Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island was established as a National Park in July 2013. It covering an area of 2.18 square kilometers including aquatic environment, dry land. The Park is made up of other two smaller islets; “Chankende Kubwa” and “Chankende Ndogo”, which lie in the south.  In 1991, the Government declared the Saanane Island as a Game Reserve to promote and strengthen conservation. The Saanane Island is the smallest and first ever National Park located within Mwanza city Tanzania.

Saanane, the rocky Island in Lake Victoria was named after its former owner Mzee Saanane Chawandi, who was a farmer and fisherman. The Island was established as the first zoo in Tanzania in 1964 whose objectives were to promote interest in wildlife conservation education and provide recreation to Mwanza people.

The National Park is in a rocky city, dominated with massive and highly weathered granite boulders looking funnily and precariously overhanging, acting as the iconic city features.  It is a home of mammals like Zebras, Impalas, Rocks Hyraxes, Velvet Monkeys, Fish, Water otter and Wild cats. The presence of a very shy “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only National Park in the country harbouring the species. Lioness has been introduced as well. It is caged. Reptiles are also dominant, including Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancakes and Leopard tortoises and snakes particularly Pythons. The aquatic part of the National Park renders a better habitat for a variety of fish, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch. Ecologically, the Saanane Island environment peculiarly and splendidly forms one of the best breeding habitats for Crocodiles and Fish in Lake Victoria.


For bird watchers, Saanane Island offers unsurpassed paradise, where more than 70 bird species have been recorded including both resident and migratory birds utilizing terrestrial and aquatic environment.

Other activities can be done in the park besides of game view is Hiking and Boat excursion in the Lake Victoria.

Saanane Island is easily accessed by boat from Mwanza City.

 Best time to visit is all year round is possible: birdlife is most varied and scenery greenest over November-March. June-August is the dry season and great for iconic, game viewing and rock hiking.

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