Momella Lodge

Name ID 1958

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Extract Author: Christa von Mutius
Page Number: 2005 02 14
Extract Date: 1950's

Christa von Mutius - Arusha School - 1950's

Sanya Juu

My mother and step-father (Bill and Nana Seitz) farmed not far from the Ulyate family and my two brothers (Bertie von Mutius and Barry von Mutius - both now deceased) and I went to school at Kongwa (I think) with some of them. Certainly I was friendly with Valerie Ulyate.

Our farm was called Molomo. Before his death Bertie ran a safari business from Momella, a beautiful lodge not far from Usa River and with wonderful views of both Meru and Kilimanjaro. I also attended Arusha school and knew the New Arusha Hotel very well.

Great to read about those wonderful places! What a privilege it was to have grown up there!

Christa Bond (nee von Mutius)

Extract ID: 4988

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van Lawick, Hugo Among Predators and Prey
Extract Date: 1960's


Not long afterwards we reached two small houses, one of which had belonged to the film star, Hardy Kruger, for whom Sirili had worked many years ago. It [Oldonyorok] is now inhabited by my friends Bert and Stephanie von Mutius and their small son, Daniel. Apart from the two houses and the little Momella Lodge, in the distance, no other buildings were visible. Instead we had a view over a small open plain on which buffaloes grazed, and which was surrounded by forest. Beyond that we could see Mount Kilimanjaro, some ninety kilometres away, but looking much closer. Just behind us, the snow on the peak of Mount Meru was melting in the sun.

Extract ID: 1091

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Extract Author: Nurali
Page Number: 2008 01 07
Extract Date: 1970

about: Hardy Kruger, Jim Mallory, Egon Jux Momella Game Lodge

I was one of the contractors who built the Momella Lodge in the late 60's and early 70's. For old times sake, I would like to contact the above gentlemen. If possible, can you give me their email addresses?

Extract ID: 5553

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Extract Author: Lennie Holm
Page Number: 2004 08 18
Extract Date: 1985-1087

Lennie Holm - Arusha School 1985-1087

Dear Editor and all

I stumbled over this website a week or so ago and was amazed by the wealth of information that it contains. Having resided on and off in Arusha since 1982 till present I was initially hooked on the old photos taken around the clock tower.

Now I have come to the Arusha School section and am equally thrilled. I attended Arusha school one or two generations later then most of you (1985-87) and last visited the school during December 2003.

I�m currently outside the country on an expatriate contract but expect to return to Arusha for an extended period starting the end of the year. If there is any help I can render in finding infos etc. please do not hesitate to let me know. Last but not least, I would like to express my respect for all who have contributed with time and materiel to fill this website - it offers unique insight in the often hard to access history of Arusha.

Kind regards

Lennie Holm

Thanks for your kind feedback about the website. It's all my own work, built up slowly over a period now of some 10 years. I wish I had more time to work on it and expand it. Contributions from people like you are much appreciated. Many of the older photos were taken by my parents when we lived in Arusha in the 1950's.

Obviously it's the history of Arusha, not just of the school, which I find interesting, and any old photos or bits of information you can find will help. I'd love to find anything about the building and opening of the clock tower.

What will you be doing when you are back in Arusha? Do keep in touch when you are there. I think it will be next April before I have a chance to get back again.

Thanks for your email. Indeed, my initial interest was sparked by the photo you have that are taken around the Clock-tower. They presented quite a revelation as they were the first visual representation of that area that I have come across save for the few scenes in Hatari that were shot there.

Apropos Hatari, my fathers wife's first husband and father of my step brothers was the owner of the Momella Lodge, the late Mr. Mallory and we have in our household the bed that stood in John Wayne's room during the shooting of the movie (not the one the elephant broke). Also I have a friend who is the grandson of a Mr Anastasios, who allegedly is the person who rented part of his fleet for the filming of the movie. The family's yard in Moshono still sports an divers collection of decaying non-runners but I�m not sure whether the vehicles used in the movie are among them.

Upon my return to Arusha I will assume the management of a safari company there called Scan Tan Tours and expect to remain in Arusha for at least a year or two so I should have some time to look into the clock tower issue. Do you have any information about the appearance of the area previously known as Arusha plantations? We have a house on on Themi Hill and I believe it and the land below must have been all farming area, perhaps coffee. At the foot of Themi [Temi] Hill stands a derelict farm house and from its appearance and position I suspect the surrounding land must been attached to this farm - the area where the Nane-Nane grounds now lie and beyond. Looking much forward to hear from you again and hope we might find time for a chat next time you are in Arusha.

Extract ID: 4859

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Bechky, Allen Adventuring in East Africa
Extract Date: 1990


Momela is in a perpetual state of disrepair, and the lodge can only be recommended to those who truly value scenery over comfort. Rumours continually circulate that it will one day be brought back to its former glory. Meanwhile, a tiny neighbouring hotel, the exclusive Ol Doinyo Norok Lodge [sic] is scheduled to open soon.

Extract ID: 3707

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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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Extract Author: Christa Von Mutius
Page Number: 2004 03 14

Ben Benbow

having looked at your web site I am very keen to trace Ben Benbow or any one who might know his where-abouts.

My name is Christa von Mutius sister of Bertie of Momella Lodge and I'm interested to contact friends from life in Tanzania.

Many thanks for your help


Extract ID: 4853

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nTZ Feedback
Page Number: 2004 10 26
Extract Date: 2004

Momella Lodge

In response to Mr. Bechky's comment about Momella Lodge.

I am happy to report that Momella Lodge today is a well maintained, functioning lodge. It has clean rooms, electricity, satellite TV, swimming pool and well maintained flower gardens. Whenever I am in Tanzania I try to visit Momella Lodge. Momella sits in the lee of beautiful Mt. Meru, majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro stands in the distance and groups of giraffe visit the Lodge daily; it is one of the more beautiful sites in Tanzania.

Thanks for you comment - I�ll add it to the web site so that it updates Mr. Bechky's comments (made in 1988 I think).

There are lots of new, and refurbished lodges now in the Momella area, and the the Arusha National Park is also one of my favourite places.

Extract ID: 4900