Arusha: New Safari Hotel

Name ID 1283

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 a

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro

Got one or two queries for you.

Have always been intrigued by the name "Kilimanjaro" and recently saw a village called "Manjaro" on the map, close to Singida.

If the village, which is close to a prominent hill, it seems, was named "Manjaro" before the mountain was called "Kilimanjaro" it might prove interesting, once we find out what "Manjaro" means or how it was derived.

Could Kilimanjaro itself be an abbreviation of Kilima Manjaro"? Or was the village I refer to named after the mountain (which is very far away fo course) and abbreviated?

Would appreciate any suggestions etc. from you or your readers - meanwhile hope all is well!

Extract ID: 5470

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 c

Did Ernest Hemingway ever stayed at the New Safari Hotel in Arusha

Also, any more info on whether Ernest Hemingway ever stayed at the New Safari Hotel in Arusha?

Would appreciate any suggestions etc. from you or your readers - meanwhile hope all is well!

Extract ID: 5471

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Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 39


In 1944, 35% of the pupils were British, in 1945 37%; and in 1946 54% of 119 pupils were British. The balance included 20 Greek, 12 German, 11 South African Dutch, 4 Norwegian, 2 Russian and 2 Danish. By 1951 62% were British, 1955 74%, 1956 76%, 1959 71% 1961 65% and in 1962 60% of the pupils were British.

The TANU party which fought for and achieved independence was born in 1954 and in the 1950s them was a struggle between a growing nationalist movement and some settlers who were striving to retain their isolation and identity. When asked why the school was so self-consciously white, one of the staff from the 1950's replied. "Surely a few schools in the country could be set aside for only European children;" the school was a bit snobbish and colonial but after all some were the children. of colonial officials. The others had somewhere to go because the missions schools would just take anyone".

0n a candidate for admission in 1950, the Headmaster wrote to the Director of Education, "I wish to bring to your attention that this family is probably of Seychelles origin and I suggest that steps are taken to ensure that Peter Gemmel is of pure European descent" . The Director replied that some of the family were already enrolled and the Headmaster again wrote, "The cousins are not pure European but are not likely to attract attention to the fact. The 2 boys have both gone to the Prince of Wales School in Nairobi and there has been no trouble in Kenya. This does not mean however that their cousin is not of a darker hue, and in view of the somewhat illiterate letter written by the boy's mother, I strongly advise waiting until the production of a birth certificate and if possible, a report on the boys appearance".

It would seem the Headmaster could use his discretion over the admission of half-caste children, but in a well documented case in 1955 he chose to interpret the rules to the letter, and there was probably a clash of personalities between him and the father concerned. The case is worth quoting at length because of the insight it gives into the inter-racial relationships at the time.

On 29/8/55, the Director wrote to the Headmaster querying the possible admission of Jamie Mubarack as a day pupil because the father was of Asian stock and had not paid the European education tax. The father was well known as he was manager of the big "Safari Hotel" in Arusha. On 20/9/55, the Headmaster replied, "Mr. Mubarack has a Seychelles wife in Tanga without children, one other wife now divorced; a Polish wife who is the mother of the boy for whom he is seeking admission committed suicide a few months ago. The boy has been brought up as a Moslem, has an olive complexion and does not mix with European children in Arusha".

The Director replied on 17/11/55 asking if the boy was being brought up in a European life style, whether the father has been legally married to the boy's mother and whether the father paid the Asian education. tax? The Headmaster by this time was a little vexed that a direct "no" had not yet been given and that admissions were from that year controlled from Dar es Salaam in order to zone the Mbeya and Arusha intakes. He replied 24/12/55 that the father and son dress in a European style but are practicing Moslems, that the father was married by Moslem rites and paid the Asian tax. He continued, "The senior Provincial Commissioner agrees that he should not be admitted to a Christian school as other Asians who affect a European life style go to the Aga Khan school. It was previously the practice (before admissions were controlled by Headquarters) to require parents to certify that their children were of pure European descent. If this child is admitted, it could be taken as a precedent for other Asian Parents".

In January 1956, the father went to the Senior Provincial Commissioner to ask for an interview with the Governor. However the Director squashed the case by writing 24/1/56: "As the parents are Moslems, it would be inappropriate for Jamie Mubarack to be admitted to an essentially Christian school. Nor can it be argued that them are no other suitable schools available". Both of these seem very evasive reasons for a final refusal.

