Saanane Island National Park

Saanane Island National Park is a Tanzanian national park Located in Mwanza – Tanzania, Saanane Island National Park is one of the country’s only two national parks situated at a lake (Lake Victoria).

Of course the Park can only be accessed by boat within about 10 minutes from the TANAPA offices on Capri Point in Mwanza town.

Covering a total area of about 2.8 square kilometers makes Saanane the smallest national park to ever exist both in Tanzania and East Africa entirely.

The misery history of the Park

The Park inaugurated as Saa Nane Island Game Sanctuary and was suddenly bombed during the air campaign of the Uganda–Tanzania War.

On the 1st of April in 1979, Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi ordered one of his Tupolev Tu-22 bombers to attack Mwanza, hoping to thereby intimidate the Tanzanian government into calling off its invasion of Uganda.

The Tu-22 completely missed the city, however, and its five anti-personnel rockets instead hit the game sanctuary, slightly injuring one worker and killing several animals.

According to journalists Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey, six antelopes as well as many birds were killed. In contrast, historian Kenneth M. Pollack stated that “a large number of antelope” was killed.


Visiting this Park will see you spot some of the mammals like Impalas, Rock Hyraxes, Velvet Monkeys and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species.

There is also a variety of reptile species that visitors will spot, including; crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, Snakes particularly Python. The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.