Name ID 232
Africa Travel Resource Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 07
There are however two particular sightings that have made it into folklore ...
The Frozen Leopard
Originally discovered and recorded by the local missionary Dr Richard Reusch in 1926 and later immortalized by Ernest Hemmingway in his crap book The Snows of Kilimanjaro, no one knows quite what the leopard was doing up here. Reusch, brave man that he was, managed to cut off one of its ears before some other souvenir hunter made off with the whole thing, never to be seen again.
In 1962, Wilfred Thesiger, George Webb and Effata Jonathon encountered a pack of 5 wild dogs at Hans Meyer Point (about 5,000m). As the men continued to the summit the dogs followed at a parallel distance of about 300m until Uhuru Peak when they watched the men dig out and sign the log book from the glacier crest. Fearing an attack, the men began to descend but the dogs disappeared over the crest and were not seen again.
Extract Author: Graham Mercer
Page Number: 2007 09 20 c
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!
Ondaatje, Christopher Kilimanjaro: Genius in an African dawn
Page Number: b
Extract Date: 1933
Before Hemingway made it to Africa, he had been wounded in the First World War, driving an ambulance at the Italian front; he had earned a living as a journalist; married Hadley Richardson; lived in Paris, where he mixed with the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce; been seduced by Spain and the bullfight; divorced Hadley and married Pauline Pfeiffer, a young Vogue reporter whom he met in Paris. By 1933, he had gained an international reputation as a rising star in the literary firmament. Now he was ready for a new adventure; now he was ready for Africa.
Hemingway, his wife Pauline, and Charles Thompson – his friend from his home in Key West – set sail from Marseilles on 22 November 1933. Seventeen slow, sick, rainy days later they arrived in Mombasa, a town one of Hemingway's biographers, Michael Reynolds, described as "the lush green island of Mombasa with its huge-trunked baobab trees, coconut palms, white lime-washed houses, shaded verandahs, shuttered windows, palm-thatched roofs and ebony faces".The bustling metropolis I drove through could not have changed more.
Hemingway travelled by train on the route informally known as the Lunatic Express from Mombasa to Machakos to stay at Potha Hill, the home of the legendary white hunter Philip Percival, who was to lead the safari. Hemingway was to admire him all his life, and immortalised him as the gentle but commanding Pop in the book Green Hills of Africa.
Hemingway spent his stay at Machakos getting used to the altitude, making preparations and getting his eye in for the forthcoming hunting. On 20 December 1933, Hemingway's safari set off for the Tanganyika border. They pushed on through the customs post at Namanga, spent a last night of luxury in Arusha before finally reaching the great Rift Valley, moving up to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro game reserve. From the top of the rift wall Hemingway could see "the heavy forest below the wall, and the long, dried-up edged shine of Lake Manyara rose-coloured at one end with a half million tiny dots that were flamingos". The description glows with a sense of wonder that was easy to share as I nibbled biltong on the road from Arusha.
Hemingway's awed aesthetic appreciation of the game sits uneasily with his desire to shoot it dead. Green Hills of Africa is structured around his all-consuming pursuit of the elusive greater kudu. When he finally succeeds, he rhapsodises over the animal: "I looked at him, big, long-legged, a smooth grey with the white stripes and the great, curling, sweeping horns, brown as walnut meats, and ivory pointed, at the big ears and the great, lovely heavy maned neck, the white chevron between his eyes and the white muzzle and I stooped over and touched him to try to believe it... he smelled sweet and lovely like the breath of cattle and the odour of thyme and rain."
The mainspring for Hemingway's greatest African story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, however, was a far from pleasurable experience. The safari, as Hemingway presents it, was a happy occasion, but there was one negative – amoebic dysentery, a debilitating illness. Hemingway could not continue hunting, and Percival decided he needed hospital treatment. The plane which came to take him to Arusha passed the amazing snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro on the way.
Here is the source of one of Hemingway's most autobiographical tales: the almost actionless account of a writer who has wasted his talent, who has given himself up to a life of luxury, living off his rich wife, who is dying slowly of gangrene in the shadow of the great mountain, recalling all the experiences he should have written down and now never will.
Extract Author: Tim Belknap
Page Number: 2004 02 24
Extract Date: 1934
Congratulations on your wonderful site, which befits its subject, a wonderful part of the world.
