Babati

Name ID 740

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 028c
Extract Date: 1900~+

Fourie, A.P.de K.

After serving in the Boer War [Fourie], came up to East Africa (after the original voortrekkers) and established himself near Arusha. Took trips to Babati and Kondoa. Stayed in East Africa through World War I, working for the Tanganyika Government in the Veterinary Department.

Extract ID: 254

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 32b
Extract Date: 1920's

Other Urban Development

Paper III. Urban Development & the Growth of Communications

Arusha is the only large scale urban development in the region. Mbulu was established as a German administrative centre, and became the British headquarters for the Mbulu District. Oldeani developed as a trading centre when the German settlement started there in the late 1920's. Babati served that section of the Mbulu District which lay below the Rift (now the Hanang District). There were a few European settlers in the vicinity but the few shops were dependant on the local African producer, as well as serving the passing traffic on the "Great North Road".

The site of Monduli was a farm alienated in German times, and acquired by the Government when a headquarters was being sought for the newly established Masai District in 1929.

A more recent development is the Tengeru complex, which started as a Polish Refugee Camp established on a German Farm to house 6000 refugees which the Tanganyika Government agreed to accept in 1942. After the departure of the refugees, the Government used the site to develop an Agricultural Research Station with a Soil Conservation Service. The Game Department was also housed there. On the establishment of Arusha as the capital of the East African Community the buildings were handed over for community use and the agricultural work was abandoned. Adjacent to Tengeru a considerable rural service centre has grown up on a German Farm bought by the Government for Meru expansion. It now contains a teaching training college, an expanding health centre, and in the shopping and market area an iron welding workshop and a carpenters shop equiped with modern machinery.

Extract ID: 3235

external link

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Thomas Ratsim
Page Number: 472

Babati:Real destination for pop-culture tourism ~ ‘The loveliest that I had ever seen in Africa

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.

Extract ID: 5853

See also

Mercer, Graham Tarangire
Page Number: d
Extract Date: 1928

The Blixen home outside Babati

The Blixen home outside Babati might have been a shambles but the location was superb. There was big game around, including elephants and buffaloes. Bror's nephew later said that the house was "on a site that was quite possibly the most beautiful in Africa". More adventurous visitors to Tarangire nowadays, if they have the means and the time, might wish to drive down to Babati, where such lovely scenery might still be appreciated.

But if the Blixens had found Paradise in Babati they were not to find it in their marriage. Bror, said to be popular with everyone, had a reputation as a "ladies' man". And he was often away, sometimes for as long as 3 months, on hunting safaris.

One day a Swedish lady, Eva Dickson, turned up in Babati with a woman friend, after driving all the way from Dar. Eva had come to meet Bror and soon became a threat to "Cockie", who told Bror "Either she goes or I do". It was "Cockie" who went. Later she said "I have never regretted anything in my life as much as leaving Blix". She also said "He was a wonderful – unfaithful – husband, and the best lover I ever had".

Even Karen Blixen, in her old age, said that if she could have one moment of her life over again, she would choose to be on safari with Bror.

Bror eventually returned to Sweden and, after a relationship with Eva, married another woman, with whom he seemed to find happiness in his last years. "Cockie" also remarried and went to live in South Africa.

The events mentioned above took place a little way outside the present park boundaries, but before the Tarangire area was gazetted as a game reserve, in 1957, it was open to hunting parties and known for its abundant game. Local people also carried out some hunting, honey-gathering and fishing.

Extract ID: 5386

See also

Trzebinski, Errol Silence Will Speak
Page Number: 383
Extract Date: 14 Nov 1928


Denys had planned that the safari should depart promptly at 9 A.M. on the morning of 14 November but by 9.05 A.M. he abandoned all ideas of travelling by road to Kajiado in Maasailand. The rains had started with a vengeance and they would simply not get through to their first camp. Hurriedly alternative plans were made for a freight train to take the party instead.

At 2 P.M. the lorries and other vehicles were loaded on to the train. In this highly unorthodox manner the hunters began their safari. They were planning to move southwards to Longido, on to Arusha, west to Babati to the lake of that name where the Prince hoped for good duckshooting - thence to Kondoa-Irangi, Dodoma and Iringi moving westward to Mwenzo and Abercorn to Lake Tanganyika. The rains continued to be phenomenally heavy, which made camping slightly precarious.

Extract ID: 4658

See also

Trzebinski, Errol Silence Will Speak
Extract Author: Bror Blixen
Page Number: 387
Extract Date: 17 November 1928

Lunch with the Prince

from African Hunter, by Bror von Blixen-Finecke, pub Cassell, London 1937 p154

Bror wrote later:

I had the opportunity of discussing and planning a lion hunt with my old friend Finch Hatton, who was already a member of the Prince's party. Unfortunately the Prince had no more than two days to spare ... no one knew that he could not extend his time ... so we had to look ... in the immediate neighbour-hood: . . at the foot of Mount Ufiomi - not far from my farm.

The usual baiting procedure was followed. The first, near the village of Kwakuchinjas, drew the lion who feasted very well then slunk off. `We had to return to Babati with long faces,' recalls Blix, `though the most crestfallen of the party was naturally myself. But I was not merely crestfallen - I was angry, and swore that the Prince should have his lion.'

At about midday of the morning Cockie had arrived home from Arusha her sleep was disturbed by voices and the sound of footsteps outside her bedroom door. She opened her eyes to see Blix standing there announcing that he had brought the Prince for lunch. She protested strongly saying she had nothing suitable to eat in the house and that she was still weary from her drive. `Whereupon the Prince himself appeared at the door, saying, "Surely, Cockie, you can get me something for lunch - you must have some eggs in the house!" Indeed she had to admit this was so and they lunched very well on scrambled eggs in the little mud and wattle dwelling which was the von Blixen's new home.

It was on this occasion that the Prince took Blix aside after eating and said, "I say, Blixen, you really oughtn't to let your wife live in a tumbledown place like this."

"I shall never forget the tone of his voice," Blix later wrote. "Naturally I felt ashamed, though my wife hadn't complained - and inwardly promised to put things right."

Extract ID: 4661

external link

See also

Internet Web Pages
Extract Author: Robert S. Cragg
Page Number: 1

British Commonwealth Postmarks

Attached are lists of villages and other offices where you may find a circular date stamp. Well, most are circular and almost all are dated. The lists are loosely arranged as follows:

Name as it appears in an early cancel or in the majority of cancels. Many town names, especially in Africa and Asia, have a number of spellings in English. These are ignored. But, if the town name changed significantly, the newer name is in parentheses. Names often changed because of confusing same or similar names in the same colony.

Also, independence led to de-Anglicization, especially if the town name included words such as "fort". If the town is a post office outside of the colony but administered by the colony, that is indicated.

Next is the earliest date "known" of a dated cancel or, sometimes the date of opening. If not from literature, then from my collection. Sadly, most early dates from my collection are not that early.

Then there are letter or numeral killers used alone or in conjunction with a date stamp. Sometimes several different numbers were used, perhaps in different styles. This is a huge field, only touched on here.

Lastly, the location of the village is given (or will later be given) by latitude and longitude. Sometimes this is only approximate, variables including inaccurate old maps, inaccurate new maps, moving of towns, confusion over similar town names, quirky software and my own clerical errors.

The lists are a place to get started. They are incomplete, the degree depending on what literature is available to the author. Focus is on villages with post offices around the turn of the century without attempting to include newer offices. The cut-off date for each colony varies, depending on manageability of the number of offices.

Many of the village marks are rare. Occasionally, only a single example is known. Some offices were open only a few months and have disappeared from modern maps.

TANGANYIKA

[short list, with some names from Northern Tanzania]

Arusha 1922 3s22 36e41

Babati 1935 4s13 35e45

Kondoa 1920 4s54 35e47

Loliondo 1937 2s03 35e37

Mbulu 1920 sl 3s51 35e32

Monduli 1939 3s18 36e26

Moshi 1917 3s21 37e20

Ngare Nairobi 1928

Oldeani 1934 3s21 35e33

Singida 1926 4s49 34e45

Usa River 1929 3s22 36e50

Extract ID: 4302

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush
Page Number: 027
Extract Date: 1938 Easter

a rhino charged

We had been given permission to use an old rest camp on Lord Lovelaces farm [near Babati] for the first three nights and when we arrived, we were relieved to find a large stack of firewood cut and ready, but there was no water. The river was some way distant and so, when we had unloaded the car, Jeff and I set off to fetch water in a couple of clean debes. A debe is one of the greatest inventions of our time and very useful in everyday East African life. It was made of tin and designed to hold four gallons of petrol or paraffin, but had a hundred different uses, including grilling steaks over four sheets of the East African Standard newspaper, baking bread, or as the Africans most often did, cutting and flattening out the tins to make efficient roofing tiles. We approached the river through an area teeming with game, some of it dangerous, and were entirely dependent on the car headlights. The crossing was too shallow to fill the debes and so we walked a short distance further along a footpath through thick elephant grass. Jeff went a little way and then would go no further from the security of the car lights and turned back, but I was so used to mixing with game both in daylight and at night that it did not worry me at all, so naturally I started to show off.

After bringing back the first debe I went far further than I needed to fill the second can when suddenly, to my horror, a rhino charged, presumably having caught my scent or heard the clang of the debe against a stone. Of course anything like this always seems much more frightening when it occurs in the dark; one cannot see the cause of the commotion or where to run. I just stood petrified until I heard the animal breaking through bush on the far side of the river. Jeff shouted to me in panic from the car but I did not answer until I got near enough to be seen but he thought I had been killed by the rhino, and so lost his temper with me for not replying earlier. He had realised he could not start the car alone as it required two people, one to swing the starting handle and the other to press the accelerator and had worried for his own safety too. Although rather shaken myself, I managed to calm him down and we drove back to the camp in silence.

Neither Dickie Forehead nor David How-Brown believed our story, as Jeff, the youngest in the party embellished the incident with such vivid detail that it sounded far more dramatic than it had really been. Although most of the boys in the school lived in areas populated by game and had a fair knowledge of it, few if any had been as closely connected with wild animals as I had. At first I was presumed to be showing off, then thought to be fanciful, but, towards the end of the trip, their attitude changed and I found I was being consulted about matters concerning the bush. When it came to discussions on other subjects however, such as world affairs or the infinity of space, it was either explained to me in slow simple English or I was just left out of the conversation altogether.

Extract ID: 4185

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush
Page Number: 028
Extract Date: 1938 Easter

The western side of Lake Babati

On the next part of the trip we moved to the western side of Lake Babati, as far as we could get with the car, and camped about two hundred yards from the water. This camp, although very pleasant in the day-time and shaded with trees, had to be abandoned after the first night as we were plagued by mosquitoes and were forced to move further away from the lake. Dickie and Jeff spent hours looking for stones, but David and I busied ourselves fishing for barbel, which were easy at the time because the rains had just finished and the water was clear. The African tribes prefer barbel (a type ofcatfish) to most other fresh water fish, but the average European will not eat them, considering they taste too muddy. In my opinion, a good barbel, at the right time of year, takes a lot of beating and is certainly no more muddy than some of the bream and bass I have eaten, with the added benefit of fewer bones.

Dickie would eat anything that was put in front of him and as long as there was enough, was not sufficiently interested to comment on it, which was fortunate as we boys knew nothing about preparing fish dishes. We knew how to cook meat suspended over an open fire, but game meat is usually too dry to be roasted on coals as it has little fat and so we bought eggs from the local natives. First we tested them in a bowl of water; they were bad if they floated and they were fresh if they sank to the bottom. For our evening meal I shot game birds or small buck, accompanied by boiled rice, which came out of the pot in one solid chunk and our memorable safari bread, which was as solid and heavy as mahogany.

Extract ID: 4186

See also

Allen, John Richard Down Memory Lane in Tanganyika
Page Number: 39
Extract Date: 1939

Dodoma to Arusha

Driving north from Dodoma was all new country for me. After the first 10 miles out the cultivated areas ceased and the road then passed through broken country, well wooded with 'Miombo' trees (Latin name is Brachystegia, but which one of the 30 different species ????? ). After passing through that five mile belt of forest the landscape changed completely to dry scrub and thorn bush, uninhabited, to the passing motorist. (But 7 years later I was to discover otherwise?). At about 80 miles from Dodoma the large native settlement named Kelema was reached. Here, four or five native dukas (shops) sold a miscellaneous assortment of goods, mainly cloth and local foodstuffs, My only purchase was a hand of bananas to munch on the way. Judging by a few remarks, I gathered some of our vehicles had also stopped there, so the convoy was not wholly ‘in convoy’! So far, on the journey, only two stops had been made to sort out minor mechanical troubles on a couple of vehicles. From Kelema, for the next 30 miles, onwards, the area was thickly populated by the Irangi tribe. The land is fairly hilly and scarred with soil erosion gullies, some measuring hundreds of feet wide. Many 'sand rivers' crossed the road which could be a great hazard to motorists when the normally dry riverbeds are in full spate after a storm. At Kelema there is a very wide one, a quarter of a mile, which I know has claimed many vehicles driven by impatient motorists.

At exactly 100 miles from Dodoma I stopped, in the shade of a large baobab tree, to eat a few biscuits washed down with a bottle of warm 'pop'. Here, a road branched off, almost due west, down a slope for two miles into the small township of Kondoa Irangi. The District HQ for the Kondoa District. On the opposite side of the road there was a small lake with a fair population of wildfowl. By now the time had crept round to about 15.30 hours, so off we went continuing our journey, The countryside for the next 18 miles along the road was rather barren , over-populated, over-grazed, hilly, eroded and the only trees were baobabs. After passing through the Minor Settlement of Kolo, the road began to ascend into the hills known as Pienaar's Heights, so-named after a South African General who, during the 1914/18 war routed the enemy forcing them to retreat to Kondoa and beyond, However, history apart: Half way up the short escarpment was one stationary 'ambulance' or, in reality, a 2 ton Ford V8 lorry converted for passenger carrying, but on this occasion it had a load of medical equipment on board weighing less than a ton. I wondered how the contents in the boxes would survive after being bounced over miles of a 'corrugated' road surface? After struggling with various engine components for over an hour the thing eventualy started but firing on only 7 cylinders. As for the 8th, to hell with it. (my feverish cold taking over!). Off on the road again ascending to an altitude of 6,000 ft. above sea level and with darkness approaching rather quickly. There was a definite chill in the air and, to my sorrow, my British ‘warm' army great¬coat was, by now, in Bereko! There were more stops en route, but we eventually made it to the camp by 9.30 pm. The Mess cook had put aside a plateful of dinner for me, no doubt on Ali's instructions. Some kind soul gave me a stiff whisky. The tent was up and my campbed all ready to flop into. The CO came over to ask where I'd been, so told him! Whereupon, he withdrew. By the time I had swallowed my drink, eaten my dinner, performed my ablutions, my colleagues had retired to their respective nests so I did likewise, under three blankets in this cold spot, We were at an altitude of about 6,500 ft, asl.

Morning came round much too early but the cup of tea brought in by Ali at 6,15 am was most welcome, A busy morning began with breakfast at 7.30 am and a departure for Arusha at 8.30 am, about 130 miles away. My departure time, anybody’s guess! I scrounged as many spanners, screwdrivers etc. I could lay my hands on to deal with that wretched Ford lorry. One point I insisted on, the Bedford lorry, with its driver, would follow me, since I would be driving the 'wreck.', with the inexperienced driver sitting alongside. After cleaning all the fuel pipes, carburettor, the ignition system, petrol pump and anything else I could find, within reason, the engine actually fired on the fourth attempt. Like me, it coughed a lot and then picked up, sometimes on 7 cylinders, sometimes 8!

