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Saadani From Dar es Salaam - Compare 11 Tours

Dar es Salaam is the gateway to Tanzania’s south, at once an interesting city in its own right and a transport hub that connects Zanzibar, southern Tanzania and the rest of the country. Close to Dar, and popular with residents of Tanzania’s largest city, Saadani National Park is one of the country’s least-known national parks. Apart from its proximity to town (locals often visit for the weekend), Saadani has some interesting wildlife possibilities and the added bonus of being right by the coast. With its combination of wildlife and undeveloped Indian Ocean shoreline, it offers something that no other park in Tanzania can.

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1-11 of 11 Saadani safaris starting from Dar es Salaam

5 Questions About Saadani Safaris From Dar es Salaam


5 Questions About Saadani Safaris From Dar es Salaam

Answered by Anthony Ham

Which animals can I expect to see on a Saadani safari?

“Don’t visit Saadani National Park imagining that you will see large numbers of animals, or the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino). That’s because Saadani has more limited wildlife than some other parks. But it certainly has some interesting species. The most commonly seen animals here are usually hippo and crocodile, although elephant and giraffe are other Saadani prizes. If you’re only on a short visit to the park, these will likely be the highlights of your trip. If you stay a little longer, or you’re just lucky, you could also see lion, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and some local specialties including Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, Roosevelt’s sable and red duiker. Along the coast, watch for green turtle. The birding here is also excellent. And when you see these animals, you’ll appreciate Saadani’s special gift: this is the only place in Tanzania where you can see many of them within sight of the beach.”


Which activities are possible in Saadani National Park?

“The main activity when you visit Saadani National Park is going on a game drive to see the park’s animals. Unless you’re on a self-drive safari, this game drive, usually conducted in an open-sided 4WD safari vehicle with a canvas roof and tiered seating, will be operated by a guide and a driver. Game drives usually take place early in the morning or late in the afternoon. These are the best times for wildlife viewing because this is when the animals are at their most active and easiest to see. It’s also the best time of day for taking photographs. Other activities possible on a visit to Saadani are bushwalking, swimming at Sange Beach and boat safaris. The latter take you along the Wami River, offering a wholly different perspective on the park and its vegetation and wildlife.”


Can you visit Saadani as a day trip from Dar es Salaam?

“You could go to Saadani as a day trip from Dar es Salaam, but it’s not the ideal way to visit. If you’re traveling by road, even if you left the city at dawn, you wouldn’t arrive here until mid- to late morning, and you would have to leave by early afternoon. That would mean that you miss out on the best times for seeing Saadani’s wildlife, which is early in the morning and late in the afternoon. You could fly here from Dar, but the two flights needed would make for a very expensive day trip. And even if you fly, you’d still miss the best wildlife-viewing times of day. If you are able to spend longer on your Saadani safari from Dar es Salaam, a 2-day safari really is my minimum recommended amount of time. Three days (allowing a full day in the park) would be perfect.”


How long does it take to get from Dar es Salaam to Saadani?

“By road it’s a 4- to 5-hour drive from Dar es Salaam to Saadani National Park. There are a couple of possible routes (one via Chalinze, the other via Bagamoyo) and both involve around 50km/30mi on an unpaved road on the final stretch of the journey. These unpaved sections can be tricky after any rains and even become impassable after sustained heavy rains. Make sure that your tour operator and driver are aware of the current conditions before setting out from Dar. If you fly, you can travel from Dar es Salaam to Saadani in around an hour. This is the flying time. To this you need to add getting to the airport in Dar and waiting around for your plane to leave. Of course, flying is expensive, so this option may not be a possibility for those on a cheap or more affordable safari.”


How much will my Saadani safari from Dar es Salaam cost?

“With so many different safari tours and packages on offer, it’s impossible to say exactly how much you will pay for your Saadani safari from Dar es Salaam. As a rough starting point, a really cheap budget camping safari might start at around US$100 to US$150 per person per day. This should include transfers, park entry fees, driver, vehicle, guide, accommodation (including camping equipment), meals and some drinks. Always ask what’s included and make sure you know what you’re getting to avoid nasty surprises when it's time to pay. At the higher end of the market, you can expect safari costs to begin at US$300 per person per day, but this could be much more if you include flight transfers, luxury accommodation, high-season prices (June to October) and a private (instead of a group) safari.”


Saadani Safari Reviews

3.2/5 17 Reviews
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Bush and beach in one

Combining an Indian Ocean beach retreat with a big game safari – the boast of many an East African visitor package – generally involves an expensive and time-consuming transfer between the two. Saadani is the one park where you can...

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Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

East Africa’s unique safari destination on the beach

Saadani is Tanzania’s only park with ocean frontage, but it wasn’t as scenic as I had expected; fairly flat and featureless, and the beach scruffy and not the paradisiacal swathe of sand usually seen in East Africa. But I enjoyed the...

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Amy Haselow Reviewed: Apr 16, 2015

Saadani is definitely beautiful and tropical. There is wildlife, but it's not as abundant as the other parks. You won't see it constantly. The best part of Saadani was the safari lodge. The Indian ocean was beautiful.

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Sandy H.  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Apr 16, 2015

Fabulous accommodations right on the Indian Ocean! The safari outing weren't as exciting as some of the other parks, but the accommodations couldn't be beat! Also, the giraffe on the airport runway added excitement! The river safari to see...

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peter the safari maniac Reviewed: Apr 11, 2012

A Tent with a. iew have been here since it was a game reserve they r the experts of saadani! Saadani safari lodge now owned by Costa is excellent .. it used to be owned by David my friend of A Tent with a View b4 he sold to Costa! i would...

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Globalism Pictures  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jan 23, 2012
Bush, beach and wide open river - a perfect combination

Saadani was the first time I'd experienced a real safari. I'd been to Tanzania before and was bewitched by the place, but I hadn't actually made it properly out into the bush on the first visit. This time, it was going to be different. The...

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