Saanane national Game Park, is located on an island in Lake Victoria. The park covers an area of about 2.20 square kilometers, Saanane national park was established as a zoo in 1964 and was the first zoo in Tanzania, in 1991 the island was gazetted as a game reserve before it was gazetted as a national park in July 2013. The parks name was derived from the former owner who was called Saanane Chawandi. This park is a must visit for clients on Tanzania safaris.
Saanane national park is about 20 -15 minutes boat ride from Mwanza town of Tanzania, most of the parks animals were ferried to the park between 1964 and 1966, this is also the one of the park located within a city in Tanzania, the island is composed of three islets and aquatic environment it’s also been recorded as the smallest game park in East Africa. Its still a great place to go for Tanzania adventure holidays.
Saanane Island is the best place to do a one day tour from providing tourists with panoramic views of the park and the magnificent Lake Victoria which is the source to the longest water body in the world, Saanane national park boasts with variety of animals as well as numerous bird species
Some of the activities to be done at Saanane Island can be seen below
Game viewing: One of the most rewarding activities any tourists can engage in is taking a game drive, Saanane national park is blessed with a lot of wildlife namely: elephants, impalas, black rhinos, warthogs, bush backs, buffalos and many more primates that can be seen are the velvet monkey, patas monkey and colobus monies to mention a few. Da- Brazas monkey is also found in the Saanane Island making it the only place where to find this species in the country.
Guided nature walks: Tourists can take guided nature walks to the sunny beaches as well as explore the whole Saanane national park on foot, this provides you with opportunities to come in close contact t with wildlife and nature you will be able so to see flowers and insects and many more.
Rock hiking: Tourists can hike up to the island and have gorgeous views of the oust spreading lake Victoria and come across a lot of game like vervet monkeys, elands, impalas, elephants, buffalos, zebras and many more while coming across many plant species. The rock beacons will give you very majestic views of the lake especially when u views from the Bombay cave.
Boat riding: Taking a boat ride from Lake Victoria will expose tourists to water birds, crocodiles and hippos lunch can also be packed and enjoyed in the water, this rides always last for about 1 and half hours the splendid lake will also expose you many aquatic animals like crocodiles, there are also several fish species to see.
Sport fishing: Fishing is one of the recreational activities tourists can enjoy while at Saanane island national park, your tourist guide will take you through the fishing session tourists are advised to come with their fishing gears and must acquire permits for fishing in the designated areas before doing this activity the commonly caught fish here is Nile perch and tilapia.
Bird watching: Apart from being a very scenic lake, Lake Victoria is a home too many water birds both migratory and residential birds alike some of the birds to be seen at the Saanane Island are;
Picnic sites: There are a number of tourist’s picnic sites where tourists can enjoy their packed lunch from and enjoy Victoria’s cool breeze.
Saanane national park can be visited all year round however the best time of the year for visiting the park is in June to August for those who love to do wildlife viewing the vegetation is short and animals can easily be seen. For bird enthusiasts the best time the best period is in November to March.