In 1949 Hamshere had taken a rather different line when a group of parents complained. that a scout rally had been held in the Arusha School grounds and that African scouts had been allowed to camp 100 yards from the girls dormitory and walk through the school building on a guided tour during the, day. He replied to their criticism by pointing out that parents obviously had no objection to the close contact of their daughters with African servants, yet they objected to their daughters sharing, the same school compound with secondary students motivated by the high ideals of the Boy Scout movement.

Extract ID: 4943

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: John Autard
Page Number: 2003 04 23
Extract Date: 23 April 2003

John Autard - Making of the movie Hatari

I found your webpage re Arusha and the making of the movie Hatari - do you know what hotel was used in the film.

My father John (Jean) Autard was running the Safari Hotel at the time but he died in August 1961 and I am trying to put together a chronological history of our family. I have several postcards that were sent from the Safari Hotel at the time with the Hatari Stars on.

I would appreciate any pointers.

Thanking you sincerely

John Autard (jnr)

Cape Town South Africa

Dear Sirs

I have written to you earlier today.

I found on your site reference to "Ben" Benbow who was running the Safari Hotel in 1960/61.


"The Safari Hotel was masterfully managed for the Rydons by a pale-skinned Englishman named Ben Benbow. Benbow was a professional hotelier down to his manicured fingertips and slicked-down hair. He was the only man in Arusha who always wore a suit and tie. Among his dusty, khaki-clad safari clientele, he stood out like a catwalk mannequin in the lturi forest. Rotund, jovial, and present when guests registered, day or night, Benbow was on a first-name basis with every white hunter as well as with celebrity actors such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne, and Hardy Kruger. The walls around the huge copper bat at the Safari were decorated with framed and signed photographs of white hunters with their clients and trophies."


Is he still alive and if so how could I contact him - would you possibly have any photographic references to him?

Thanking you sincerely

John Autard

Cape Town South Africa

Dear John

Thank you for both your emails.

I was going to write to check that you had found all entries relevant for you, and I guess if you found the Benbow entry you probably have.

Did you spot in the Places Index that there are a couple of extracts for the New Safari Hotel, including a fairly recent one from the Arusha Times On-line edition.

The Benbow extract you cite comes from White Hunters by Brian Herne. I've checked to see if there are any pictures of Benbow, but no.

Herne should still be alive, and according to the book is living in Southern California. His research was very extensive, and his sources and acknowledgements give lots of private papers he had access to .

There's nothing so obvious as an email address in the book, so you may have to go through his publishers.

And you asked about the hotel used for filming. - No idea really. The base for filming was at Momella Lakes in what is now the Arusha National Park. Momella Lodge was built for the crew, and the nearby Ol Donyo Rok Lodge was built for Hardy Kruger.

A lot of the plains scenes were filmed out in the Rift Valley near Makiyuni.

The main scene that I remember in Arusha Town involved the Clock Tower, and then in and out of the grocer called Narajan Singh (not sure about the spelling). I'd need to look at the film again to see if there was a hotel involved, and to try to identify it.

I'm visiting Arusha at the end of May, and hope to see the new New Arusha Hotel, and see what they've dug up about Hatari etc.

I've not yet found any (expat) residents of Arusha who were also there in the 1950's, but I'll try to find out what I can.

Are there any more specific questions I might be able to help you with, and do you have any more details about your father's time in Arusha?

Best of luck


Dear David

Thank you for you quick response.

I was hoping that you would be able to cast light on Benbow - I have done several searches on the Net but have yielded nothing as yet. If I were to send you a photograph do you know of anyone that might be able to ID it from that period?

The scene in Hatari wherein the elephants barge into the hotel was at the Safari Hotel, I was in the dining room at the time of filming!!!

Thank you again for being in touch.

Kindest regards


Extract ID: 4471

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The starting point for the new face of Arusha
Page Number: 2
Extract Date: 2002

Discover Arusha Tours

Boyes" description of the Boma 100 years ago is clearly over the top. But ironically, this whitewashed German fort, rehabilitated 1999 with Belgian aid, at the top of Boma road leading to the Clock Tower, is today becoming the starting point for the new face of Arusha. It is used as a centre for art and craft exhibitions, music festivals and drama.

Jan Mannaert, a Belgian former art history teacher, has responded to the town's perpetual transition by establishing "Discover Arusha Tours" (tel: 0744 - 395430). These worthwhile tours begin at the Boma, the first stone building in the town.