My name is Tim Belknap I am an American journalist and could use a hand in some research involving Alec "Fatty" Pearson, the real pilot who served as the basis of the fictional pilot with a key role in Ernest Hemingway's famous short story "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." So far, I have accumulated quite a bit of information about Mr. Pearson's distinguished record in World War II, which he did not survive. However, his East Africa days are somewhat of a mystery, and I have virtually no biographical information such as whether he was married, date and place of birth. I know he was a chief pilot for Wilson Airways, had the appropriate ratings to fly up to Europe in multi-engined aircraft, did a lot of safari work and hence was a good friend of such leading hunters of the time as Bror Blixen and Philip Percival. The plane in 1934 that he flew the ailing Hemingway to Arusha and then to Nairobi was a Puss Moth.
Other than that, I know little except what I found in one of Bror Blixen's published letters and a passing reference in a Hemingway biography. Any help you or your site readers could give me would be most appreciated. Any tidbit would be of value about this man who, as far as I know, has never been the subject of a published profile - by all accounts he was a terrific guy and deserves his minor place in literary history.
By the way, I grew up in Kenya in the '50s and '60s, went to Kaptagat School upcountry, went on hunting (Block 67) and photo safaris in southern Kenya/northern Tanzania, later became a reporter in America, covered Rhodesia, South Africa and Namibia/Angola. I now live in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
What a well-organized, fascinating site. Please keep it up.
Thanks for your kind comments and information/request.
I don't think I've come across Mr Pearson, but I shall certainly keep an eye out.
Obviously I've limited my focus to Northern Tanzania, and I suspect that he operated from Kenya.
Where to turn for more information. I suspect that you'll have to turn to people who may know, and to archives.
There's a man called Hans-Georg Michna who contributes a lot to news groups such as rec.travel.africa and who has a web site with details of his trip last year to Kenya. He stayed at the Aero Club of East Africa, at Wilson Airport, and is into flying, so may well have some useful ideas and contacts. http://www.michna.com/kenya2003/ There's probably some kind of archive at the club itself.
Errol Trzebinski who wrote about Lord Errol lives in Kenya and is into history of that time. Contact perhaps through the publishers.
Michael Palin (eg Python, now TV travel presenter) did a film and book about Hemmingway, including his time in Africa. Maybe some references there. Brief starter references on my web site http://www.ntz.info/gen/n00900.html
For Hunting History of the times, the best source I have is Brian Herne http://www.ntz.info/gen/b00623.html . Again you would have to track him down, and see what he may have in his archives.
Long shot is to write to Peter Ayre, who sells old Africana Books, and who also keeps a database of names of people who have lived in Kenya. http://www.ntz.info/pages/bookshops.html
If you do come across any thing relevant, especially to Hemmingway in Tanzania, do please remember me.
Thank you so much for your help and tips. It's funny, I had already contacted the Aero Club, and its president, Harro Trempenau, is asking around about Pearson on my behalf. The other tips I will run down - I have Brian Herne's book and it is a wealth of information on people I vaguely knew through my parents in Kenya. I'll try to contact him.
I believe you are right about Fatty Pearson operating from Kenya, probably from the old Nairobi Aerodrome. Wilson Airways was a Kenya outfit. But he certainly knew how to find his way around the Serengeti.
I will certainly send you a clip of the final piece. What's interesting so far is the discovery that "The Green Hills of Africa" is not very chronological, nor really the true account Hemingway promises in the preface. By that, I mean his dysentary attack and break from the safari is pretty much edited out, although he alludes once or twice as having been sick in Nairobi. He was sick as a dog the first two weeks of hunting, including when he shot two lions. To me, that makes it all the more interesting, but I guess he didn't want to seem like a whiner.
While the biographers of Hemingway have been helpful on this score, using his letters and Pauline's diary for the true sequence, there are lapses in the accuracy of the biographies. Two of them describe Pearson's aircraft as a biplane, when in fact the Puss Moth was a state-of-the-art closed-cabin monoplane. People tend to think of Africa between the wars as some sort of backwater, but it wasn't in terms of the safari business. Common sense dictated that with wealthy clients and roadless tracts, you used the best equipment money could buy - whether it was GM drivetrains for your safari wagon or Puss Moths for aircraft or Holland and Holland double rifles for dangerous game. Movies like the dreadful (in terms of accuracy, in the opinion of someone who grew up in Kenya) "Out of Africa" and the much-better "The English Patient" evoke a derring-do, open-cockpit spirit that I don't feel was there, at least not by the '30s. Africa flying threw up enough challenges without rickety equipment.
I bought a privately printed account of George Eastman's 1927 safari with Philip Percival and Safariland Ltd. (the same outfit Hemingway used) at a used book store outside Kodak company town Rochester, N.Y., and that's why I'm fairly confident to express the opinions above on how good the safari equipment generally was at the time. Considering who Eastman was, and that he was accompanied by Martin and Osa Johnson, it's not surprising that the photos in this book are superb.
