Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park

One gets to relish the palm trees as they sway in an oceanic cooling breeze. White sand and blue water sparkle alluringly beneath the tropical sun; brand Saadani is a splendid place to visit. Traditional dhows sail slowly past, propelled by billowing white sails, while Swahili fishers cast their nets below a brilliant red sunrise.

Saadani is where the beach meets the bush. The only wildlife sanctuary in East Africa to boast an Indian Ocean beachfront also possesses all the attributes that make Tanzania’s tropical coastline and islands very popular with European sun-worshipers. Yet it is also the one place where those idle hours of sunbathing might be interrupted by an elephant strolling past or a lion coming to drink at the nearby waterhole!

Protected as a game reserve since the 1960s, in 2002, it expanded to cover twice its former area. The reserve suffered greatly from poaching before the late 1990s. Still, in recent years a marked turnaround has been seen due to a concerted clampdown on poachers based on integrating adjacent villages into the conservation drive.