Ol Molog

Name ID 1664

See also

Fosbrooke, H.A. and Sassoon, H Archeological Remains on Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 062
Extract Date: 960BC

Stone bowls

On the western slopes of the mountain, in the area between Ol Molog and Ngare Nairobi and up to the 7 000 feet contour level, many stone bowls and stone rings have been found by farmers. The bowls and rings are apparently made from local lava, though no petrological tests have been carried out to corroborate this assumption. Unfortunately, it seems that all the finds have been, of single, unrelated obects, and as yet no concentration of these artefacts has been discovered such as would indicate a living site or a burial.

The stone bowls are similar to the deep bowls (type b) reported by the Leakeys from Njoro (Leakey and Leakey, 1950). On pp. 16 and 77 of this publication, there are very, brief reports of a similar site which was excavated in Ngorongoro crater in 1941 and at which stone bowls of Gumban B type were found. It seems probably that the bowls from western Kilimanjaro will eventually prove to belong to the same general culture as Ngorongoro. A carbon-14 date has been published for the Njoro river site : it is approximately 960 B.C. or 2,900 years ago (Cole, 1954, p. 286) but it is probable that the Gumban B culture is much later than this.

Apparently associated with the stone bowls in western Kilimanjaro there are flakes and crude blade tools made from obsidian. On one farm, several large cores of this rock have been found, showing the scars from which flakes have been struck. The Geological Survey are not aware of any outcrops of obsidian on Kilimanjaro, nor in the whole of northern Tanzania. The nearest known outcrop is probably the one in Kenya which is a few miles north-east of Lake Magadi. The nearest major outcrop of obsidian is probably that in the Njorowa Gorge, south of Lake Naivasha. Whichever was the source of the obsidian on Kilimanjaro, it seems that it must have been carried at least 100 miles to the Ngare Nairobi area.

Extract ID: 4561

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Joan Webb
Page Number: 2008 02 24
Extract Date: 1946 to 1959

Ol Molog

I recently was made aware of your ntz.info website. It has been wonderful to read about all our old friends --- my husband, Campbell, and I had a farm at Ol Molog from 1946 to 1959.

Our son, Stuart, went to Arusha school. He recently returned there with his son in January of this year, finding the school in good shape. He also was pleased to find our house on Ol Molog still in good condition.

I would be very pleased to share some of my memories, if you are interested.

(Haslemere, UK.)

Extract ID: 5569

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 011
Extract Date: 1950's

The Verandah Farmers

"IT's going around that we 0l Mologans are only verandah farmers! "

"Well, I wish some of those lazy baskets down below would take over my verandah, particularly the one on the combine," Robin grimaced, as he refilled David's and Piet's glasses with more whisky.

Robin stands six foot but he seemed small beside our neighbours, Piet Hugo and David Read, who were both considerably taller and broader. They all wore sun-faded jeans with openneck shirts. A film of wheat chaff and dust coated their faces, hair and clothes, and with their red-rimmed eyes, sore from the glare and dust of driving their combine harvesters all day, they looked like three amiable ruffians planning a revolution.

At Ol Molog, like few places in Africa, we had two crop seasons each year. We were in the middle of a harvest, a frantic period of activity when the farmers rushed to get their wheat crops off, the fields harrowed, ploughed and planted before the rains came again, when the pressure would ease a little and they could return to their normal farming routine. From the moment the large combine harvester, rumbling and shaking, with its hume reel a wide mouth of chattering teeth, began eating its way through the standing corn, until the last bag was sewn up and the whole crop was loaded on to lorries to take it to the millers eighty miles away, the farmers worked like men possessed.

Ol Molog has a haunting beauty all of its own. No one who sees it is ever likely to forget it. Even those who have heard its praises sung and arrive sceptical fall under its spell. To approach it from the north requires driving or flying across the wastelands of Masailand and, if these are anything to go by, a certain amount of doubt as to what Ol Molog is going to be like must arise in the minds of visitors. Then, perched like an eagle's eyrie on the mountain slopes, are a small group of beautiful, wellordered farms backed by forest and the huge mountain itself.

