Go on safari in the only coastal wildlife park in East Africa
Perhaps the most romantic evocation on the planet, Zanzibar’s turquoise waters and white sand beaches offer the quintessential tropical paradise. Few know about its equally stunning neighbour, Saadani National Park, a short hop by plane across the Zanzibar channel. Saadani’s wild, deserted beaches are home to baboons, breeding green turtles, and even the odd lion. Elephants gather in significant numbers in the thick vegetation of Elephant Island, before traversing the open salt flats into Saadani. In combination, these two destinations offer a magnificent blend of bush and beach.
Arrive at Zanzibar international airport and meet a member of the Tent with a View team. Transfer to the domestic terminal to connect with your flight to Saadani National Park. It takes just 15 minutes to arrive at Saadani airstrip from where you will transfer through the park to the beautiful Simply Saadani Camp, a real hidden gem in time for lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a half-day game drive exploring this unique coastal park. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner.)
Awaken to the sound of Indian ocean waves gently lapping onto the stunning deserted white sand beach. Today is your chance to relax and unwind. Relax at the camp, swim in the warm Indian Ocean waters, walk the deserted beach, explore the colour coded nature trails around the camp, enjoy a local canoe ride along the Mafui creek, or enjoy a lecture about the Saadani elephant, zebra and lion collaring project and conservation work run from the camp. All of these activities are complimentary. In the evening, enjoy a cheeky G&T at the dhow bar followed by a delicious 4-course dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner.)
After lunch, say goodbye to Simply Saadani camp and head out on an afternoon game drive ending at the amazing tower, central to Babs’ camp. We have discovered over the years that many animals like to settle near to the tower at night as they feel safe. The tower is a 20 metre high stone structure complete with two suites, a private bar & restaurant and its own fifth storey crows’ nest. This camp is set on the edge of a salt flat ecosystem and is a favourite place for passing elephants. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner.)
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to the Wami River on the southern boundary of the park for a wonderful two-hour cruise by boat. Enjoy your packed lunch amongst the hippo pods, look for crocs lining the bank and marvel at the stunning birdlife. Return in the late afternoon by safari vehicle, traversing Saadani National Park from south to north, looking for elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and much more. Tonight you will dine on the beautiful salt flats, by a campfire under endless stars. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner.)
Awake early for a foot safari on the salt flats, a great way to study the mosaic of animal prints and see the smaller flora and fauna so often missed on a game drive. Return to the tower for your brunch before relaxing and looking for wildlife from the crows’ nest. From up here, you have fantastic 360-degree views.
Around noon, transfer through the park to the airstrip to connect with the afternoon flight to Zanzibar. Continue north, by road, to the small and intimate Zanzibari hotel. With just eight rooms and three suites, it is quiet, spacious and tranquil. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner.)
The Zanzibari hotel is, at its core, a shrine to the Zanzibari people. Its walls are adorned with images of Nungwi folk, its tours focus on cultural immersion, and its entertainment indulges the traditions of the island. Nzore, who is our assistant manager is known as “Mr Nungwi ” and somebody who can bring our guests into the life of the local people, something which is not easy unless one fully understands the sensitivities of the island.
The remaining days are for you to relax or book excursions such as historical stone town tours, Spice farm tours, diving, snorkelling, sunset cruises, village visits which can be arranged at the hotel. The hotel has a wonderful reputation for international cuisine, infused with Zanzibari twists. It also has a SPA offering massages and body treatments. (Breakfast & dinner.)
After breakfast, transfer to Zanzibar airport for the flight back home or onward travel. (Breakfast.)
Eden Place Hartley Kirkby Stephen Cumbria CA17 4AP