Saanane Island is a fully fledged National Park since July, 2013, covering an area of 2.18 sq km comprises of three islets and aquatic environment. The islets lie on the southern part of the main Island. The park made a record of being the first ever National Park to be located within the City and the smallest National Park in both Tanzania and East Africa.
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, Snakes particularly Python. The aquatic part of the Park inhabits a variety of fisheries 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 1960’s. The Tanzania government officially owned the island in 1964 as the first ever government owned zoo. Originally its territory measured some 0.7 square kilometers comprising both dry land and water.
However, Saa Nane National Park 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 square kilometers. The main objective was to promote intense and conservation education in wildlife and to promote recreation to the people of Mwanza.