For our final day on mainland Tanzania, we decided to skip any activities involving driving in jeeps over bumpy roads. Instead, we stayed at the wonderful Hatari lodge and enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere, including great food, and perfect sunrises and sunsets.
|Destination||Tanzania, Northern National Parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara) and Zanzibar|
|How and when I got there||Flights with Turkish Airlines from Cologne via Istanbul and Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro Airport; return flight from Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and Istanbul to Cologne; January – February 2019|
|Where I stayed||Lake Duluti Lodge (near Arusha, https://www.lakedulutilodge.com/)
Highview Hotel (Karatu, http://www.highviewhotel.com/)
Meru View Lodge (close to southern Arusha Nat. Park Gate, http://www.meru-view-lodge.com/meru/en/)
Shu’Mata Camp (2 hours north of Moshi/Asursha, http://www.shumatacamp.de/index.php)
Hatari Lodge (close to nothern Arusha Nat. Park Gate, http://www.hatarilodge.de/en/contact.php)
Le Parlour Apartments (Boma La Ngombe, close to JRO airport, no own website)
Melia Zanzibar Hotel (Kiwengwa, Zanzibar, https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/tanzania/zanzibar/melia-zanzibar/index.html
Dhow Palace Hotel (Stone Town, Zanzibar, http://www.dhowpalace-hotel.com/)
|Restaurants||we tried only the Restaurants of the above mentioned hotels / lodges. And we liked best:
Hatari Lodge, Shu’Mata Camp and Lake Duluti Lodge: outstanding!
Meru View Lodge and Melia Zanzibar: very good
|Things to do||Game drives in the National Parks – the obvious thing
Hiking at Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru: not exactly the relaxing type of vacation
Walking Safaris and relaxing (e.g. at the Hatari Lodge or a tented camp like Shu’Mata): more solitude to “feel Africa”
|Recommendations in a nutshell||see the post regarding “things to consider for travelling in Tanzania”!
Use a renowned travel agency for organising the safari trip (like Chamaeleon)
get some rest between the bumpy rides
Further Reading: Lonely Planet Tanzania Travel Guide
Staying at the Hatari Lodge
Generously, we could keep our two rooms until our departure late in the afternoon (thanks again, Elsabé!!) and so we just hanged around the terrace, watched the buffalos, lying lazily on the meadow, and the zebras passing by. And giraffes, feeding on the acacia trees at the back of the meadow. And warthogs crossing.
And the resident family of velvet monkeys, trying to grab any unattended food on the tables of the terrace:
The goup of velvet monkeys is resident at the Hatari Lodge – you’ll meet them everywhere around the Lodge building:
Overall, it was a wonderful, lazy day for us – absolutely great after riding on bumpy roads for eight days.
Finally, we had to say Good-bye to Hatari and move on. For the final night, we decided to stay near the Kilimanjaro Airport, in a quite inexpensive lodge called “Le Parlour” which had received decent critics on Tripadvisor. And has got a nice view of the Kilimanjaro, glowing in the setting sun:
We got a two-bedroom house for ourselves, a fridge packed with cooled drinks and a dinner upon demand. So, perfectly OK for us, as we had to leave at 4 o’clock in the morning. Heading for the “classical Safari add-on” – beach vacation on Zanzibar. Bye-bye, Mount Meru! We’ll come back!
Hatari Lodge: now and then
The second part of my post I would like to dedicate to the Hatari Lodge – an exceptional accomodation during our Tanzania trip – in terms of costs, but more in terms of the “feel-good factor”. And with a lot of history:
Hatari – the movie
First the name of the Hatari Lodge: it generates from the Hollywood movie by Howard Hawkes called “Hatari!”, which was sh inot 1960 and 1961 in the area around the lodge, starring John Wayne as a head of a team that catches animals for zoos worldwide, operating under the fictional name “Momella Game Ltd.”. Hatari means “danger” in Swahili – not really appropriate for a place that seems ultimately peaceful nowadways.
