Saadani and Pangani
Saadani and Pangani
The coast north of Dar es Salaam offers a couple of gems in the form of Sadaani 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 Sadaani and Pangani
- 4x4 game drive – whilst it doesn’t have the diverse game of some other national parks, Saadani has elephants, giraffes, several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and birds such as the impressive ground hornbill, as well as lion and leopard although these are rarely sighted. It’s quite enough to make for an exciting game drive.
- Take to the water – the Wami River flows through Sadaani and a boat trip here is a great way to observe life in and around the water. Look out for hippos, crocodiles and fish eagles as you sit back and enjoy the cruise. For a change of scene 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 Sadaani 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 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.
When to visit Sadaani 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.
Excellent Good Fair Poor
JUNE TO OCTOBER
- June to August are excellent for game viewing and forest walks in Saadani
- September and October are also good months for safaris
- In Pangani June to October are sunny and not as hot as other months
- The ocean is calmer in these months
- This is peak season and many properties book up in advance
NOVEMBER TO MAY
- January and February are prime safari months in Saadani with animals at the waterholes
- December to April have the highest temperatures and are dry months in both areas
- The short rains in November are light and have little negative impact
- The main rains of April and May impact on both safaris and beach days and some beach properties close at this time
- In December and January the kazi-kazi trade wind can mean rougher seas
Where to stay in Sadaani 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.