Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July 2013, covering an area of 2.18km2 and comprises three islets located on an island in Lake Victoria and an aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island.
- The Park is the home of mammals like Impala, Rock Hyrax, Velvet Monkeys, and Wild Cats. The presence of “De-brazas Monkey” underscores its potential as the only Park in the country inhabiting the species.
- Reptiles are also dominant; they include crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, Agama Lizards, Pancake and Leopard Tortoises, and Snakes, particularly Pythons.
- The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fishery life, mainly Tilapia and Nile Perch.
- Saa Nane Island was named after its previous owner, Mzee Saanane Chawandi, a fisherman who turned into a farmer and later shifted to another island (after being compensated) to pave the way for conservation efforts in the early 1960s.
- It was officially owned in 1964 as the first-ever Tanzania government-owned zoo.
- Originally its territory measured some 0.7km2 comprising both dry land and water.
- However, Saa Nane National Park is annexed and includes two other smaller islets known as Chankende Kubwa and Chandkende Ndogo both located in the southern part of the main island into the bargain thus increasing its protected area to 1.32 km2.
Saanane Island is the ultimate place for :-
- Game viewing
- Birding Safari
- Rock hiking / adventure
- Boat cruise, walking
- Picnics, bush lunch
- Photographing and filming
- Meditation and sport fishing
- Engagement, Wedding, Anniversary
Saanane Island can be reached by park boat and airplane from two different locations. By road, railway, or air from either Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International airports or Zanzibar to Mwanza airport or town. Moreover, people can travel by ship/vessel to Mwanza Port from Uganda, Kenya, Bukoba, and nearby Islands.
- From Mwanza port, the Island is accessed by a regular short boat ride, for about 5 to 10 minutes from Park Offices, on the mainland. Park Offices are easily accessed about 15 minutes short walk from the City Centre.
There are several options for Hotels and lodges within the City of Mwanza. The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City.