Ol Molog lies at 6,500 feet up on the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro before the mountain rises steeply into the cupola peak of Kibo, with its crusted snow cap shimmering down its sides. The Kenya border is ten miles below the farms, and had not Queen Victoria felt so generously disposed to her nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm, and given him Kilimanjaro `because the dear boy is so fond of mountains', Ol Molog would have been in Kenya and not Tanganyika.

The Masai plains stretch for over a hundred miles from Ol Molog, with long, low mountain ranges and jagged peaks breaking the horizon. Our view was panoramic in extent and varied day to day, almost hour by hour, as if an artist had never tired of using the same theme with different nuances. At times frothy cumulus nimbus clouds sailed like galleons over the sky, casting dark shadows on the plains, whose biscuit, sienna and ochre hues became more defined after a fall of rain. Far off mountains drew closer in their blue fig tinted splendour. When it was hot and dry, the colours were leached out and the mountains austerely withdrew behind a milky heat haze. Brown dust devils spiralled lazily up as if they would reach the clouds, or a plume of dust would trail behind a Masai herd of cattle, which we could not see but knew must be on the move.

Our sunsets seldom failed in magnificence. Most evenings we would sit on our verandah looking to the west on a sky, a glorious canvas of colour. Like a large orange phosphorescent balloon, the sun would irradiate shafts of lambent flame, brushing the soft billowy clouds with their downy grey centres, so that they looked as if they were gently smouldering.

The winds off the snows of Kilimanjaro brought with them sharp cold nights, heavy dew and mornings that were crystalline like champagne. We had two rainy seasons. In October and January when the rain was intermittent, and from April to May when it poured with a vengeance, filling our mornings with cold damp mist and turning the soil into a quagmire of cloying mud. Perhaps our most beautiful month was June, when our days were alpine in their crispness, clarity and sunshine.

Ol Molog is a Masai name, romantic to us even when we learnt its translation of `little pimples', which was evidently what the Masai considered the small hills resembled which erupted in our area. We had a hill feature on our farm comically called Loikitoip, but there were others with more mystical names such as Ketembellion and Legumishira.

With our bland climate and fertile forest loam soil, we might have been anywhere but in Africa, but we only had to drop down below our lower boundary into the `big country', which for years had drawn men and women from all over the world on shooting and photographic safaris. Hot by day, cool by night, it is typical of what people conjure up when they think of East Africa. Arid plains that are sparsely covered with flat-topped acacia, yellowbarked fever trees and skeletal whistling thorn, so named because their black pods are honey-combed with ants so when the wind blows, the pods whistle eerily. There is hardy scrub, brittle-tufted grass and occasional rocky outcrops. Dry sandy river beds, with their slopes steeply eroded, meander pointlessly away from their mountain sources. Now and then green swamps border on wide stretches of land where no vegetation survives.

Immediately at our feet lay Lake Amboseli, which up to the 'twenties shimmered under a sheet of water, but now lies dessicated with myriad game tracks traced over it. Sometimes after a heavy fall of rain it resembles a lake again, but the dry thirsty earth greedily drinks, leaving the surface caked and cracked, over which the game once more wanders in search of salt pans and grazing.

The harsh, sun-drenched heat, the dust and the flies are all part of Africa, as are the Masai, whose manyattas (dwellings) dot the landscape. They leave timeless scars on the ground where they have burnt their old manyattas to move on in their semi-nomadic state.

Extract ID: 4444

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 012
Extract Date: 1950's

Ol Molog

Ol Molog lies at 6,500 feet up on the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro before the mountain rises steeply into the cupola peak of Kibo, with its crusted snow cap shimmering down its sides. The Kenya border is ten miles below the farms, and had not Queen Victoria felt so generously disposed to her nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm, and given him Kilimanjaro `because the dear boy is so fond of mountains', Ol Molog would have been in Kenya and not Tanganyika.

Extract ID: 4465

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 012a
Extract Date: 1950's

The Masai plains

The Masai plains stretch for over a hundred miles from Ol Molog, with long, low mountain ranges and jagged peaks breaking the horizon. Our view was panoramic in extent and varied day to day, almost hour by hour, as if an artist had never tired of using the same theme with different nuances. At times frothy cumulus nimbus clouds sailed like galleons over the sky, casting dark shadows on the plains, whose biscuit, sienna and ochre hues became more defined after a fall of rain. Far off mountains drew closer in their blue fig tinted splendour. When it was hot and dry, the colours were leached out and the mountains austerely withdrew behind a milky heat haze. Brown dust devils spiralled lazily up as if they would reach the clouds, or a plume of dust would trail behind a Masai herd of cattle, which we could not see but knew must be on the move.

Our sunsets seldom failed in magnificence. Most evenings we would sit on our verandah looking to the west on a sky, a glorious canvas of colour. Like a large orange phosphorescent balloon, the sun would irradiate shafts of lambent flame, brushing the soft billowy clouds with their downy grey centres, so that they looked as if they were gently smouldering.

The winds off the snows of Kilimanjaro brought with them sharp cold nights, heavy dew and mornings that were crystalline like champagne. We had two rainy seasons. In October and January when the rain was intermittent, and from April to May when it poured with a vengeance, filling our mornings with cold damp mist and turning the soil into a quagmire of cloying mud. Perhaps our most beautiful month was June, when our days were alpine in their crispness, clarity and sunshine.

Extract ID: 4466

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 085
Extract Date: 1950's

Quelea

When the hordes of seed-eating birds called Quelea first arrived and began gorging themselves on the wheat, the general attitude was that it was an act of God. Previously nothing had been done in East Africa to combat these vast multitudes of destructive birds, but the Ol Mologans were not prepared to sit back and watch themselves being ruined, as a nearby farmer had been only a few years back.

They found that firing shotguns, setting off fire-cracker bird scarers at intervals and small African boys beating tin cans were ineffective. The birds only left the wheat fields at last light, jinking and chittering into swarms, like large veils waving in the wind. Following on horseback, the men discovered that they collected in huge roosts for the night, where on bushes and trees they were jampacked in their thousands. Here was a target to attack.

The Ol Mologans got hundreds of gallons of molasses from a sugar estate below Moshi, and mixing it with water, sprayed the roosts from high pressure pumps at night. The molasses gummed up the birds' wings so they could not fly, and the pressure of the pumps knocked them off their perches to the ground, where they were beaten to death with sticks and any survivors were later destroyed by predators such as wild cats and jackals. It was a macabre method, but at least something was being done against them, and the molasses did temporarily cut down the amount of birds who could fly the next day.

As Archie put it "Those bastards now have to walk to work, which should discourage them!" Later this method was to be supplanted by the more effective process of blowing up the roosts with gelignite instantaneous fusing fixed below forty-four gallon drums of diesel oil and petrol-a dramatic sight, not unlike the mushrooming effect of a miniature atom bomb. But more effective still in another year by aerial spraying with a form of unstable poison gas, which technique is now used in many parts of Africa.

Extract ID: 4457

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 165
Extract Date: 1950's

A one-armed Etonian

Once we made up a party of Arthur [Cole], a friend of his, Bob Wilson, Bill Stirling (David's eldest brother), Sue Pretzlik, Brian and his brother-in-law, John Millard, who was also an old friend of Robin's and who had recently purchased Con Benson's farm.

Bill had also bought a farm at Ol Molog from its original owner, a one-armed Etonian who had taken little interest in his property. Bill owns land in other parts of Tanzania now, and this tall, heavily-built man was a stimulating addition to Ol Molog on his brief visits. He is always surrounded by an air of mystery, big-time business deals, and a restlessness which is disconcerting for he is always on the move. He was likely after a short while at Ol Molog to fly off to America to keep some appointment and to return within a few days. If we thought David could not keep his seat out of an aeroplane, we found him a novice compared with his brother.

Extract ID: 4462

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Elizabeth Palfrey
Page Number: 2004 06 21
Extract Date: 1950's

Elizabeth Palfrey - Arusha School 1950's?

I'm so excited!

I was doing some research on Arusha because I went to school there and lived at Olmolog when I came across your sight. Time was suddenly peeled away and the memories flooded back.

My father, Arthur Palfrey, farmed at Olmolog and Piet Hugo was our next door neighbour. He is buried in the Christian cemetery in Arusha. I left East Africa in 1960 to emigrate to the U.S.

My brother in law was Roy Holmes who married my sister, Anne Palfrey. Roy Holmes passed away in Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu-Natal in January 2003. He worked in Arusha on the film 'Hatari'.

Currently, I live in Texas but my family all live in South Africa. My maiden name was Elizabeth Palfrey.

Extract ID: 4849

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 014
Extract Date: 1951

The final eight men

When the new virgin land at Ol Molog was demarcated for farming, competition to get a farm, not only by Europeans but by Africans and Asians as well, was sufficiently keen that when the final eight men were chosen there were some remarkable people amongst them.

Extract ID: 4445

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 017
Extract Date: 1951

Partnership

Archie, exhausted by his war work and saddened by the break up of his first marriage, took Robin at his word when after the war Robin asked him to come and spend a holiday in Africa. He initially came out in 1947 and continued to repeat this visit annually, usually during January and February, for the next eleven years.

Together they began to plan going into partnership over some farming project. Archie found that the simplicity of life in East Africa, and the fabulous energy the sun gave back to him, was the contrast he required to his active London life. Robin himself was becoming increasingly interested in Tanganyika's long term future. He felt if he became a farmer, like his father before him, and thereby rooted in the soil, he could play a more permanent role in the country's development than permitted to a transitory civil servant. He had met David Stirling, the founder of the Capricorn Africa Society, and felt that his policy of common citizenship and a multi-racial form of government might well be the answer for the East African states where the Africans, though still backward, must soon begin to move politically, and there was a small settled European and Asian community.

He resigned from the Colonial Service in 1951 when he was allotted one of the Ol Molog farms. His colleagues thought he was quite mad. Surely every diligent Administrative Officer only had one goal in life-to be a Governor finally. How irresponsible of Robin carelessly to throw that chance away.

The opening up of Ol Molog with this group of unusual men did not escape the English press, who had some wild, misinformed theories about it. Perhaps the most amusing was that Sir Archibald McIndoe had taken over the whole area and given each farm out to one of his Guinea Pigs, as his war patients were called, with 2,000 each to start them on their way. Archie however was unamused, particularly when Con Benson, an eminent London merchant banker who was given farm No. 8 and visited it annually, came over to Ol Orien with the newspaper cutting in his hand and slyly demanded his 2,000.

Extract ID: 4452

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 200
Extract Date: 1957

A colourful collection of European settlers

To these ethnic curiosities were added a colourful collection of European settlers attracted by the excellent climate, fertile soil and beautiful scenery. Many of these settlers grew coffee in Arusha and to a lesser extent Moshi, while others grew the best wheat in the country at 0l Molog in West Kilimanjaro. A handful of white farmers also grew wheat at Oldeani in the north of Mbulu district. They were a microcosm of the Europeans in the White Highlands of Kenya, though with nothing like their political influence. A handful of South African farmers eked out a precarious existence growing wheat and maize at Sanya Juu behind Mount Meru.

Extract ID: 4380

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 210
Extract Date: 1958

David and Pat Reid

I made friends where possible with some of the intensely individual white settlers, several of whom I already knew, like David and Pat Reid [sic]. I had attended their wedding at Ranchi and had stayed with them at Ol Molog on West Kilimanjaro where, on their splendid farm cut out of the forest, they grew not only wheat but also prize beans for export to the Netherlands.

