SAANANE ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Saanane island National Park was named after Mzee Saanane Chawandi who was the the owner of the Island. It was established as the first Zoo in Tanzania in 1964. Its main objectives were firstly to promote interest and conservation education in wildlife, secondly was to promote recreation to the people of Mwanza town. Between 1964 and 1966 different species of Wild animals were ferried to the island including Buffalo, Bushbuck, Dik dik, elephant, Eland, Impala, Black Rhino, Topi, Warthog, Wildebeest, Zebra, and Monkeys like Patas and Vervet, Giraffe, Porcupine and Crocodiles. Dangerous animals like Rhinos and Buffaloes were cages while others were in free range. The island was given the status to be Game Reserve in 1991.
The great Lake Victoria forms amazing attraction sight. Wildlife species like impala, Crocodiles, Clawless other, Rock Hyrax, Tortoise, Agama Lizards commonly known as Agama Mwanza and Snakes particularly python. Others include Lion, spotted Hyena, Vervet Monkeys and a very shy De Brazza’s Monkey. About 40 species of residents and migratory birds are common in the Island.
Saanane Island National Park forms spectacular scenery over Mwanza South and Lake Victoria.
The Park is located 2km southernwest from the City centre, which lies in the Gulf of Lkae Victoria.
Saanane Island National Park is accessed by boat. One can travel by Air to Mwanza Airport from Dar es Salaam, KIA, Nairobi, and Entebbe. Again one can reach the Island by road to Mwanza City from Dar, Kigoma, Tabora. Ferry can also be useful to Mwanza Port both from Uganda, Bukoba and nearby Islands. All these ways will lead you to Mwanza City. From there you will need a short drive or walk to the entry gate to the Park.
What to do:
Boat excursion in the Lake Victoria can be arranged on request, picnic sites, rock hiking, game viewing and bird watching along the shores of Lake Victoria and on rocks. Walking along the designated trails, Canoeing along the lake with local boats (dhows) can be arranged.
Best time to visit:
All the year though June – August is the best for picnic as its when the island is dry. Also September – December when short rains starts the vegetations acquire greenish colour which attracts many visitors.
Mwanza City is full of hotel