- Mwanza city provides numerous pursuits for travellers who know no boundaries and the idyllic shores of Lake Victoria are the host of many local activities.
Saanane Island National Park close to Mwanza has become a conventional tourist attraction near the city.
Mwanza city provides numerous pursuits for travellers who know no boundaries and the idyllic shores of Lake Victoria are the host of many local activities.
Completely unique in her own right - it is an island detached from the mainland on Lake Victoria – Saanane is a small rocky island home to some fascinating land and marine species.
To get there my companion and I, recently, joined other visitors in a short boat ride. The ride takes visitors to see the wealth of nature, including sweeping horizons of Lake Victoria. The Sanaane Island National Park is located 2 km south-west from Mwanza city centre. It is this precise accessibility that inspired us to tour the park.
A quick scale of Capri Point, one of the leafy suburbs of Mwanza city, gives visitors an amazing high up panorama view across the waters of Lake Victoria, and Saanane itself.
Saanane Island is an amazing attraction sight. The island is a breathtaking scenic setting with natural growth and marine attraction. It has been pulling in many residents from Mwanza city and other surrounding areas for decades.
The island was named after its previous owner, Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman who was persuaded to leave and let the island be used for conservation in the early 1960’s.
Ever since given its proximity to Mwanza, the island has flourished attracting visitors from near and far. It was awarded game reserve status in 1991.
Saanane island which became a fully fledged national park in July 2013 is comprised of three islets. The islets lie on the southern part of the main island.
Saanane which is the latest additions to the family of Tanzania parks was originally meant to promote intensive conservation education in wildlife and recreation (a day tour or outing) to Mwanza residents.
It has now turned to be a tourist hot spot for many including international visitors. Saanane Island is the second National Park to stride in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest fresh water body after Rubondo Island.
A guide told us how the wild animals were brought into the park, which was a game reserve before being gazetted as the 16th Tanzanian park.
Between 1964 and 1966 different species of wild animals were ferried to the Island. These included buffalo, bushbuck, dik-dik, elephant, eland, impala, black rhino, topi, warthog, and wildebeest. Other species were zebra, monkeys, and velvet, giraffe, porcupine, and crocodiles. However, wilder animals like rhinos were caged.
The aquatic part of the park offers all types of fish (mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch), crocodiles, water snakes and monitor lizards, other reptiles including tortoises, grass snakes, pythons and agama lizards mainly found on huge stones.
Other attractions include the remarkable landmarks of Mwanza: the huge naturally rocky hills and landscapes, And the lake view, natural vegetation decorated by various bird species, insects, and flowers.