Any tidbits of information your readers can come up with on Fatty would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again, Tim
1935 Publishes: Hemingway, Ernest The Green Hills of Africa
Extract Author: Thomas Ratsim
Page Number: 472
According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, pop-culture tourism is defined as the act of traveling to locations featured in literature, film, music, or any other form of popular entertainment.
Babati District in Manyara region is prolific in crops and natural resources; the area has also much to offer in the reminiscences of literature, films and other leisure.
Babati District is taps benefits from the famous Tarangire National Park and the newly authorized Community-based, Burunge Wildlife Management. Since the mid of the twentieth century, Babati area emerged to be the destination for hunting tourists and had a magnificent reputation as such it attracted many tourists and dignitaries at that time.
David Read, who has lived in the northern part of Tanzania and also participated in the cattle culling exercise around Babati in those days, in his book, Beating About the Bush, Tales from Tanganyika published in 2000, wrote: “Babati was known in those days……. Several wealthy and, in some cases titled European men, out in Africa on hunting safaris, saw, tried and liked the area and its people and bought farms in the vicinity. They built good houses, laid out colourful gardens and spent the winter months there, sometimes bringing with them their girlfriends from Europe and sometimes befriending the local Wafiomi girls.”
The scenery and photography in the Out of Africa movie released in early 1986 are stunning and add to Pollack’s sense of time and place. The pictures covered biographies of both Karen and her Swedish husband, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, who was the model for the character Robert Wilson in Ernest Hemingway’s fictional The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
Those who had watched the film, which covers Karen Blixen’s book, Out of Africa (1937), have dreamed of an African safari ever since, where Bror remained a fabulous character even today. The role of Bror von Blixen-Finecke was played by Austrian actor in the Oscar-winning film, (1985), which was based on Karen Blixen's memoir of the same name.
Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke was a baron, writer, and African big-game hunter. For many years Blixen ran a firm of guides, and among his clients was Edward, Prince of Wales. "Hunting with Blix was a magnificent experience," said one client. "With his quiet, almost lyrical narrative of what happened around us he got nature to live” (quote taken from the biography of Blixen).
In January 1925 the divorce between Karen and Bror was pronounced and the latter resolved to settle in Babati, now Sigino Village.
In 1927 Bror established a hunting firm, Tanganyika Guides Limited.
In the same year, Bror organized a three-month hunting and filming for his first customer British Oil millionaire, Colonel to the Ngorongoro Crater, and later he acquired a piece of land in Babati and decided to establish the Singu Farm.
Colonel Cooper maintained friendships with several contemporary celebrities including Hemingway, David Niven and Baron von Blixen.
Jane Kendall Mason, who was model for the character of Margot Macomber in Hemingway’s fictional “The short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” was friend of Pauline and Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), had visited Babati.
Many readers still believe that characters of Macomber and Margot were based on Colonel and Mrs. Dick Cooper who lived in Laramie, Wyoming before and after the Word War II and were the author’s friends while Baron Blixen in the text was Robert Wilson, the white hunter.
Jane had introduced Ernest Hemingway to Cooper, and Cooper advised Ernest then, which guns were appropriate for latter’s planned hunting expedition in East Africa. While around Babati, Hemingway stayed at the Cooper’s residence in Babati, evidently the house of the absent friend which he mentioned in his book, Green Hills of Africa. Bror and Philip Percival were then among the hunting crew.
In his book, The Man Who Women Loved” published in 1987, Ulf Aschan renders Baron Bror Blixen as a celebrated character in East Africa: coffee planter, white hunter, trailblazer, explorer, and philanderer -- "a merry cheerful man who was always in a good mood." He also had inner steel: he doesn't shoot a charging elephant at ten feet, because he knows it's a mock charge.
"Bror was the toughest, most durable white hunter ever to snicker at the fanfare of safari or to shoot a charging buffalo between the eyes while debating whether his sundowner drink would be gin or whisky …The mold has been broken."
Judith Thurman, in her book Isak Dinesen – The Life of Story of a Storyteller, besides biography of Baronness Karen Blixen, she also recounts how Bror participated in His Royal Highness Prince of Wale’s hunting safari around Babati.
Besides her hard work in Babati, Cockie, second wife of Bror, operated the Fig Tree Club, built by Lord Lovelace for his friends and neighbours, „Fig Tree Club “, which was supported by an American friend. This club, which was overlooking Lake Babati, consisted however not only of a bar, but also had an restaurant, three small houses, a shop and a post office. The club also served as the social centre of the area.
