• Park history

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. Between 1964-1968, the Island was stocked with an array of wildlife species, many of which were released into Rubondo Island National Park.

In 1991, the Government declared the Saanane Island as a Game Reserve to promote and strengthen conservation. It was fully fledged as the 16th National Park in July 2013, covering an area of 2.18 Km2 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. The Saanane Island is the smallest and first ever National Park located within Mwanza city Tanzania.

                               Park map



  • How to get there

  Stepping into the city of Mwanza (the rocky city) is much easier by air, road, train and water transport means. Saanane Island is easily accessed using a boat skip taking five minutes from a dock located a walking distance about 15mins from the city centre.


  • Best time to visit

  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.

  • Main tourist attractions
  • 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, namely; 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
  • The local community (Sukuma) cultural dance performance at cultural centers such as Bujora offers fabulously exciting experience worthy visiting to appreciate the pristine African cultures


  • Accommodation and other services
  • Mwanza city is awash with a number of hotels and guest houses to suit all client tastes and budgets
  • There is one public campsite in the Park
  • A shop selling refreshment has been opened in the Island National Park


  • Available activities
  • Hiking that is natural gymnastic experience is an exclusive activity to do while in the National Park, besides game viewing

           walking     njia


  • The park is also ideal for bird watching: both resident and migratory birds


  • Picnicking


  • Panoramic viewing of the Saanane Island National Park


  • Boat excursions in the Lake Victoria are conducted, prior arrangement has to be made at the Saanane Island National Park office


  • Potential sport fishing has been introduced as well


  • Bush lunch; where tourists prepare meals for their lunch


  • Visits to cultural centers like Bujora for sukuma cultural dances and artifacts


  • Camping: One public camp site named Mamba with a toilet and kitchen




  • Signposts to self guide visitors in the National Park



  • Park tariffs
Age group Citizenship
Expatriate Non-east African East African
A: Entry fee
16 years and above 15 US$ 30 US$ 5,000 Tsh.
Age between 5-15 years 5 US$ 15 US$ 2,000 Tsh
Below 5 years Free Free Free
B: Boat charges
Go and return trip 35 US$ 35 US$ 35,000 Tsh.
Lake excursion – 1 hour 100 US$ 100 US$ 200,000 Tsh.
Lake excursion – 30 minutes 50 US$ 50 US$ 100,000 Tsh.
C: Camping fee
16 years and above 15 US$ 30 US$ 5,000 Tsh.
Age between 5-15 years 5 US$ 15 US$ 2,500 Tsh.
Below 5 years Free Free Free
     D:   Sport fishing fee
16 years and above 10 US$ 20 US$ 10,000 Tsh.
Age between 5-15 years 5 US$ 10 US$ 5,000 Tsh.
Fishing rod hiring for 4 hours 20 US$ 20 US$ 20,000 Tsh.
Fishing boat hiring for 4 hours 50 US$ 50 US$ 100,000 Tsh.
E:   Video shooting, lawn field hiring, bush lunch and tent hiring
Video shooting in the Park 50 US$ 100 US$ 100,000 Tsh.
Shooting at the Park office ground 500 US$ 50 US$ 50,000 Tsh.
Lawn field hiring 5 US$ 500 US$ 1,000,000 Tsh.
Bush-lunch 10 US$ 5 US$ 5,000 Tsh.
Hiring a tent for two people capacity per day 50 US$ 10 US$ 20,000 Tsh.


   Please note:

  • Boat capacity is only 15 passengers on board
  • Photograph, bush lunch, tent and lawn hiring fees are exclusive of other Park fees!
  • Remember to make Park payment in electronic system (Point of Sales-POS) by

           using ‘Visa, and Union Pay’ bank cards of any bank

  • Tariffs are subjected to change without notice and remain valid for 24 hours
  • Love nature please do not
  • disturb wildlife
  • cause any noise or create disturbance likely to offend or annoy other visitors
  • pick any flower or cut or destroy any vegetation
  • discard any litter, burning cigarettes or matches
  • bring pets into the Park
  • feed wild animals
  • cause wild fire
  • carry any weapon while inside the Park



 Chief Park Warden

 Saanane Island National Park,

 P.O. Box 11775,

 Mwanza - Tanzania.

 Landline: +255 28 2541819

 Mobile: +255 689 062276 or +255 767 536139

 Fax: +255 28 2501205

 Email: saanane@tanzaniaparks.go.tz