Saandani National Park is a 1100 km² (425 mi²) wildlife sanctuary on Tanzania’s eastern coast adjacent to the island of Zanzibar. Thanks to its Indian Ocean coastline, Saandani is one of the few African parks to offer both aquatic and terrestrial tours. Along the coast dolphins are common and Green sea turtles can be spotted. During the October and November migration, whales swim through the Zanzibar channel. Even when creatures are not swimming around, exquisite coral reefs flourish in the pristine ocean off the coast of Tanzania. Further inland, the park is diverse grasslands and forest home to buffalo, elephant, leopard and lion.
Many adventure types are available in Saandani, including game drives, canoe tours, walking safaris and birdwatching. Adventurers are likely to spot antelope, monkeys, and giraffes in addition to four of the big five. Saadani is a five hour’s drive from the international airport in Dar es Salaam and three hours from Tanga. There are daily buses between the park and Dar es Salaam, Tanga and the village of Mkwaja, respectively.
October and November are best for whale watching. The park is subject to the region’s rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy seasons, the south end of the park is very muddy and largely inaccessible. The best time to visit is during the dry season of May through October.