In August 1932, when Cockie flew to England, due to her mother’s illness, the rally driver Eva Dickson, who was the first woman driver across the Sahara in a normal car, had to drive her own car all the way from Dar es Salaam to Babati, about 780 kilometres so as to become Blixen’s third wife.
In his narrative story book, Green Hills of Africa, published in 1935 by Scribner, the great American author Ernest Hemingway wrote: “We stopped in Babati at the little hotel overlooking the lake and bought some more Pan-Yan pickles and had some cold beer. Then we started south on the Cape to Cairo road……..’’
“From Babati we had driven through the hills to edge of a plain, wooded in a long stretch of glade beyond a small village where there was a mission station at the foot of a mountain. Here we had made a camp to hunt kudu which were supposed to be in the wooded hills and in the forest on the flats stretched out to the edge of the open plain.’’
Hemingway, the 1954 Nobel Laureate for his mastery of the the narrative art, mostly shown in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on writing, supposedly, when he mentions mission station, he was referring to the present Gallapo village, the name derived from camel’s foot trees (piliostigma thonningii), whichi are dorminant in the area stretched out to the current Tarangire National Park.
Prior to the publication of The Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway also sent the manuscript of his book to Bror, who later wrote his book, Nyama “(Kiswahili for: Meat)
Sir Christopher Ondaatje (knighted by the Queen 2003), who tracked Hemingway’s footsteps, in Chapter 3 of his book Hemingway in Africa, published in 1992, he wrote, “We were still headed for Babati and Hemingway’s green hills. It is in an area populated by the Mang’ati tribe. “There’s something you should know about the Mang’ati,“
Apparently, as there are various ethnic groups, a visit to the Babati area, would definitely provide insight culture of Tanzania. Due to the vast plains, the village for so long has been an agro-pastoral area, where several ethnic groups have settled, notably the Mbugwe, Tatoga, Gorowa and Iraqw.
The area is, in fact, linguistically and culturally diverse and complex. It is one of the places in the country where the three major African language families - Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic - occur together.
Driving further south of Babati, Hemingway in Green Hills of Africa, acclaimed, “Then the plain was behind us and ahead there were big trees and were entering a country, the loveliest that I had seen in Africa.”
However, in order to reap the rewards of tourism, the Babati District authorities have the obligation to identify and maintain an inventory of the respective memoirs for the literary interests as well as historical values.
1939 Publishes: Hemingway, Ernest The Snows of Kilimanjaro
"Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai ‘Ngŕ’je Ngŕi’, the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude."
Ernest Hemingway in the preamble to The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Hemingway, Mary Welch How it was
Page Number: 342 on
Chapter 17 covers the Hemingway safari in 1953/4, including their plane crash near Entebbe
Ondaatje, Christopher Kilimanjaro: Genius in an African dawn
Page Number: c
Extract Date: 1953
Hemingway planned to return to Africa the very next year, but in fact his plans were stalled for 20 years. Once again he landed in Mombasa in the autumn, though this time with a different wife in tow, and once again he was to be led by Percival, now in his late sixties, who came out of retirement out of loyalty to his old client.
Hemingway was fortunate to survive his second trip to Africa. As a late Christmas present, he had arranged for a pilot, Roy Marsh, to take himself and his wife Mary on a sightseeing journey over Africa in Marsh's Cessna. All went well, until they reached Murchison Falls in Uganda. As Mary photographed the falls, Marsh suddenly swerved to avoid a flight of ibis and ripped into an abandoned telegraph wire which sliced off the rudder and radio antenna. The plane crashed in the bush about three miles from the Falls, but incredibly, all three emerged relatively unscathed. Next day a boat took them safely to Butiaba.
After such a lucky escape, no one could have expected lightning to strike twice, but almost as soon as Reggie Cartwright's 12-seater de Havilland took off from the short, ragged landing strip, it crashed and burst into flames. Mary, Marsh and Cartwright managed to squeeze out through a window, but Hemingway, too bulky to get through, was forced to bash the stuck door open using his head – his arms still bruised from the previous day's crash – exacerbating his wounds with every battering attempt to save his life.
Blessed with the constitution of an ox, Hemingway was used to bouncing back from the blows his active life dealt him, but recovery was slow and some biographers have seen the African crashes as marking the beginning of his physical and psychological decline.
Palin, Michael Hemingway Adventure
Extract Author: Michael Palin
Extract Date: 1999 October 30
writing in the Radio Times 30 Oct 1999 about his Hemingway Adventure program
0n 21 January 1954, the Hemingways, with a bush pilot by the name of Roy Marsh, took off from Nairobi to see the Belgian Congo. Hemingway called it his Christmas present to Mary.
