Saadani and Pangani

Saadani and Pangani

The mainland coast north of Dar es Salaam offers a couple of gems in the form of Saadani and Pangani. The former is the only coastal national park in Tanzania, and the latter is a laid-back beach destination offering a range of activities. These areas are often overlooked in favour of the better known parks and resorts, meaning you’ll be well away from the crowds and will feel as though you have it all to yourself, along with a handful of fellow guests.

Things to do in Saadani and Pangani

  • 4×4 game drive – Saadani National Park has elephants, giraffes, several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and birds such as ground hornbills, as well as lion and leopard although these are rarely sighted. It’s not the Serengeti but it can offer a good game drive.
  • Take to the water – On a boat trip on the Wami River, look out for hippos, crocodiles and fish eagles as you sit back and enjoy the cruise. Or board a canoe to drift through the coastal mangroves where you can hope to spy herons, kingfishers and lizards.
  • Go for a stroll – The sands of both Saadani and Pangani are ideal for leisurely walks by the Indian Ocean. In Saadani you can also go for forest walks looking out for colobus monkeys.
  • Snorkelling and diving – From Pangani you can access Maziwe Island Marine Reserve where you can don a mask and flippers or diving gear to explore the clear ocean waters, corals and fish and you may find yourself side by side with a turtle or dolphin.
  • Sailing and kayaking – Relax on the Indian ocean on a sunset dhow cruise as you sip a chilled drink. Or maybe you’d prefer a spot of sailing in a laser dinghy. Kayaks offer the chance to explore the nearby creeks. All are available in Pangani.


Saadani and Pangani

The coast can be visited year round, and it proximity to the equator means the climate varies little month to month. The main rains take place in April and May, with short rains in November, so you may wish to avoid these months. Some properties close during the main rains.




  • June to August are good for game viewing and forest walks
  • September and October are also good months for safaris
  • In Pangani June to October are sunny but cooler
  • The ocean is calmer in these months
  • This is peak season and many properties book up in advance


  • January and February are prime safari months in Saadani
  • December to March tend to be dry and hot
  • The short rains in November are light and have little bad impact
  • The main rains of April and May impact on both safaris and beach days and some beach properties close at this time
  • Trade winds in December and January can mean rougher seas

Saadani and Pangani mainland coast holidays

Below you will find some itineraries that we’ve put together as recommended suggestions. You might find one of these is perfect for your needs as we’ve put a lot of thought into including some wonderful experiences in each of these safaris, and we really love what they offer. However, if none of these quite fit the bill for you, do call us and let us know what you’d like. We ready to help you plan your perfect Tanzania safari holiday..

Selous & Ruaha Safari

Prices from £3,600 pp for 8 days
(exc. intl flights)

If you are looking for a week’s safari in southern Tanzania, and you want unpretentious but comfortable lodges for a good price, this safari in Selous and Ruaha using the Fox family lodges…

relaxing on the beach

Relax on the Tanzania Coast

Prices from for 6 days
(exc. intl flights)

Stay on the mainland coast for a good alternative to an island beach escape.

Where to stay in Saadani and Pangani

There are just a handful of small properties in Saadani, ranging from a camp with simple bungalows to a lodge with spacious suites. In Pangani our favourite place to stay is The Tides Lodge, set directly on the beach with a choice of cottages, a secluded suite and houses for families.