Name ID 1468
Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 033c
Extract Date: 1925
In April and May 1925 Simpson brought Stewart Edward White and two friends along this route [to Seronera], and built a semi-permanent camp somewhere near the spot where the popular Seronera Wildlife Lodge now stands.
Cooke, J One White man in Black Africa
Page Number: 070c
Extract Date: 1955
I [John Cooke] was to be assisted [at a census of Masai cattle] by Peter Bramwall, who was game ranger at Banagi, and Peter Venter, a stock theft prevention officer from Arusha.
Bramwall was a Kenyan, and had been at Banagi for about a year, during which time he had completed the first phase of the construction of what was to become the Seronera game lodge for tourists. This first stage consisted of only a few concrete rondavels, with thatched roofs, and a water collection system from a nearby rocky kopje.
He was a trifle eccentric, and his method of travel across the Serengeti plains was, for example, highly original. The dust was atrocious, and Peter used to travel in a completely open landrover, clad only in an old army greatcoat. On arrival at his destination he simply removed this, shook it violently to detach much of the accumulated dust, and then got dressed in clean clothes.
Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 218
Extract Date: 1960's
Later, the new Tanzania government persuaded George [Six] to design game-viewing lodges on the western Serengeti Plains. One was built at Seronera, the other at Lobo, both major tourist destinations.
George moved into a seafront home at Oyster Bay, near Tanzania's capital of Dar es Salaam, where he opened a design office. Tanzania has always been short of European women, much less those who were members of the intelligentsia. George was fortunate to meet his second wife, an Ohio-born Irish-American named Marty Lanning, through a magazine for members of the Mensa Society. In 1980 the excesses of Tanzania's radical socialist government became too much, even for tolerant George Six. With one suitcase, George left to settle in America, where he became a designer of aquatic gardens for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Allan, Tor Ndutu memories
Page Number: a
Extract Date: 1960’s
In the 1960’s my school holidays were in the Serengeti where my father was Assistant Game Warden-cum-Seronera Lodge Manager.
Seronera Lodge was the only place to stay; just six mabati & thatch rondavels, en suite with cooking areas, self-catering but with accommodation nearby for guests’ cooks. My mother had a big kerosene freezer where guests could keep their perishables. You can see the concrete plinth of the house which was our home to this day, just by Park HQ.
We had some great pets, among them an abandoned lion cub which I used to bottle feed, and an otter which came from Lake Victoria. Major Ian Grimwood gave Mother the otter; it lived in the bathroom at night, in a few inches of water in the tub. There was an illustrated chapter about it in a book called “Elephants arrive at Half Past Five” by Ilke Chase who stayed at Seronera on one of her safaris and met us all.
These were the days when Joy and George Adamsons were in the Serengeti, working on the release of Elsa’s cubs (remember the books Born Free, Living Free and Forever Free?) They used to call into our house in the evenings on the way back from the Mbalangeti area where they had been trying to locate the released cubs.
Seronera Lodge has made a good start with a bar well designed by a young Nairobi architect, Mr. Robert Marshall, shaped in a crescent moon and roofed in palm-thatch, built in undressed stone and enclosing in its arms an open-air patio with slabs of stone to sit on round a camp fire.
Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 107
Extract Date: 1966
The resident population in the Seronora valley, including the Serengeti Research Institute and the new Seronera tourist lodge eventually reached the staggering total of 1,700 people, excluding visitors.
Reuter, Henry J. Official Touring Guide to East Africa: 1967 International Travel Year
Page Number: 069
Extract Date: 1967
Serengeti National Park, (Park entry- fees residents 201/- per day. Cars 10/- per day).
Serengeti - a name that seems to conjure up all that is wildest in wildest Africa - is 5,600 square miles of plainsland, reachable from Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, or from Nairobi, via Arusha, Its Northern boundary joins the Mara Game Reserve of Kenya, to the West, the Park stretches in a long corridor to within five miles of Lake Victoria, and on its Eastern boundary lies Masailand, with its famous Ngorongoro Crater.
From Arusha, it is a relatively easy 208 mile drive on all-weather roads to the Seronera Game Lodge, on the Western side of the Serengeti plains. Alternatively, you can fly to the Seronera strip, which will take aircraft to the size of a Douglas D.C. 3.
The Lodge has 64 beds, 24 of which are under canvas. Full catering facilities are available, and there is a fully licensed bar. The Lodge tariff varies according to the season.
From July 15th to September 15th, and December 15th to April 15th a double room or tent with full catering costs 80/- per day per person; a single room or tent with full catering is 90/- per day; and the daily tariff for children under 12, sharing, is 40/-.
In the "off season" - September 16th to December 14th and April 16th to July 14th - the prices are reduced to 65/- per person per day for a double room or tent with full catering; 75/- per day for a single room or tent with full catering; and 35/- for children under 12. A new lodge to cater for 100 visitors, will be built shortly in the National Park.
The Lodge is a wonderful centre for game viewing. Within the park, the country varies from the vast, treeless central Serengeti plains and savanna-type stretches, dotted with flat-topped Acacia trees interspersed with magnificent rock outcrops, to riverine bush, thick scrub and forest, in the North and along the Mara River.
Streams, rivers and small swamps and lakes all add to the fascinating variety of scenery. Altitudes range from 3,000 to 6,000 ft.
