Saanane, the rocky Island in Lake Victoria was named after its former owner, the late Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a farmer and fisherman. The Island was established as the first zoo in Tanzania in 1964, objectively to promote interest in wildlife conservation education and provide recreation to Mwanza people. Between 1964 and 1968, the Island was used as a holding ground of an array of wild animals, many of which were introduced into Rubondo Island National Park in Lake Victoria west of Mwanza rock city.
In 1994, the Government declared the Saanane Island as a Game Reserve to promote and strengthen conservation in higher status. It was fully fledged as the 16th National Park in July 2013, covering an area of 2.18 Km2 including an aquatic environment. The Saanane Island National Park (SINP) is made up of other two smaller islets; “Chankende Kubwa” and “Chankende Ndogo”, lying in the south. This is the smallest and first ever National Park located within a city: named Mwanza found in Tanzania – East Africa.
The National Park is located 2 kilometers South-west of the Mwanza Rock city centre, lying in the Gulf of Lake Victoria at Latitude 2.50 S and Longitude 32 E0. Saanane Island is the second National Park after Rubondo Island found in the Lake Victoria; the Africa’s largest fresh water body and the second in the World, after the ‘Superior’ Lake in the United States of America.
How To Get There Stepping into the Mwanza rocky city is much easier by plane, road, railway and water transportation means. Once in the city, it is about 10 minute walk to the National Park office located at Capri-point peninsula near Tilapia hotel. Start your amazing boat rowing tour from the office taking you utmost five minutes to the Island.