It was just after 11.00 am when I set forth. After nine miles, or so, the road descended to a much lower altitude and the area was flat apart from a few distant hills. The next minor settlement of note, was a place called Babati, with an extensive African population and about six Asian owned dukas - so I stopped close by to a large 'tin' (corrugated iron) duka and was welcomed in by its Asian owner. I was amazed at the variety of tinned provisions he stocked, also beer and soft drinks galore! So I treated myself to a Coca Cola straight from the fridge and a packet of savory biscuits. I also gave the two drivers shgs.2.00 each to buy themselves a meal as the chances of reaching Arusha in time for their evening meal with the mob was rather remote.

Arusha was still 110 miles away so as soon as possible after that short break, we were off, into a very warm afternoon. The Indian duka-wallah told me the main convoy had gone through about 10 am so, with luck, it should be 'home and dry' by 16,00 hours.

We made good progress for the next 50 miles through an area known as the Mbugwe 'flats' but when the undulating country was reached, more trouble. Being a hot afternoon the engine had been running at a higher temperature than usual but now, crawling up slight inclines in second gear the water boiled which made me suspect either the cylinder head was cracked or a 'blown' cylinder head gasket. Either way, I could do nothing about that, full stop! At the top of the slopes a halt was necessary to allow the engine cool down sufficiently before replenishing the water, which all took time. Bouncing along a flat stretch of road, in the dark, with the wooden bodywork and medical boxes creating a dreadful din there was almost an 'Incident on the Highway'? Unbeknown to me a car following in my wake of dust had been trying to pass but with all the noise I hadn't heard his dual car horns blaring forth. The first indication I got was from a bush on the roadside reflecting a strong light beam so I immediately pulled over to let the car pass. A few yards further along the road the car pulled up and out stepped a European male who beckoned me to stop. He strode over and, when he was a couple of feet away I wound down the window to be greeted with, in an Australian accent, a mouthful of abuse ending with " – you bastard"? Just what I needed! Momentarily, I was taken aback and just when I was about to give him a well directed punch in the face he stepped back realising that he wasn't speaking to an African lorry driver. I saw him later that evening in the hotel but he did not recognise me. Apparently, he was a high ranking official in the Govt. the Director of Lands and Mines! A pity he stepped away at the wrong moment before I could teach him a lesson in manners. However, the CO dealt with him on my behalf,

Extract ID: 5711

See also

Allen, John Richard Down Memory Lane in Tanganyika
Page Number: 56
Extract Date: 1940 Oct

On Leave - going south

After we had settled in [M'bagathi Holding Camp, five miles south (?) of Nairobi} the time was ripe for making arrangements for leave, for those so entitled, both European and African. My turn came round about the middle of October.

Two days before departure too Sao Hill, I developed 'German measles' so decided not to report it otherwise off into quarantine I’d go for 21 days! Fortunately, by the time I set off towards the Southern Highlands of Tanganyika I felt slightly better. The journey was rather tedious. I Departed from Nairobi Railway Station at 5.00 pm, or thereabouts, to Voi arriving there 01.00 am and then transferring to the Voi/Moshi train, due in at Moshi at about 4.00 pm. Being a 'Hornby' type railway set-up there were very few facilities, No restaurant car! But at Maktau Station there was a dak-bungalow, or station cafe, where one could buy a cup of tea and a few 'eats’. In my case I wanted some breakfast but, having overslept, by the time I was ready the train was about to depart so my next meal looked like being in Moshi much later in the afternoon.

My recollection of events in Moshi is rather vague! I met a family friend, now a captain in one of the KAR Battalion's, who told me to use his army quarter in the cantonment as he was living in the hotel with his wife. After a good night's sleep I was up at 6.30 am preparing for the lorry convoy departing for Mbeya, far to the south at 7.30 am. That day we, there were others like me proceeding on leave, traveled as far as Babati where the convoy pulled off the road for the overnight stop! There was no accommodation whatsoever, nor anything else, which meant sleeping under the stars on 'Mother Earth'. Fortunately, I had my bedding roll with me but no campbed, and was that earth hard! Food? the old standby, bully beef and biscuits, eaten in the flickering light of a small fire. Ablutions and calls to nature left a lot to be desired with us floundering around in the darkness. The convoy Commander could have warned us of what to expect on the journey, not that it would have made much difference. Anyway, I think everyone was mighty pleased to see the dawn. Next stopover, Dodoma. On reaching the Babati Trading Centre a hurried stop to make a few purchases of food and soft drinks to ensure I did not suffer from dehydration during the next 160 hot miles!

The convoy reached the Dodoma Transit Camp about 5.00 pm. Traveling in convoy is an ordeal, mile after mile in a constant cloud of dust, some grey, some red, resulting in a queer application of 'make¬up'. The camp consisted of dozens of wooden huts, some large, some small, all equipped with the essentials for comfort, with adjacent 'shower' huts. However, luck was on my side; making my way to the Camp Commandant's office for instructions on where to park myself I met the gentleman concerned. None other than my old friend from the Shinyanga days, 'Hicky”, now, Major Hickson- Wood! The first words he muttered were, "Where the bloody hell ¬have you come from?” rank forgotten, I told him. He insisted I spent the night in his large house and that Kathy would be only too pleased to see me once again. Within an hour I felt much better after having had a good long soak in the bath, most necessary after living in a dust haze for the two past two days. Three more dinner guests came in later, officers off a northbound South African convoy, so, much to Hicky's pleasure, the alcohol flowed rather freely

Next day we were away on the familiar 162 mile journey to Iringa, arriving there just before 6.00 pm. I had sent a telegram to my parents informing them that I would be in Iringa on the evening of 'such an' such' a date, hoping the ‘0ld Man' would take the hint to come and meet me. Thankfully, he did! Much to my surprise he appeared driving a very smart 1938 model Chevrolet estate car and when I asked who had been bold enough to lend him such a vehicle his reply was short and to the point. "I bought it," said he!