The outstanding feature of the area is, of course, its fauna. It contains the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, and on a scale which has no parallel anywhere in the world. The most abundant herbivores are:
Thomson's Gazelle 60,000
Grant's Gazelle 40,000
In addition, there are hundreds of hippopotami, dik-dik, steinbuck, klipspringer, oribi, warthog, reedbuck, waterbuck, and rather fewer roan-antelope, duiker, and rhinoceros, which live in their somewhat restricted habitats in the region. Elephant, occasionally exceeding 1,000 in number, frequent the area.
Serengeti is also famed for its lions, and contains a wide selection of bird life. It is world famous for its annual game migrations, which usually take place in May and June.
Then the wildebeeste and zebra move from the central plains to the permanent water of the Western corridor. The great herds gather and then move steadily westwards, forming a column six or seven abreast and sometimes several miles long — one of the unique sights of Africa.
At the tail end of the procession come the cripples and those too old to keep up with the rest, often falling victim to the inevitable following of lion and other camivora.
The great procession passes through the central ltonjo Range, and gradually disperses throughout the length and breadth of the corridor, until many of its number spill over the park boundaries.
Turner, Kay Serengeti Home
Page Number: 093
Extract Date: 1972
a modern hotel that catered for 150 guests neared completion, and the conversion of the old Seronera Lodge into staff quarters had already begun.
East Africa Hospitality Management Limited
Extract Date: 2000 June 15
© 2000 - East Africa Hospitality Management Limited.
It came as no surprise to many industry analysts when it was announced that the sale of the TAHI lodges and Hotels would not go ahead at the end of June as originally announced. In fact, most would be surprised to see if the delay of 90 days is going to be enough to effect hand-over to the successful bidders for the properties that include:
Novotel Mount Meru
Lake Manyara Hotel
Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Mafia Island Lodge
In the meantime, all of the Hotels are suffering a decline in usage by the major tour operators because of policy decisions running up to the sale. From the first of May, all tour companies were required to pre-pay for services at the Hotels.
'We used to bring over 1,000 clients a month to Novotel for Lunch,' comments one of the country's largest tour operators. 'How can you write a cheque every time you want to serve lunch. It is ridiculous.'
That company and scores of others have moved their lunch business to places like the Impala Hotel - boasting an all new standard of food service with their new chef - and the new Redds African Grill House.
In a bid to win back some of the lost business, TAHI dumped rates for June to as low as $18.00 per person half-board. Service concerns and the prepayment issue still kept tour operators steering their business to Sopa and Serena. It ended up with a situation where these competing lodges did not have enough space to accommodate the demand.
In the meantime, tour operators are worried that things will only get worse as the 'slow month of June' slips by and we run into our busiest season. And it does not end there. Accor, the French management firm, is scheduled to withdraw management from the Hotels on 30 June. Then, this ship that is already sailing over rocky waters will have no experienced captain at the helm.
The East African
Extract Author: Peter Munaita
Extract Date: 2000 July 14
A substantial investment estimated at $20 million will be required to upgrade six Tanzanian leisure lodges, which were privatised recently, to world class standards.
Industry sources say the sum is needed following years of neglect by the government-owned Tanzania Hotels Investment Ltd (TAHI), on whose behalf the hotels were being managed by the Accor Group of France.
The lodges were last week awarded to Mauritius-based Hotels and Lodges Ltd, which placed a top bid of $28 million, ahead of other leading international hotel groups. The Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission chairman, Mr. John Rubambe, has confirmed the offer to Hotels and Lodges on behalf of the Tanzanian government.
The six hotels - Mt Meru, Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Seronera Wildlife Lodge, Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Lake Manyara Lodge and Mafia Island Lodge - have a total bed capacity of 1,500.
They will give the new owners a 90 per cent market share of Tanzania's growing upmarket tourism sector.
TAHI has divested from the hotels under an ambitious privatisation exercise that will see the government cede interest in 395 enterprises. At the end of 1998, 270 ventures had been sold off, with the remainder targeted for the end of this year.
Bids for the hotels were floated in February and the exercise was supervised by a foreign financial consultant, HSBC Equator Bank plc, in order to enforce transparency. Previous privatisation programmes have been handled internally.
Out of 68 interested suitors, only 18 were prequalified on the basis of a solid track record in hotel management, sound financial position and environmental concerns.
Hotels and Lodges led four other firms that were eventually invited to bid, including Soba Management Ltd ($9.2 million for four properties), Coastal Travels ($1.2 million), World Wide Leisure Group ($2 million for two properties) and East African Holdings Ltd, associated with the Madhvani Group of Uganda, ($9.85 million for four properties).
Kenya's Tourist Promotion Services, who own the Serena hotels, opted out of the deal after being short-listed. Other contenders who fell by the wayside included Accor, Club Med, Conservation Group of South Africa and Golden Tulip Worldwide.
Hotels and Lodges is a sister company of Gulf Africa Petroleum Company (Gapco) of Mauritius, which took over the operations of Esso and Caltex in the region a few years ago, gaining access to 750 petrol stations and a vast storage network.
Gapco took over the operations of Agip in Sudan last year after the previous operators pulled out. The conglomerate has a presence in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Mauritius and Sudan and is owned by the Kotak brothers, Dhiren and Yogish, Mauritian oil magnates.