Margarethe Trappe

Name ID 625

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Extract Author: Rolf Ackermann
Page Number: 2005 02 19
Extract Date: Feb 2005

Die wei�e J�gerin

Thanks for your perfect Website which gave me a lot of good information about Tanzania. May I put your and your readers attention on the book


by Rolf Ackermann

Droemer-Knaur Verlag (Germany)

ISBN 3-426-19681-6


Published in Febr. 2005

It�s the biographical Story of the legendary German Huntress Margarete Trappe, who came to Eastafrica in 1907 and built up the later well known Momella Lodge (Mount Meru), which became famous with the movie "Hatari" with John Wayne and Hardy Kr�ger. This book covers the history of East Africa with a lot of information about "Mama " Jeyo" Trappe", about Zanzibar and the german Colony Deutsch-Ostafrika.

Rolf Ackermann

from (follow the link)

Die wei�e J�gerin

Als die Briefe ihres Bruders aus Afrika eintreffen, beginnt die junge Margarete davon zu tr�umen, ebenfalls dorthin zu gehen. 1907 bricht sie gemeinsam mit ihrem Mann Ulrich nach Deutsch-Ostafrika auf. Am Fu�e des Kilimandscharo wei� sie sofort: Hier ist ihre Heimat.Margarete und Ulrich bauen eine Farm auf, die zu einem Paradies f�r sie und ihre Kinder wird. Doch im Gegensatz zu Margarete kann ihr Mann Afrika nur wenig abgewinnen. Verst�ndnislos bleibt er zur�ck, wenn sie wochenlang durch die Savanne und den Busch reitet, auf der Jagd nach L�wen und Elefanten. Margarete gewinnt schnell das Vertrauen der schwarzen Einheimischen, die die wei�e J�gerin unendlich bewundern. Je mehr sich das Ehepaar voneinander entfremdet, desto st�rker wird Margaretes Liebe zu Anthimos, der ihre Leidenschaft f�r Afrika teilt. Beim Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkriegs will er mit ihr Afrika verlassen. Doch Margaretes Herz h�ngt an diesem Land und an ihrer Farm �

Extract ID: 4990

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Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa
Page Number: 51
Extract Date: 1916

Minor Rift Valley Sites

Minor Rift Valley Sites - Reck mentions the following:

In 1916, Mrs Trappe discovered old tombs on her farm at the eastern foot of Mount Meru, which differ markedly from those at Engaruka and Ngorongoro: 'In front of, and not on top of, the grave stood a shield-like stone slab, like a door, about one and a half metres long and one meter high ..... This great slab was supported by dressed stones, and in front of it lay bones, pot shards, and small stones painted red. Remnants of stone huts and of foundations of a stone wall were likewise found.'

Extract ID: 1257

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Extract Author: George Brzostowski
Page Number: 2004 01 16
Extract Date: 1946


Dear Ryszard,

Thank you for a very interesting site on Tengeru. I was came across it casually while looking for something on Momela.

Tengeru is where I was born in 1946. My parents were among the displaced Poles. My mother was a sister in the hospital.

It is with some joy that I can say that while my mother is in Canberra, Australia, I found out about a lady living in Queanbeyan, just outside Canberra, who was also working in Tengeru. The two ladies are now very close friends!

My parents and I spent a few years on Momela that was owned by Mrs Trappe at the time. It was an exceptional place where Germans and Poles got on very well - indeed one of Mrs Trappe's married a Polish girl. There are two books on Momela. One is in German - "Am Fusse des Meru" and the other in English, called simply "Momela"

I will never forget living on the slopes of the foothills of Meru, and having the privilege of watching Kilimanjaro look enormous as the sun was setting behind us to the West.

That was back in the late 40s and perhaps early 50s. We then moved to Kongwa, near Dodoma, where my father was a pasture research scientist.

Later we moved to Canberra. Unfortunately my father passed away in 1976 while he was still working for the CSIRO. For my part, I am a Barrister.

Thank you once again for your site and work in compiling this interesting up-date on what happened at Tengeru.


George Brzostowski

Extract ID: 4666

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Extract Author: George Brzostowski
Page Number: 2009 03 21
Extract Date: 1950's


I loved coming across this web site. My parents, Helena and Henry, were close to Mrs Margarete Trappe.

We shared a 3-room building on Momella with her son Rolf and daughter-in-law, Linka (who was also Polish and whose full name was 'Halina'). We were in the Southern end and they were in the Northern room.

We had a lounge room in the middle of the building, and I still remember the lion skin on the floor.

I remember also there was a vegetable garden on the floor of the valley to the South, and among that garden, there was a circular swimming pool.

My father share farmed on Momella before eventually going to head up a pasture research station in Kongwa. He had 2 tours of duty in Kongwa (the first with the OFC and the second with the TAC), with one tour of duty at Urambo, where he established for the OFC the 'Jacaranda Farm' station.

I went to Kongwa School from about 1952 to 1958 with one year in London.

Mrs Trappe's daughter, Ursula, and her husband Ulrich, lived in a a nearby building. It was on the South side of a road that ran East-West, and which was also the access road to Arusha. To the West of it there was what we called 'elephant rock'. This was from where each afternoon one could watch firstly shrieking and playful Colobus monkeys emerge from the forest on the other side of the valley which was on the south side of that road, followed by many elephants coming out to feast on the vegetation in the valley floor.

Mrs Trappe lived in a lovely stone building up on the hill, facing the East (and Kilimanjaro). Nearby there was a growth of pine trees, and the source of a stram of cool clean water. It was used to power a maize grinder and other machinery in the workshop building down the hill.

I have been trying to find any information about the actual location of the original farm, and any remaining buildings. I have some photos similar to the ones in the books 'Am Fuse des Meru', and in the English language, 'Momella'.

Being in Australia now, and getting on in years, I am limited to Google Earth, and the part which may be relevant is not shown in fine resolution compared to what one can see from where the Momella Wildlife Lodge is shown.

I would be grateful for any references that might be of help.

I would like to make contact with anyone who knew people in Kongwa, Momella, Arusha or Tengeru where I was born.


George Brzostowski SC

Canberra Australia

Extract ID: 5986

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Turner, Kay Serengeti Home
Page Number: 154
Extract Date: 1958

The Grzimeks

Bernard Grzimek and his son Michael, were invited by the Board of Trustess, at their own expense, to carry out an aerial count of the plains animals in the Serengeti; to plot their main Migration routes; and to advise on the proposed new boundaries of the Park.

At first the Grzimeks had contemplated buying, as a game sanctuary, part of Momella in Tanzania - a beautiful farm, owned by a German named Trappe. The farm was set amongst forests and lakes at the foot of Mount Meru and overlooked Mount Kilimanjaro to the east. It was a paradise for game, and is now a National Park, 42 square miles in extent. Professor Grzimek sought the advice of Colonel Peter Molloy, the Director of Parks, who suggested that the money be used for a research project in the Serengeti.

Extract ID: 302

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Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 211 footnote
Extract Date: 1958

Mrs von Trapp

Popular belief holds that when Mrs von Trapp, the Austrian owner of Momella farm West Meru, died after having lived there for many years, a herd of elephants of which she was very fond trumpeted mournfully outside her house.

Extract ID: 4394

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Extract Author: Roger Hubbert
Page Number: 2004 10 30
Extract Date: 1960's

Do you have any leads?

David, when were you in Arusha?

I grew up in Tanganyike and used to live there. I went to school in Mbeya and Kongwa.

I worked for Geoff Lawrence-Brown, hunting and photo safaris and on the Hatari film. Even played polka with the duke! Was good friends with the Trappe famile and Max Morgan-Davies with whom I have lost contact.

Do you have any leads? Salaams!

Extract ID: 4893

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Extract Author: Dieter Czurn
Page Number: 2004 11 15

Rolf Trappes sons

Just yesterday some friends from Momella came to visit me. They are the owners of the Hatari Lodge in Momella, the former house of Hardy Kr�ger, who was an actor in the film Hatari with John Wayne.

They came with a nurse, who was taking care of their baby. She seems to work or have worked for Rolf Trappe jun.. Rolf and Richard Trappe are both living around Arusha. I met Ricky and his mother 3 years ago. At that time they lived near to the western slopes of Mount Meru. I know, that Ricky's health is quite bad, but Rolf seems to be quite ok.

I will try to find out both addresses for you or at least where to find them. I will also come to Tanzania in January. Maybe I will have time to meet them.

The Trappes belonged to our best friends in Tanzania. My father even knew Mrs. Margarethe Trappe, the famous hunter, very well. He came to Tanzania in 1933. We went to Momella many times and Rolf and Ricky visited the same school in the Usambara Mountains ( where I was born and where I grew up ) as we did.

I have attached a photo for you, showing the Trappes. It was my first school day in Soni ( 1963 )

From left to right:

Ricky Trappe, Rolf Trappe( Putschi ), my brother Mani, me and Emil Karafiat, the cousin of the Trappes.

Rolf Trappe sen. and Emil's mother were brother and sister-- both children of Margarethe Trappe.

Kindest regards,

Dieter Czurn

Many thanks for the email, and for the great photo.

I guess it was Jorg and Marlies who came to visit you. I met them also last week at WTM in London, and we had been in email contact before that sharing historical information about the Momella area and the Trappe family, and the making of Hatari. They were looking forward to finding the book about Momella which should have been waiting for them in Germany.

You may deduce from this that it�s just me behind the web site, and that I am based in England. I managed a trip to Arusha in October, but I think that you will be back before me.

If you are in contact with Rolf and Richard Trappe could you please put them in contact with A M Hausheer-Hiltpold. (He emailed me in March looking for information about them).

Thanks for your help

And do please send any more photos or stories which you think will contribute to the site.

Extract ID: 4892

See also

Reuter, Henry J. Official Touring Guide to East Africa: 1967 International Travel Year
Page Number: 074
Extract Date: 1967

Ngurdoto Crater National Park

Having offered this famous trio of Parks, northern Tanzania is by no means done with the tourist. Arusha sits in the shadow of 14,979 ft Mt, Meru, and high up on the mountain is what Sir Julian Huxley has described a "little gem among National Parks." The Ngurdoto Crater National Park is only 20 square miles in area, and has an interesting history.

In the last century, it was a battle ground for rival groups of Masai. Then, in 1907, a German family called Trappe acquired a vast farm on the top of the mountain which, precipitous on one side, is relatively gently sloping on the other and houses a series of lakes in its volcanic depressions.

The Trappe family used the land for ranching for many years. In the 1914-18 war, as Germans they were classified as enemy aliens and the land was confiscated, The whole family moved to South Africa and worked and saved, and later moved back into their old homestead, having purchased back: the 5,000 acres on top of the mountain.

The late elder Mrs. Trappe was a lady of great character. She was the first and only woman to become a professional hunter in East Africa. In 1960 a large part of the Momela estate was made into a game sanctuary. Other members of the family still live in the area.

The Crater National Park is truly a gem. A road has been built to enable the visitor to drive around the lakes, and along the crater rims there are beautiful lockout posts in the forests at which the visitor can picnic and gaze down on the wildlife.

For its area, the Park has more than its share. It is a haunt of large numbers of rhino and hippo; elephant and buffalo frequently cross the trails; giraffe and waterbuck are common and the area is also the haunt of lions, leopards, wild dogs and a host of small game.

Extract ID: 3468

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Extract Author: Robert Lindsay
Page Number: 2007 09 01

Margarethe Trappe and Indiana Jones

Are you aware that Margarethe Trappe appears in an episode of George Lucas's TV series, 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.'

The series chronicles the adventures of young Indiana Jones (played by Sean Patrick Flanery) before, during, and after World War I.

In the episode, 'Young Indiana Jones and the Phantom Train of Doom,' young Indy is a soldier in British East Africa. He joins the 25th Royal Fusiliers, a real life regiment that was made up of English, American, Scottish, Russian, and South African soldiers, most of whom were too old to fight in the regular army.

Indy joins a group of elderly Fusiliers headed by real-life big game hunter, Captain Frederick Selous (Paul Freeman). In the two-part episode, the Fusiliers have two missions behind German lines in East Africa.

In the first mission, Indy and the Fusiliers must destroy a huge German rail gun that has been inflicting heavy casualties on the British forces in Africa. After locating the train in a hidden underground fortress, Indy and the Fusilers succeed at destroying the gun.

In the second mission, Indy and the Fusiliers try to kidnap the famous German Lt. Col. Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who commanded Germany's small African force during World War I. On the way to the Colonel's camp, Indy and the Fusiliers encounter young Margarethe Trappe (played by actress Lynsey Baxter).

Unfortunately, Margarethe is serving as a courier and reconnaisance pilot for the Germans. When Indy and the Fusiliers invade the German camp, it is Margarethe who alerts the German soldiers to their presence.

Indy attempts to kidnap von Lettow-Vorbeck using a hot air balloon. However, Margarethe follows in her bi-plane and shoots down the balloon. When the balloon lands, there is a gunpoint standoff between Indy and Margarethe over the Colonel. With the German army approaching, Indy is forced to give up the Colonel and flee. Margarethe takes the von Lettow-Vorbeck in her plane and escapes with him.

The story is probably heavily fictionalized. (Was Margarethe Trappe a pilot in real-life?) But it shows how much research George Lucas puts into his work, to include these historical characters.

'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles' will be released on Region 1 and Region 2 DVD later this fall. I know 'The Phantom Train of Doom' is available on VHS video. I don't know about PAL video.

Extract ID: 5461

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Extract Author: Lorraine Chittock
Page Number: 2007 02 02
Extract Date: 2000

I met a hunter

I was wondering if you might be able to help.

I met a hunter just outside Arusha/Mt. Meru's National Park back in 2000. (I lived in Kenya for five years.) He told me a Baroness was buried there and the man who killed Mt. Meru�s last elephant. I came across some gravestones the same day.

Is any of this related to the Von Trappe family? I've looked on the internet and can't find a thing. If you don't know, do you know anyone who would? I'm a writer and it's a tidbit of information I'd like to put in my next book. Any leads appreciated!

I'm sure the "Baroness" would be Margarete Trappe (no von I think). This extract says "Popular belief holds that when Mrs von Trapp, the Austrian owner of Momella farm West Meru, died after having lived there for many years, a herd of elephants of which she was very fond trumpeted mournfully outside her house."

So it wouldn't have been her who shot the last Elephant! In fact I'm not sure that anyone did in that I saw elephants up near Mt Meru's crater rim in 1994, and I'm pretty sure they are still around.

Best contact to find out more would be Marlies and Jorge who own the Hatari Lodge just inside the Park. Http://

They have far more knowledge about the history of the area and of Margarete Trappe - in fact they have been involved in the making of a film about her which has recently shown on German television.

Also up on the mountain near the fig tree arch there is the remains of an old hunting lodge. I'm desparately trying to remember the name of the man who owned it. I think it was someone called Nagel - but I'll need to search my notes to confirm. Maybe he hunted elephant until it seemed there were none left.

Try to find Momella: an African Game Paradise, by von Rogister. That will tell you more about Margarete Trappe. ( has a few copies).

Please let me know if you find out more.

No, I guess she wouldn't have been the one to shoot the last elephant, would she???!!!! Yes, I saw that extract on your site, it reminded me of the last scene in Out of Africa with the two lions cavorting near Dennis Finch Hattons resting place. Perhaps all for drama, but all good stuff!

Thank you for the lead for Marlies and Jorge, I'll contact them now.

You have a wonderful site, a really dedication of time and love. all my best to you, Lorraine

Extract ID: 5186

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Extract Author: A M Hausheer-Hiltpold
Page Number: 2004 03 23
Extract Date: 2004 03 23

Rolf von Trappe

I am looking for the address/e-mail of Rolf von Trappe's sons as I have an important message for them regarding their father.

Thanks for your enquiry.

I'm sorry, but I have no further information to help you contact the sons of Rolf von Trappe.


Extract ID: 4823

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Extract Author: Verena Hinsch
Page Number: 2007 01 18
Extract Date: 30 Jan 2007

movie about the life of Margarete Trappe and Momella

With great interest we read some of the comments with regard to Momella Farm.

On the 30th of January 2007 a movie about the life of Margarete Trappe and Momella will be shown on the German TV Channel (ZDF) all over the world and we are very excited about it.

The book: 'Am Fusse des Meru' was mentioned in one of your comments - it was written by Gerd von Lettow Vorbeck!

We are also glad to read that business around Momella, esp with the two owners of the farm (one from Namibia!) is going well. We were born in Namibia and our heart and soul are part of the wonderful African continent.

Verena and Manfred Hinsch

I wish I could see the film, and even more, I wish I knew German so as to be able to follow it, and many other works about Margaret Trappe and others in Tanzania.

I presume that it is Marlies and J�rg that you refer to, as the two owners of the farm because I see from that Marlies is from Namibia.

I know that they have been involved in the making of the film, so if you are not in touch with them, I'm sure they would welcome contact.

thanks for the mail. I've been in contact with J�rg and Marlies and am very happy that they had some involvement in the movie. Africa is a great place � if ever you are able to visit, go see Namibia too - one of the greatest.

Regards, Verena

Extract ID: 5187