Extract ID: 4388

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Gurrjeet Mangat
Page Number: 2007 03 20
Extract Date: 1960's

The bus company

hi, I came across your correspondence regarding the ulyates on the net and it brought back fond memories of my times in Sanya Juu/Moshi/Arusha, well basically East Africa.

My father apperantely used to run the bus co. from Moshi to Olmolog via Sanya Juu and Ngare Nairobi (his name was Mewa Singh Mangat but was widely known as MANGATY) and was well acquainted with all the farmers of the area right up to Loitokitok on the Kenya border.

I still remember as a child we were fans of Robin Ulayte and Dr.Micheal Woods (the flying doctor) who used to partake in the E.A. Safari Rally and we used to go and watch them at Dutch Corner.

I was wondering out of curiosity of your correspondence with the Ulaytes if you would know if any of the Ulyates or Dr.Wood are still farming in Sanya Juu.

The focal point of the farmers life was the Farm and Duka post office run by an Englishman called Mr.Brown at Ngare Nairobi and we had a contract to deliver and collect mail for the Browns.

P.S I hope I sincereley havent inconvininced yourself by getting in touch with yourself.

Thanking you and regards.

gs Mangat.

Extract ID: 5333

See also

Fosbrooke, H.A. and Sassoon, H Archeological Remains on Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 064
Extract Date: 960BC

Stone Bowl from Ol Molog

Extract ID: 4543

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Elizabeth Russell nee Palfrey
Page Number: 2007 08 15

about: Lise Larsen and Ane.

I was thrilled to read the pieces from Lise Larsen.

Her sister Ane was a very dear friend of mine and Ane and her husband were at my wedding in Nairobi in March 1960. I would really love to make contact with Ane again and catch up on 47 years!

I have been all over the world since then and currently live in Sugar Land, Texas.

My parents were farmers at Olmolog, West Kilimanjaro. Dad (Arthur Palfrey)was killed in a plane crash in 1970 in the Monduli mountains.

My mother (Gladys Amelia Palfrey) went to South Africa with my brother and sisters where they still reside.

Reading all the news from old friends and school chums is fascinating. Keep it up!

Extract ID: 5446

See also

Johnston, Erika The other side of Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 013
Extract Date: 1950's

little pimples

Ol Molog is a Masai name, romantic to us even when we learnt its translation of `little pimples', which was evidently what the Masai considered the small hills resembled which erupted in our area. We had a hill feature on our farm comically called Loikitoip, but there were others with more mystical names such as Ketembellion and Legumishira.

With our bland climate and fertile forest loam soil, we might have been anywhere but in Africa, but we only had to drop down below our lower boundary into the `big country', which for years had drawn men and women from all over the world on shooting and photographic safaris. Hot by day, cool by night, it is typical of what people conjure up when they think of East Africa. Arid plains that are sparsely covered with flat-topped acacia, yellowbarked fever trees and skeletal whistling thorn, so named because their black pods are honey-combed with ants so when the wind blows, the pods whistle eerily. There is hardy scrub, brittle-tufted grass and occasional rocky outcrops. Dry sandy river beds, with their slopes steeply eroded, meander pointlessly away from their mountain sources. Now and then green swamps border on wide stretches of land where no vegetation survives.

Immediately at our feet lay Lake Amboseli, which up to the 'twenties shimmered under a sheet of water, but now lies dessicated with myriad game tracks traced over it. Sometimes after a heavy fall of rain it resembles a lake again, but the dry thirsty earth greedily drinks, leaving the surface caked and cracked, over which the game once more wanders in search of salt pans and grazing.

The harsh, sun-drenched heat, the dust and the flies are all part of Africa, as are the Masai, whose manyattas (dwellings) dot the landscape. They leave timeless scars on the ground where they have burnt their old manyattas to move on in their semi-nomadic state.

Extract ID: 4467
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