After chasing all round Iringa looking for the lorry my kit was on I eventually tracked it down and then retraced my way back to the hotel for something to wash down the dust in my throat. The Bar was full of young Rhodesians on their way to Nairobi to enlist. One of them, hearing I had just spent eleven months in the 'battle zone' (?) insisted on buying me drinks. After the second pint of beer I thought it advisable to make for home! I Rounded up Pa then away on the last lap of the journey - 61 miles in comfort. A pleasant change after being bounced around in lorries for the past twelve months. Those miles did not take long to cover, one and a half hours.

Extract ID: 5716

See also

Tanganyika Guide
Page Number: 058
Extract Date: 1948

Great North Road

The road leaves Arusha township in a direction due west for the first nine miles, thereafter tending southwards in a great curve to the west, until it passes the eastern shores of Lake Manyara, 65 miles from Arusha. Thence the road follows a line due south through Babati and on to Pienaar’s Heights, the whole route being beaconed on each side with magnficent isolated peaks.

Extract ID: 295

See also

Cooke, J One White man in Black Africa
Page Number: 184a
Extract Date: 1962

Babati

... we did some cross-country travelling to reach Babati on the Arusha-Dodoma road. Here we spent a few days with Sylvia's brother Klaus who was farming in the Kiri valley. He had taken a lease on a parcel of land that was part of a large area that had been cleared for large-scale cultivation by the Germans pre-1914, but then later abandoned to revert to bush and infestation by the tse-tse fly.

In the late 1950's the British administration had decided to reopen the land which the local people did not seem to be interested in. The object was to drive back the tse-tse and bring potentially productive land into cultivation. Klaus had been employed in the sisal growing industry, but wanting to set up farming on his own account, he had applied for and been granted a lease. He had driven up from Tanga with a tractor and trailer laden with his worldly goods, and had moved on to the totally bush-covered land, where he set up camp. He didn't have long to wait before local people came asking for work, and he was able to build up a small labour force with which he started to clear the land.

He allowed each man to build a house and cultivate his own plot. The land teemed with buffalo, and by hunting and shooting these, Klaus was able to keep his men well supplied with fresh meat. He had no labour problems. Within a year they had cleared enough land to plant and harvest a crop of maize, and to begin planting permanent crops such as coffee and paw paw. A small house with mud-brick walls and a corrugated iron roof was built and round it a garden with flowers and vegetables flourished.

Extract ID: 380

See also

Tanganyika Guide
Page Number: 63
Extract Date: 1953

Great North Road

The road leaves Arusha township in a direction due west for the first nine miles, thereafter bending southwards in a great curve to the west, until it passes the eastern shores of Lake Manyara, 65 miles from Arusha. Thence the road follows a line due south through Babati and on to Pienaar's Heights, the whole route being beaconed on each side with magnificent isolated peaks. Over many miles game of every description may be seen, and, owing to the restrictions on shooting, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and lion sometimes are to be met with on the road itself. South of Babati, 116 miles from Arusha, much native cultivation is passed, and from here on to Bereku the country is reminiscent of England, the road taking a winding course up the hills through magnificent trees between whose branches impressive panoramas are seen of the Babati area, Hanang Mountain and the Great Rift wall to the north, while to the south and east stretch to the horizon the plains of the Central Province and the Masai steppe.

The road still bears south, and Kondoa is reached at mile 170 from Arusha. From here it proceeds through the Gogo country to Dodoma on the Central Railway, 272 miles from Arusha. Dodoma is an important centre of the Territory's communications. It has a hotel and a first-class aerodrome, with metalled runway, within a mile of the town.

Extract ID: 5542

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 15
Extract Date: 1956 Dec

Straight run down to the North-Lewis'

Straight run down to the North-Lewis' near Babati (95 miles).

Extract ID: 742

See also

Marsh, R.J. and E.P Safari Diaries
Page Number: 15a
Extract Date: 1956 Dec


Extract ID: 4074

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 199
Extract Date: 1957

The Iraq

With people like these, one can understand why the Northern Province with only four districts - Arusha, Masai, Mbulu and Moshi - possessed a far greater influence than its size and population would suggest.

Within its boundaries were some of the most advanced and backward people in the territory, ranging from the Chagga and the Meru to the Masai, Wa-arush, Iraq and Sandawe - the latter living entirely from hunting and collecting honey, nuts and berries. Their primitive clicking language was difficult to understand. They lived in the hilly Mbulu district to the south at Babati where a Masai-like pastoral people, the Barabaig, also dwelt.

The main tribe, the Iraq was a handsome race with such slender figures that it was difficult to distinguish between the males and females. They claimed to have trekked south from the Middle East many hundreds of years before and their language was unusual in having totally different stems for singular and plural, for example he (man), but rho (people).

Extract ID: 4379

See also

Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 1997

Babati land conflict has roots in colonial period

Who was a behind the recent farm clashes in Babati district pitting the local villagers against the Asian large scale farmers? Correspondent Zephania Ubwani who lived in Babati in the early 1970s, during which time he visited nearly all the farms in the Kiru Valley recalls his last visit to the area in 1997. His report.

Seated under the shade of large tree outside his hillside residence in Kiru Valley, the then 60 year old Asian farmer Chagan Modhwadia appeared both an optimistic farmer and a worried businessman.

He was happy that his sugar cane production was poised for a brighter future because of the huge market demand, and fertile land, but he was worried about taxation and the threats to estate land.

On that particular sunny day at the height of the dry season in August 1997, he had three types of visitors, two of whom were types to his day to day business. In the morning he had visitors from the now dis-established Institute of Production Innovation (IPI) of the University of Dar es Salaam led by Dr. Abdallah Chungu.

IPI was installing prototypes of mini-sugar plants it had developed in various large-scale farms in the Kiru Valley where the Asian farmers have opted for sugar cane production instead of the coffee plantations and fruit orchards that were planted when the farms were first opened up by white settlers in the 1950s.

The IPI experts were coming to see the performance of a sugar processing plant they had installed in his compound, but the outspoken Asian farmer amused them when he said the mini-sugar plant was too small for him.

"This plant has the capacity to produce 700 kg of sugar a day. That’s too small for our operations," he said, adding that he would be comfortable with bigger plants that could produce many tonnes of sugar in order to make huge sales and profits.

Shortly before noon, Mzee Chagan was to play host to a journalist. To him that was strange. He had not seen such visitors to the farms before but was soon to settle down after being told that the reporter’s visit was linked to the IPI-support project.

Then sometime after 4 pm, when the sun was pushing westwards behind the Mbulu highlands, an old Land Rover with two passengers arrived at the farmer’s noisy compound almost unnoticed.

These were officials of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) from Babati, the district headquarters which is barely 20 kilometres from the rocky bottom of the Kiru Valley. He took time to talk to them but was later to complain as is always the case with businessmen.

Mzee Chagan was (and probably still is) the owner of the 3,000 acre Dudumera Plantations Limited which is roughly ten kilometres off the Arusha-Babati road..

There are about a dozen other farms in the neighbourhood.

According to the villagers, the present Dudumera Plantations, which Mzee Chagan owns under a 99 year lease, was formerly run by a famous Greek settler called A. P. Matsis, who later settled near Arusha and died in the 1980s.

Extract ID: 3436

See also

Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 5
Extract Date: 1970's

Pastoralists enter the valley

Some changes took place from the mid 70s. As drought continued to bite in the neighboring districts notably Mbulu, Babati, Hanang and Monduli, cattle grazers invaded the area for greener pastures.

The cattle grazers were viewed with suspicion by the estate owners. Where will they graze their large herds when the best land is under cultivation or lease? They asked themselves. They also posed a threat to livestock in ranches owned by commercial farmers.

The cattle herders could not be easily recruited to become farm laborers.

At the same time, they could not tolerate the beatings often meted out to laborers and other villagers by the rude estate owners.

As more and more pastoralists and farmers settled in the area, more and more local leaders began talking about the right of the villagers like their access to water, pastures in fallow land and routes to their large herds.

By the 1970s, most white farmers had left and the farms were taken over by the Asian farmers who preferred cultivating sugar cane, beans and maize rather than coffee.

According to accounts, the farms were briefly taken over by the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) but soon reverted to the private commercial farmers after the giant Parastatal collapsed.

The bone of contention, according to Kiru residents, is not the land problem as such, but the hostility that has existed between the estate owners and the local communities and the failure by the local (district) authorities to act accordingly on the clashes reported before the killings.

Extract ID: 3440

See also

Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro
Extract Date: 1982

Babati

This district town, 100 miles south of Arusha, is the centre of a large Ujamaa (agricultural co-operative) village scheme.

Extract ID: 89

See also

Stromquist, Lennart Environmental Impact Assessment of Natural Disasters, a Case Study of the Recent Lake Babati Floods in Northern Tanzania
Page Number: Abstract
Extract Date: 1990

Babati flooding

Babati town was one of several areas in Tanzania that was flooded during the heavy rains in 1990. Lake Babati, situated to the south of the town, is a shallow fresh water lake rapidly responding to climatic fluctuations. The lake surged on April 6, 1990. The flood created a new outlet of the lake through the town centre. Street gutters were transformed into gullies and several buildings were destroyed. Analyses of climatic data, aerial photography and old records indicate that the floodings commenced in 1964 after a relatively long dry spell when the lake was reduced to about 1/4 of its present size. Subsequent floods occurred in 1979 and 1990 and can all be related to the building up of ground and surface water resources in the catchment after periods of increased rainfall amounts. The recent land use changes are discussed in relation to the natural causes of the floods.

Extract ID: 5342

See also

Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 2

"Kwa Terror"

But the illiterate inhabitants of Kiru valley being pastoralists, peasants, casual laborers,

fishermen, mere passers-by and others, any mention of Dudumera Plantations is a received with hostility, showing that labour relations between the farm owners and the surrounding communities, including the farm workers, could have been bad. Dudumera estate is commonly known as "Kwa Terror", not just during the last 30 years it has been in Chagan’s hands, but even before.

"Bwana Terror" would connote a no-nonsense settler farmer, often holding a gun, who would terrorize his stubborn farm workers. The same tactics would apply to trespassers and cattle grazers.

