Wildlife & Animals – Saadani NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Although the park has been hit hard by poachers in the past, some of the more common animals are making a good comeback. Animals you are now likely to encounter on a drive are giraffe, buffalo, warthog, common waterbuck, reedbuck, Lichtenstein's hartebeest, wildebeest, greater kudu, eland, sable antelope, yellow baboon and vervet monkey. The elephant population is on the increase, with herds of up to 30 being sighted occasionally. Lion, leopard and other predators are around, but not easily seen. Boat trips on the mangrove-lined Wami River come with a high chance of seeing hippo, crocodile and a selection of marine and riverine birds.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantOccasional
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloOccasional
ZebraOccasional
WildebeestOccasional
LionVery Rare
LeopardVery Rare
CheetahVery Rare
HyenaRare

Wildlife Highlights

Saadani harbors a small population of Roosevelt's sable, an endangered species found otherwise only in Selous and Kenya's Shimba Hills. The tiny red duiker is a coastal special often seen scurrying around. The beaches in and around Saadani form one of the last major breeding sites for green turtle in Tanzania.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The park is open all year-round, but the access roads are sometimes impassable during April and May. The best wildlife viewing is after the rains, in January and February and from June to August, when there is still plenty of water on the plains, and the wildlife stays within the park.

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