in 2005 as a National Park and encompasses 1100 square kilometers. It is the only National Park in East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean, which makes it one of the most unique national parks in Tanzania. It is located half way between Dar es Salaam and Tanga and only a 20 minute drive from Tembo Kijani.

Map of Saadani National Park