Until then, (1997), officially there were 34 commercial farmers, most of them of Asian origin in the entire Kiru valley, an area stretching from close to Babati to the southern shores of Lake Manyara. However, in many farms not all land was cultivated.

Information gathered had it that the area was opened up after the Second World War, when the white settler farmers, including soldiers demobilized from the war, were moved there with the facilitation of the British colonial government.

During the white settlers’ occupation, probably until the early 1970s, the farms were typical settler farms.

They enjoyed modern irrigation facilities, and produced coffee, beans, maize, and fruit, while some were cattle ranchers.

Change in ownership from the white European settlers to the Asians, in turn, changed the scenery from the lush green coffee and fruit plantations to sugar cane fields.

Incidentally, the sugar cane grown was not used to produce the badly needed crystalline sugar, but jaggery (sukari guru) which is a key raw material for the production of alcoholic drinks by villagers nearby and in neighboring regions.

It was because of the big potential for sugar cane that IPI earmarked the area for the installation of prototypes of mini-sugar plants in an effort to promote the technology as well as produce crystalling or table sugar for the local market.

Extract ID: 3437

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Said Njuki
Page Number: No.00153
Extract Date: 2001 Jan 13

Floods threaten township

Babati Township in Arusha region is in danger of being flooded following over flooding of Lake Babati caused by the current short rains.

The lake, which over the last ten years had over flooded on two separate occasions, has recently burst its shores and is encroaching into the township.

The residents of the eastern parts of the town have started cleaning up storm water drains and channels to ensure unobstructed water flow. Other inhabitants of this part of the town known as Old Majengo with some 70 families have started looking for rental premises in Majengo Mapya, an area believed to be safer from floods.

Martin Tesa, a resident of Babati, while accepting that the ongoing rains are a threat to their residential premises, has nevertheless admitted that they were ordered to vacate the area as early as 1989 by the retired president Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

Babati town with an estimated 35,000 residents has been experiencing frequent floods, the most serious being those from 'el Nino' rains of 1997/1998 where some buildings were destroyed.

It is claimed that agricultural activities around the lake are the cause of siltation in the lake.

Extract ID: 2898

See also

Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 3
Extract Date: 1970s

High production of jaggery

Mzee Chagan, although not entirely happy with the conflicts between the commercial farmers and the surrounding communities, admitted that Kiru Valley had a great potential for sugar production.

"There is enough water, fertile land and conducive weather" he said at his hillside residence, looking over his large sugar cane farm.

At least 1,000 out of the 3,000 acres leased to him in the 1970s, were under sugar cane cultivation from which he produced 10 tonnes of jaggery a day.

Despite the lush and evergreen farms on the banks of the Kiru river, which originates from the Mbulu highlands, and the assistance given to him by IPI, the Indian farmer was worried.

He talked of high taxation, high costs of inputs and labour and lack of credit facilities for commercial farming in Tanzania which, he said, had low returns compared to other countries.

However, his main worry appeared to be what he described as "threats from the villagers and local leaders" over the commercial farmers’ land.

He hinted to this reporter that the Kiru Valley was facing a land crisis especially between the surrounding communities, including local peasants and livestock grazers, and the settler farmers and local government authorities on the other.

His remarks implied that there was frequent trespassing on the land leased to them and for which they paid rent, with no or little action taken by the authorities in support of the large farmers.

My trip later took me to Mara Estate further west and up the Kiru River basin. Mara Estate is where the recent clashes took place which claimed the lives of three people, scores injured and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.

The 1,763 acre Mara Estate is strategically located. It is below the rift valley escarpment and closer to the source of Kiru River which the rest of the estate owners downstream depend on for irrigation.

Extract ID: 3438

See also

Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 4
Extract Date: 2002

A bereaved and shocked Patel

The estate Managing Director, Mr. Mahesh B. Patel, who parents were hacked to death, was there and talked about the labor problem, poor weather and arson which often razed his cane fields. He was the chairman of the Commercial Farmers Association.

Other Asian farmers, who did not want their names mentioned, hinted that they may be compelled to sell their farms and opt for other businesses because of what they perceived as threats from local leaders and villagers.

The Asian farmers did not need to elaborate on the land crisis in Kiru.

Even for a first time visitor, Kiru Valley bore all the hallmarks of poor labor relations between the local communities, on one hand, and commercial farmers on the other.

It is not clear if the Kiru Valley was fully inhabited prior to the coming of the settler farmers 50 years ago.

Located in the rift valley, south of Lake Manyara, the area is notorious for high temperatures. It was not a favorable land for cattle grazers because of the high incidence of trypanosomiasis, a disease caused by tsetse flies and which is lethal to livestock and human beings.

The area was also notorious for bilharzia, a disease associated with snails, especially in water logged areas and which threatened to wipe out Wambugwe tribe in the neighboring villages in the 1960s.

When the European farmers settled, they recruited their laborers mostly from central and western Tanzania. These people still form the core of their workforce today, although others have joined their ranks.

Information of how the estates evolved and whether some people were displaced from the area in the past to pave way for white farmers has been lacking because the authorities in Babati may have viewed the situation differently.

The farms were seen as an extension of the settler economy based in Arusha and beyond, as most of their owners had more to do with Arusha in terms of marketing their produce, procuring supplies and farm inputs than Babati.