Mannaert then takes the visitors to the roof of the New Safari Hotel where on a clear day they can see the town and Mount Meru. Then they are told the history of the Clock Tower. Religious temples and churches, historical buildings, the railway station, the Uhuru (freedom) and Askari (soldier)monuments, and the cemetery are all included.

The Boma houses a Belgian-run caf" called Via Via which serves soft drinks and meals. Inside the Boma there is also a museum. This is sadly empty at present, while staff vehicles parked on the forecourt leave ugly oil stains on the elegant brickwork, destroying the historic atmosphere.

Below the Boma are the town administration offices on the left and the Regional Administration on the right. Before the Clock Tower are airline offices (including Air Tanzania), two other meeting places (Caf" bamboo and Jambo Coffee house), Kase Bookshop, the Tanzanian Tourist Board, tour operators and curio shops.

On the way down Boma Road on the right hand side is the New Safari Hotel and just beyond the Clock Tower to the left is the New Arusha Hotel. Both have deteriorated badly. The New Safari Hotel has been taken over by the Lutheran Church, and the once world famous copper bar is now closed in conformity with temperance. The New Arusha Hotel is badly in need of refurbishment.

To the right of the Clock Tower on Uhuru Road there are women selling Maasai beads on the pavement. Also on Uhuru Road is Lookmanji Curio Shop which, along with The Craft Shop on adjoining Goliondoi Road, is recommended. If you are looking for something authentic from the area, there are Maasai bead ornaments and local batik.

Extract ID: 3432

external link

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: lute wa lutengano
Page Number: No. 00247a
Extract Date: November 23, 2002

Substitutes are Like a Tail Chasing Pup

When I first set foot in this northern Tanzania town, that is way back in the mid 80s, my favourite drinking joints were the Copper bar at the historical New Safari Hotel and The Tavern at the panoramic New Arusha Hotel.

The Copper Bar had a set up based on a theme of the famous John Wayne film, Hatari. It so happens that the famous film star once stayed at the Safari Hotel when making that movie. The Tavern, located on the basement overlooking the beautiful gardens, used to celebrate the old Arusha socialites. This you could tell by the names inscribed on the beer mugs hanging behind the bar man. They were a "who is who" list of the colonial and early independence history of Arusha.

By the time I arrived in Arusha the two bars were catering for different classes of people. The Copper was popular with the town's young professionals while the Tavern was patronised by the elderly and rich. It goes without saying that comparatively more cocktails and hard stuff were consumed at The Tavern. That was when Tony came into the picture. He was The Tavern bar's cocktail wizard. Always pleasant and advising the client accordingly what poison was good for him or her when feeling or in that mood or the other. Surely, Tony was the soul of the bar.

The Copper and The Tavern are no longer there. I am reliably informed though that a new pub, appropriately named Hatari is in the pipeline at the newly renovated New Arusha Hotel. I am told it will be a thematic bar, (based on the same Hatari film) and better organised than the Copper and The Tavern bars. But this is another story all together.

Extract ID: 3626

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Arusha Times
Page Number: 321
Extract Date: 23 May 2004

Hotel reopens after refurbishment

The newly opened New Safari Hotel along Boma Road is a welcome addition to modern facilities catering for visitors to Arusha. The hotel, one of the oldest in the country and with a rich history, even in the film making industry, has been refurbished by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania in Tanzania (ELCT) which recently acquired its ownership.

Extract ID: 4718

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: Elisha Mayallah
Page Number: 380
Extract Date: 31 July 2005

The New Safari Hotel - a blend of comfort and tranquillity

Once the home of the famous hunters such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne and Hardy Kruger, the Safari hotel was masterfully managed for the English sisters Gladys and Margot Rydon by a pale-skinned Englishman named Ben Benbow.

The two sisters owned coffee farms in Arusha; Gladys lived in a magnificent mansion overlooking a mysterious crater lake called Duluti, east of Arusha. Margot's son, David was killed by a buffalo near Arusha in 1964.

Benbow was a professional hotelier down to his manicured fingertips and slicked-down hair. He was the only man at that time in Arusha who always wore a suit and tie. Among his dusty khaki-clad safari clientele, he stood out like a catwalk mannequin in the forest. Rotund, jovial and present when guests registered, day or night.

