Arusha: Safari Hotel

Name ID 1453

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Page Number: 2008 09 27
Extract Date: 1930's

Safari Hotel

photo is item for sale on on 4 Oct 2008

Postcard, 3.5 by 5.5", real photograph, Ex

Extract ID: 5814

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Sonia Mayhew
Page Number: 2004 03 01

My Grandmother Gladys Rydon

My daughter Venetia Mayhew has discovered her great grandmother on the internet and we are all intrigued. I should love to get in touch with Alison Aitken and David.

I am the daughter of Gladys Rydon's daughter Pamela. She married my father Roddy Sword in Arusha Church in 1938. He was in Arusha with the 6 KAR. I spent the years 1956 - early 1958 out in that part of the world when I left school and spent a lot of time with my grandmother, living with her at lake Duluti and we travelled to South Africa together and a few years later back to Australia.

Her son Arthur Rydon is still alive living in Sussex. Fur would have flown if Gladys and Margot had known they were being described as sisters! I have some photos including one of the buffalo that killed David Rydon (in 1968 I think) - certainly not in 64. he was killed on his property near Ngurdoto Crater. it wasn't a national park I don't think then.

My grandmother's friend from Mars spelt his name Qel and he was from the 72nd Golden Planet Saturn flotilla. This came out in an interview she did when we were in South Africa. We travelled by sea on the Lloyd Trestino line and on reaching Durban on the return journey, some friends boarded with a newspaper like the Evening Standard and

the headlines were "SPACESHIPS FROM 600 PLANETS PATROLLING EARTH TO AVERT NEW WAR. Tanganyika woman claims dealings with Commander from Saturn ......"

I have no memories of my mother Pamela who disappeared out of my life when I was about two years old but knew David of course and Arthur well. Arthur has a son Godfrey and grand children and great children. Harold Rydon built

and owned the Safari House Hotel. His property was Ngare Sera at Usa River which is now a game lodge owned by Mike Leach. My husband and I stayed there on a recent visit in 2001 and visited Duluti also, the first time I had been back since my grandmother's death in 1964, exactly 40 years ago.

I hope to hear from you.

Sonia Mayhew (nee Sword)

Extract ID: 4845

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 215a
Extract Date: 1950's

Dr. George Six

Dr. George Six, a London physician, was an unlikely member of Tanganyika's hunting community. He had come to Africa not with the intention of practicing medicine, but to purchase a farm. Six and his English wife, Mary (nee Bell), the daughter of a judge, rented a house outside Arusha. George soon made the acquaintance of Jacky Hamman at Arusha's government administration building, known as the boma, where Hamman was purchasing game licenses for one of his safaris.

The suave and sophisticated George Six was Hamman's diametric opposite in every way - in physique, temperament, education, intellect, and background - yet the two became firm friends.

Once settled in Arusha Dr. Six opened a gun shop next door to the Safari Hotel where Lawrence-Brown Safaris, Jacky Hamman's outfit, was located. He then purchased two thousand acres in Tanganyika's densely wooded Kiru Valley, south of Lake Manyara. The farm was virgin bushland and lay close beside the wall of the Great Rift Valley, only a few miles from Magara, where Bror and Cockie von Blixen had once lived at Singu Estates. George's acreage was in Tsetse Fly country and useless for domestic animals because of the deadly tsetse-borne disease, trypanosomiasis. In such regions in Tanzania there is an almost total absence of human settlements due to tsetse flies, but nearly always there is an unusual abundance of wildlife, and the Kiru Valley was no exception. In the 1950s it was chock-full of game, particularly elephant, rhino, and buffalo, and provided plenty of sport for the hunting enthusiast.

Extract ID: 3834

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 204a
Extract Date: 1957

Arusha's two famous hotels

Also in the main street were Arusha's two famous hotels.

The New Arusha displayed a board announcing that it was exactly midway between Cape Town and Cairo, and the Safari Hotel boasted an unusual copper topped bar to which a baby elephant had been led in for a drink in a recent Hollywood film Hatari (Danger). Mount Meru overlooked the pretty garden town beyond the golf course and the main road to Nairobi to the north.

The streets in the residential areas were lined with purple jacarandas and the well kept gardens displayed a profusion of tropical zinnias, petunias and marigolds mixed with the roses, hollyhocks, ferns and carnations of England. At 5000 feet above sea level, the climate was perfect after the sultry heat of the coast and the early mornings were a delight with dew-dappled lawns, mists and a nip in the air, mingled with the fragrant scent of cedar hedges.

Extract ID: 4385

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 204a
Extract Date: 1960~

Stan Lawrence-Brown had his office in the Safari Hotel

Stan Lawrence-Brown had his office in the Safari Hotel one hundred yards up the street from his rival, Russell Douglas. The Safari Hotel was newer, and probably fancier than the New Arusha, but it did not have the trout river frontage, lovely grounds, or the Old World charm of its rival. The Safari 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 Safari has sunk into obscurity with the advent of newer hotels, one cannot help but notice that this large hotel has all its plumbing on the exterior of the structure, a result of an oversight by the contractors, who had forgotten to include plumbing. The hotel was owned by two aristocratic English sisters, Gladys and Margot Rydon. Both women owned prosperous coffee estates. Gladys lived in a magnificent mansion overlooking a mysterious crater lake called Duluti, seven miles east of Arusha. Margot's son, David, was killed by a buffalo near Arusha in 1964.

Extract ID: 3862

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 204b
Extract Date: 1960~

The Safari Hotel

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.

Extract ID: 3826

See also

Hawks, Howard (Director) Hatari
Page Number: Chapter 17 - 14
Extract Date: 1962

Extract ID: 4652

See also

Hawks, Howard (Director) Hatari
Page Number: Chapter 17 - 15
Extract Date: 1962

Extract ID: 4653

See also

Hawks, Howard (Director) Hatari
Page Number: Chapter 17 - 16
Extract Date: 1962

Extract ID: 4654

See also

Hawks, Howard (Director) Hatari
Page Number: Chapter 17 - 17
Extract Date: 1962

Extract ID: 4655

See also

Reuter, Henry J. Official Touring Guide to East Africa: 1967 International Travel Year
Page Number: 072
Extract Date: 1967

Safari Hotel, Arusha (Advert)

Extract ID: 3475

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nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Jens Stark
Page Number: 2004 11 28

Hatari update

Hi !

I just found your impressive web site - after researching Hatari! on the Internet. A couple of hours of my life spent on it - and it was a marvellous trip !

While passing through Arusha on a tour from Namibia to Kenya, I looked for traces of the movie. Now I learned that :

- Safari Hotel is no longer

- The lodge is still somewhat visitable

- The clock tower is still there ! :)

Is there anything I did not see ? Worth travelling to Arusha for ? (Which sounds like a good idea anyhow...)


Jens Stark


I was in Arusha in October, and of course the clock tower is still there" and it even has street lighting at night.

The Safari Hotel has now re-opened, but it is owned by the Lutheran Church, and it is a dry establishment, so the bar is no more.

Momella lodge is, as you say, existing just, but the good news is that a new lodge has opened nearby. Hatari Lodge is based on what was Ol Donyo Roc Lodge. Details at I understand that the interior design is fantastic, and the location in the Arusha National Park makes it well worth the visit. The ANP is one of my favourite places.

Hope you have a chance to get back to Arusha" and let me know what you find.

Extract ID: 4967