Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, a view of the northern end of the field from the road to Momela (left) on a cloudy morning
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, Zebras (near) and buffaloes (far) grazing at the field on a cloudy morning
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, Zoomed photo of buffaloes and Zebras razing as seen from the road to Momela
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, buffaloes and zebras (far left and blurry) grazing at the field on a cloudy morning
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, a view from the road to Momela about 5 minutes from the Ngongongare gate
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, looking at its southern end from the road to Momela.
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, view from the road to Momela
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, the roads to it (behind junction) from Ngongongare gate with road to Ngurudoto on the right, road to Momela on the left
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park behind the tree, with a signpost at the junction on the road from Ngongongare gate. right to Ngurudoto and left to Momela
Mini serengeti of Arusha national park, as seen from the northern end of the Momela rd.
Altitude: 1400 m.a.m.s.l.
Locally known as 'Serengeti ndogo' (swahili), the mini serengeti - is an open grassland inside Arusha national park where various animals come to graze including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, Zebras, Warthogs, Waterbucks etc.
It is the first attraction that you would see if entering the park using the Ngongongare gate - especially if using the road to Momela; However, the animals only hang around this area during the mornings, becoming increasingly rare as the day moves on.
It is one of the few places inside the park where you would find an open grassland, and its large size and presence of animals is more than enough to give you that feel of being in the Serengeti plains. Other open grasslands include uwanja wa mbogo (buffalo's glade) and a smaller one located on your way to the Momela lakes.
What to do there?View the different animals that you would find grazing there, most of whom would spot you well before you see them. This is in fact the only place where you would see such a large collection of animals in the whole park. When done, you could also visit the other attractions in the park of even climb mount Meru.
Best time to visit?The mornings of any day of the year, as no hiking is needed - most of the viewing is done from the comfort of a car and the roads are well maintained - all seasons - dirt roads. However, if you intend to visit the rest of the park, then it's best to come during the dry season (July to February).
Location of Mini Serengeti
The Mini Serengeti of Arusha national park is located about 500 metres north of Ngongongare gate and the southern border of the park. It also is next to the road to Momela and approximately one kilometre from the rural suburb of Ngongongare. For more information on its location, please see the map below (click to start).
How to get there?First of all you would have to get to Ngongongare gate, which can either be done by public transport (buses to Momela), a rental or a private car. From here on if your only intention is to visit this field alone, then you could request a short walking safari to the place (may need to verify with TANAPA).
If you prefer to visit the place by vehicle, then a private car might be necessary, whether your own, a rental one or a tours and travel one. This would make it possible to visit the other parts of the park as well but you may be required to pay a permit fee for the vehicle at the gate before proceeding to the field.
Non 4x4 vehicles are also allowed but all private vehicles are charged an entrance fee, with the lighter Tanzanian vehicles being charged less than the heavier non Tanzanian registered ones. For more information on the charges, please see the TANAPA website.
At the time of writing, other fees payable include a conservation fee of TSHS 5000 or USD 45 for E.A. citizens and other nationals respectively. There are public buses that traverse through the park which would allow you to get a quick glimpse of the field without paying too much for it.
ReferencesInformation from an actual visit to the grassland
Abbreviationsm.a.m.s.l. - metres above metric sea level TANAPA - Tanzania National Parks
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