The movie story – short version – brings a photo journalist (Elsa Martinelli) into the group who is supposed to take pictures for one of the cooperating zoos. John and Elsa fight constantly, but of course fall in love in the end. Capturing animals on behalf of zoos is questionable, but the action scenes filmed around the lodge and in the northern and western plains of Tanzania are impressive. Accompanied with a great Mancini soundtrack, the movie is worth seeing. And after seeing it, you will certainly like to go there and see it “in real”.
Large parts of the movie “Hatari” were filmed at a farmhouse which is known as “Momella Wildlife Lodge” nowadays. The lodge is located next to the Hatari lodge. The old rooms of the main building still look a bit like the movie setting, but the round white huts on the picture were added later:
Both lodges – Hatari as well as Momella Wildlife – have a colorful history. The first lodge in the area (now the Momella Wildlife Lodge) was built around 1906, when a German couple named Trappe arrived in the area and decided to settle down near the Momella lakes. At that time, the area was known as German East Africa and land was distributed among German settlers in a kind of “self service” manner.
The wife, Margarete, quickly established herself as the first female Big Game Hunter and became well-known soon. In her later days, she did a lot for saving the local wildlife and the Massai traditions and was known throughout Tanzania as “Mother of the Massai”. After her death in 1957, the now deserted farm was rented to the Hollywood movie team in the early 10960ies by Margarete Trappes son.
One of the main actors of the movie “Hatari” has been the German actor Hardy Krüger, who fell in love with the area when filming there. He always wanted to own a farm – and decided, it did not necessarily have to be a farm in Germany. In his book “My farm in Africa” he even describes the lodge idea coming from the former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, like “You are famous, you can draw tourists into the country! Just buy a farm!”
So – together with his business partner James P. Mallory (nicely described as a mixture of a male lion and Margaret Rutherford…) – Hardy Krueger bought the premises of the Trappe family and converted them into a lodge. They built the small round white houses, which are still there today (see the picture above). Later, both of them built their own houses, which are located a few hundred meters away from the Momella lodge. However, times changed, tourism went down in Tanzania (and concomitantly up in neighboring Kenia). After 13 years, Krüger gave up the farm.
It took many more years until the Gabriel family discovered in 2004 the premises of both private homes, the one of Hardy Krüger and the one of James Mallory. The Mallory house nowadays is the actual Hatari Lodge main building…
…the former Krüger house is the private home of the Gabriel family. The Gabriels added comfortable rooms and suites (nine or ten, I’m not quite sure), all of them nicely decorated in the 1960ies „Hatari“style, that accomodate today the guests.
The guest houses are located under Acacia trees – which are the favorite feed for Giraffes. Which you might happen to face in the morning right at your front door when heading for the main building.
The rooms face either Mount Meru or Mount Kilimanjaro. As we had two rooms – in fact the entire left building part on the picture above – we had the luxury of the panoramic view of both. And were able to take fantastic pictures at sunrise:
…just at our front door:
The rooms in the main building serve as dining room, lobby and bar, and they are also decorated in “Hatari style”:
As mentioned in my previous post (Day 8: Lunch with Waterfall), the sunset at the Hatari Lodge is equally nice. The guests gather on the wooden platform and enjoy the sun setting over Mount Meru…
…with a glass of wine:
The Hatari Lodge was awarded in 2013 by Tripadvisor as the “best small lodge” in Tanzania.Well justified – it was the cosiest place during our safari and we really felt almost „at home“. Not only because of the nice settings, but also because of the great team (especially “Mama Twiga” Elsabé, manager and film-maker and a lot more – thanks again!). Of course, the luxury comes with a price. However, considering the “value for money”, we still consider it highly recommendable. And appreciate that part of the income goes to the social projects initiated by the Gabriels, like the “Momella Foundation” (http://www.momellafoundation.de/).
See more of our Tanzania Safari and Zanzibar Beach Trip here:
And find more information about Travelling in Tanzania here:
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.