Other farms were owned by absentee landlords who had settled either in Arusha or abroad. Until the early 1970s, the areas had no schools, dispensaries or local government administration, leaving the landlords to wield unchecked power over their helpless laborers.

Extract ID: 3439

external link

See also

BBC internet news
Extract Author: By Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 11 January, 2002

Asians flee Tanzanian land clash

Friday, 11 January, 2002, 17:50 GMT
Asians flee Tanzanian land clash
By Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam

Asian farmers living in northern Tanzania have fled to the town of Arusha after two days of fighting with local nomadic pastoralists left three dead.

Riot police have deployed in the area to quell the violence, which flared when a pastoralist was killed after trying to trying to graze cattle on an Asian farm.

Angered by the death, local cattle herders attacked the farm, killing two Asians.

Director of Criminal Investigation Adadi Rajabu said he had sent three senior police officers from Dar es Salaam, to lead the unit of the Tanzanian Field Force.

He said the area around the towns of Babati and Karatu was unstable, and gunfire had been reported, adding his officers would investigate what lay behind the clashes.

Retaliation

According to police and local sources, the fighting began after a local pastoralist grazed his cattle on a farm owned by an Asian.

When the farm owner asked him to remove his cattle from his land, the pastoralist apparently refused.

It is unclear how the cattle herder met his death, but the local community then attacked the farm in question, killing two Asian farmers and injuring three others.

Retaliatory violence between the locals and the farmers ensued, resulting in the mass exodus of Asians into Arusha, the nearest big town.

Tensions between the Asian farmers and the local communities have always been high.

The local tribes, mainly migratory pastoralists, have been complaining about the commercial farms which reduce the grazing areas, especially during dry weather.

It is during such conditions that pastoralists migrate in search of pasture, inevitably bringing them into conflict with the farm owners.

Mr Rajabu said that whatever the reason for the violence, the police would not and could not condone it.

He said once his officers had investigated the matter, all those involved, by they Asian or local, would be arrested and charged in a court of law.

Extract ID: 3271

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Date: 12 January, 2002

A husband and wife, of Asian origin, were killed

A husband and wife, of Asian origin, were killed and three other persons of the same family seriously injured when a group of Kiru villagers in Babati district waged an attack on their farm house on January 9. Property worth million of shillings, including a sugar cane plantation, was set on fire. The victims who were slashed to death are Bhanuprad Patel (81) and his wife Dhiray Patel (71). Those critically injured (above from left) are Suchitaben Patel (46), Kavitha Patel (17) and Neha Mahesh Patel (20), all are admitted at Ithnaasher hospital in Arusha. Police are still investigating the matter. The Regional Police Commander, Placid Chaka and other senior police officers were at the scene of the crime on Thursday. (Pictures by Raymond John).

Extract ID: 3272

external link

See also

BBC internet news
Extract Author: Christine Otieno in Dar es Salaam
Extract Date: 15 January, 2002

Arrests follow Tanzania land clashes

Tensions are still high in Northern Tanzania where Asian farmers and locals clashed last week.

Riot police sent in to quell the trouble have now arrested 11 people and are combing the nearby mountains for more.

The two groups have been at loggerheads over grazing land.

The fighting that began last week has resulted in three deaths - one herder and two Asians.

Of the 11 people arrested in the regions of Babati and Karatu, none are of Asian origin.

A source in Babati said that nine of the 11 people arrested have already appeared in court charged with the Asian couple's murder.

Still looking

Local authorities were forced to send in the riot police, Field Force Unit or FFU to help quell the fighting.

Many Asians fled to Arusha

The unit was led by three senior police officers from Dar es Salaam.

The police say that in total they are looking for over 20 locals but would not say whether they intended to arrest any Asian farmers.

The trouble itself started when one local herder grazed his cattle on a farm owned by an Asian.

When the man was asked to move, he refused.

It is not known how the man was shot dead.

Dry hills

The local herders retaliated by attacking the farms and killing two of the occupants.

The victims have been named as 81-year-old Bhambhil Patel and his 71-year-old wife Dihraj Patel.

The dead herder has not been named.

Kavita Patel's farm was attacked

The Asian farmers who fled to nearby Arusha saying they feared for their lives, are asking for government intervention.

The farmers say they own their land legally and consequently can bar any of the local herders from grazing their cattle on it.

In response, the herders have appealed to the President Benjamin Mkapa, asking him to visit the region and experience the hardships they suffer.

The herders say all the arable land has been bought out by Asian farmers, leaving them with only dry hilly regions to graze their cattle.

This, they say, is unfair and is resulting in the death of a number of cows.

So far the government has not responded to either the herders or the Asian farmers.

Eyewitnesses report that it has been quiet around Karatu and the only gunfire heard was near Babati, some 300km away.

Karatu has had no problems whatsoever. The problem was mainly in Babati on a farm called Mara Estate and was an ongoing problem between the farmer and the pastoralists for a long time. The farmer gave the gun to his Manager, who let it off and the retaliation was ugly.

MK emailed:

".. The Rift Valley is between us and them - Babati is south and east and 200 miles as the crow flies. Sad that these incidents blow up, but they do from time to time and has always been my point that nothing is as precious as living as good neighbours inspite of the disappointments that arise. Disappointments are everywhere and one has to try and find solutions together. I am saying nothing new, I know but in anger it is easy to forget and the consequences often so sad. The owner lost his Father (81) and Mother (71) and more I dont want to think about."

Extract ID: 3275
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