Tanzania : Saadani National Park
Saadani is the only coastal National Park in East Africa. There is not as much game here as in other reserves in Tanzania but it is a brilliant place to wind down after your flight, combining gentle safari with relaxing on an Indian Ocean beach. You will also have the rare opportunity to see Africa's big game and bird life interacting with the sea. Saadani has a diverse population of birds and mammals including the rare Roosevelt sable, hippos, crocodiles and colobus monkeys. Bottled-nosed dolphins are common off the Southern coast of the reserve, whales pass through the Zanzibar channel in October and November, and there is a green turtle breeding beach at Madete in the North. Activities include nature walks, boating on the river and game drives.
Saadani Safari Lodge is situated on the beach and consists of eight en-suite tented bandas, with thatched roofs. At the centre of the camp is the restaurant and a separate bar and library. Behind the camp, overlooking a small waterhole is a tree house, which is a lovely spot to enjoy a book or some tea while watching animals and birds come and go. There is also a pool to relax at in the heat of the day You can also take a boat safari, down the coast and into the Wami River. The boat usually passes large flocks of flamingos outside the mangroves at the estuary, before entering the river. Crocodiles lie still among the reeds at the water-side, agitated hippos dive for safety, black and white colobus monkeys sit high in the trees, and everywhere is a profusion of bird life. Explored by foot, the reserve is extremely rewarding. A further safari experience not to miss is a trip to Saadani village, a fishing community with a fascinating history and a fort once used for screening slaves.
"The food here was unbelievably good from a tiny kitchen. The camp's efforts to make the absolute best of solar power made us feel really want to conserve our use without any pressure from the people running the camp. The river trip was truly wonderful."
Pamela and Guy, Cambridge
A Tent with a View is a really good value option in Saadani. It has an amazing setting on a pristine stretch of Indian Ocean beach. Its 10 tented bandas and three suites are built amongst coconut groves, and each one has its own theme with an en-suite bathroom and large balcony with hammocks looking out to the sea. Natural materials have been used as much as possible in both the building and the interiors, and lights and water heating are solar powered. Various activities are offered from the lodge including walking safaris, canoeing and game drives. The emphasis here is really on the setting and the beauty of the local environment rather than luxury.
This beachside place is stunning and the lodges on stilts are breataking – food and staff were also excellent and very interesting hearing about the elephant project.”
Caroline and Mike, Derby
"Very special. There was not alot of game (but we knew that). The whole experience was fantastic, and the highlight was having the ocean at our doorstep."
Gillian and Martyn, Wales