After flying due north to look down on friends in the rich farming belt of the Kenya Highlands they turned south, inspecting the lakes and volcanoes of the Great Rift Valley, the 12-mile- wide Ngorongoro Crater and the game-filled Serengeti Plains. After a refuelling stop at Mwanza, they headed west, out over Lake Victoria and the desolate northern quarter of Rwanda, and by the end of the first day they reached the Belgian Congo, putting down for the night at the town of Costermansville, now Bukavu.
The next day they flew north over the Rwenzori mountains, a spectacular snow-capped range in the very centre of Africa, known to early explorers as the Mountains of the Moon, and from there to Entebbe in Uganda. Hemingway, in his article, The Christmas Gift, for Look magazine, extravagantly praised the comforts of Entebbe's Lake Victoria Hotel, adding pointedly that he hoped, 'Miss Mary was beginning to lose the claustrophobia she had experienced while being confined to the Masai Reserve and the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.'
But Miss Mary's claustrophobia was far from being cured and once the mist cleared next morning they were in the air again, heading over George and Albert, the lakes of the Western Rift Valley, and on to the Murchison Falls on the river Nile. Diving down to what Hemingway later described as 'a reasonably legal height', they had a good look at this spectacular torrent of white water, and were heading back to Entebbe when their plane and propeller clipped a telegraph wire and the plane hurtled down into low scrub beside the crocodile-infested waters of the Nile. This was only the start of the nightmare.
Ondaatje, Christopher Kilimanjaro: Genius in an African dawn
Page Number: a
Extract Date: 2001
Thousands of tourists have journeyed to Africa in search of the Hemingway Experience, inspired by 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'. Sir Christopher Ondaatje got closer than most
Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngaje Ngai', the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.
This is the riddle that Ernest Hemingway poses at the start of his strangely prophetic and almost autobiographical story, The Snows of Kilimanjaro.
Hemingway was the first great American literary celebrity of the 20th century. By the time of his death in 1961 he was a legend. The white-bearded visage of "Papa" could be recognised all over the world. Countless magazine articles chronicled the adventures of the hard-drinking, tough-talking, much-married action man.
Yet there is relatively little discussion of Hemingway's love of Africa – a continent that was an obsession for him all his life. As a boy, he longed to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Theodore Roosevelt, who made a famous safari expedition in Tanganyika [now Tanzania] in 1910. On frequent trips to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, young Ernest was entranced by the stuffed elephants brought back from expeditions in Africa by the hunter and photographer Carl Akeley, a man said to have killed a wounded leopard with his bare hands.
Extract Author: Thomas Ratsim
Page Number: 474
Extract Date: 23 June 2007
Twelve students from Colorado College, USA have completed a specially tailored course that involves tracing the steps of Great American author, Ernest Hemingway, in the Northern circuit of Tanzania.
In their course, the students read and discussed Hemingway's works such as " The Green Hills of Africa" and "Under Kilimanjaro," based on his two East African safaris of 1933 to 1934 and 1953 to 1954, respectively.
The course, designed and taught by Professors Joseph Mbele of St. Olaf College in Minnesota and William Davis of the Colorado College, gave the students the opportunity to read Hemingway's works and other works in the actual venues where the author had traveled.
They visited the same towns, met the local people he mentioned in his "Green Hills of Africa" published in 1935, such as Maasai, Iraqw who helped for his porterage and Datooga, the tribe which he admired their tribal marks. The students also viewed the same wildlife and witnessed the land features that inspired America's greatest writer and also ate the same meals.
Besides classes, the students' field trips included visits to the the Rift Valley canyon (current Lake Manyara National Park), the famous Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti plains and Tarangire, where the author hunted. They also visited villages in the Babati and Longido Districts where the author passed or camped during his hunting expeditions. During their expedition they had the opportunity to view the extolled "Green Hills of Africa"on their way to the ancient Rock Painting in Kondoa District.
Ernest Miller Hemingway born on July 21,1899, an American novelist and short-story writer is one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. He worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star after graduating from high school in 1917. During World War I he served as an ambulance driver in France and in the Italian infantry and was wounded just before his 19th birthday. Later, while working in Paris as a correspondent for the Toronto Star, he became involved with the expatriate literary and artistic circle surrounding Gertrude Stein.
During the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway served as a correspondent on the loyalist side. He fought in World War II and then settled in Cuba in 1945. In 1954, Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. After his expulsion from Cuba by the Castro regime, he moved to Ketchum, Idaho. He was increasingly plagued by ill health and mental problems, and in July, 1961, he committed suicide by shooting himself.
Pictures of the trip can be viewed on the following site: