Saanane Island National Park


Park Overview

Park Size

0.5 sq km (0.2 sq miles)


Park Location

In the Lake Victoria, about 2km southewest of Mwanza city center.


How to get there

Mwanza is connected to other major centers in Tanzania by air and road, and it’s the terminus of a historic railway line from Dar Es Salaam. Saanane Island National Park is accessed by a regular short boat ride from a well signposted jetty a short drive or walk southwest of central Mwanza.


What to do

Game viewing and bird watching on the lakeshore and rocks. Boat hiking, picnic sites, walking safaris and canoeing excursions.


When to go

All year-round. Birdlife is most varied and scenery greenest over Nov-March. June –August is the dry season and great for picnics.


Where to stay

No accommodation within the park, but Mwanza is serviced by a plethora of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.



Saanane in details…

Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment.  The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.

The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa. The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species.  Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python.

The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.      

The Park is located 2km Southwest of Mwanza city centre, which lies in the Gulf of Lake Victoria (Latitude 2.5 S and Longitude 32 E).

Saanane Island is an ideal place for game viewing, bird watching, rock hiking, boat cruise, walking, picnics, bush lunch, photographing/filming, meditation and sport fishing.  Special occasions like wedding, engagement, team building, family day and birthdays can also be organized.


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