He was on a first-time basis with every hunter as well as with celebrity actors such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne and Hardy Kruger. During that time the walls around part of the hotel were decorated with framed and signed photographs of white hunters with their clients and trophies.

The Safari Hotel was so fascinating" more so when you learn more about how its character evolved like the scene in HATARI film in which the elephants barge into the hotel. It also happened that the famous film star stayed at the hotel when making the movie. The present-day architectural evokes images that sparkle with unique stay of an exhilarating experience and the memories of the great hunter John Wayne as presented in the film.

The Safari Hotel has a quite a history right back from the last century, it went down as did other old hotels in Arusha, and when it was reborn early last year, it was refurbished extensively leaving no feeling of old but brought in an independent present.

The Safari Hotel [which has now added the adjective 'New"] is strategically located in the heart of Arusha City. It is closer to the famous Clock Tower round about, which is the centre between Cape Town and Cairo. Lately, it has become the starting point for the new face of Arusha City. It is used as a starting or finishing point for music festivals, drama and provides a good City tour for the newly-weds. Nearby there are women selling Maasai beads ornaments, local batiks and sweet bananas while the actual round about is patronised by newspaper sellers, all day-long.

From the hotel which is opposite the Telephone House is a walking distance to the airlines offices, natural history museum, banking facilities, the District and Regional Commissioner's offices, Tanzania Revenue Authority offices, curio shops, Insurance Companies, Bureau de Change', Coffee Bar and the Arusha International Conference Centre [AICC], where the headquarters of the East African Community [EAC], International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [ICTR] and East African Legislative Assembly [EALA] are based.

First impressions of the hotel may give the guest suggestions of a four-star service levels, which has no pretensions beyond its vision" simply superior!

Truly, it is an honest hotel, I cannot think of any other hotel in Arusha that can rival this one for its odd taste, which offers a blend of comfort and tranquillity. The Safari hotel was a four-story rectangular box-built of stone and concrete and in its time the interior was comfortably appointed with lofty rooms. Even today, while the New Safari Hotel has sunk into obscurity with the coming of newer hotels, one cannot help notice the high standard of architecture and design.

Until recently, Arusha had just been a place for quick stop-over before venturing into the famous safaris adventures of Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro or Tarangire, it appeared lackluster. But there seems to be a new spirit of revival and hotels like The New Safari Hotel that had faded into insignificance are now showcases of the modern revival.

In its Arusha clear beautiful morning, Mount Meru, the fifth highest mountain in Africa, is seen in full view from the Hatari Terrace located in the first floor of the hotel with Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa beautifully seen in a far horizon. The Hatari Terrace has become a popular rendezvous for private t�te-�-t�te, conference groups and tourists briefings, who enjoy the fresh air ambience in total.

The hotel, itself full of hunters' tale of old, sits on its flanks overlooking modern-day Arusha basking in its limelight as one of the best hotels in the country. Standing in the cool reception area, I realize for the first time that the hotel is quiet, restful place and ideally for private and business conversations. Someone once told me that the simple recipe for a grand hotel is; more of its quietness, heavy furnishings, reasonable lights with the atmosphere quite solemn, and The New Safari Hotel reflects exactly that!

The hotel offers pleasurable accommodation facilities with a choice of 46 elegant and spacious rooms and 2 de luxe suites" all fitted with highly secured in-room safety gadgets, TV and a minibar. In addition, the hotel offers state-of-art meeting rooms for seminars, workshops and conferences all year-round. It's Flamingo, Tanzanite, Gombe and Twiga meeting rooms, are used repeatedly as a conference gatherings.

The food in the Malaika Restaurant is varied and plentiful, especially the lunches. For buffets there is a wider choice of intercontinental sumptuous dishes plus the local favourites.

It also serves as a breakfast room where chilled fresh fruits and juices; varied fresh fruits, cereals and pastries are arranged on a buffet table, and you can order eggs done to your liking [boiled, fried, scrambled or omeletted] and help yourselves with bacon, baked beans, toast, jam or marmalade tomato and sausages" all helped down with hot coffee or tea. How can you beat that at the start of the day? Or in the middle of the day if it takes your fancy? The buffet breakfast in the restaurant is splendid.

Nearer to the welcoming hotel' reception lobby is a cosy, lavish, comfortable and modern internet caf", enticing with its spacious area. That is where after the wonderful tour, I retreated with my newspapers and a coffee mug.

Extract ID: 5081