The 1962 film ‘Hatari!‘ takes John Wayne our of the West and places him in Africa. And this time instead of shooting bad guys, he’s hunting big game, riding around in his Jeep and capturing animals to ship out to zoos. While we don’t condone his mission, we love the film’s sweeping (and stunning!) panoramas of the East African plains. See it for yourself, after the jump…
‘Hatari!’ was filmed on-location in northern Tanzania, then known as the East African territory of Tanganyike. The film highlights many of the regions most beautiful natural wonders, opening with an action-packed chase across the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The film’s director, Howard Hawks, took full advantage of the region’s diverse beauty, including its National Parks — namely the Serengeti, Arusha and Tanganjika — and the result is a visually stunning portrait of the African savannah.
Even the cast famously fell in love with the area. The film’s star Hardy Krüger was so enchanted that he bought Ngongongare Film, a reserve situated on the northern edge of Arusha National Park in the foothills of Kilimanjaro and the dormant Mount Meru volcano, where he’d go on to live for 13 years. Ngongongare and the town of Arusha, now home base for a number of safari operators, is where much of the film’s action takes place.
Today, you can stay at the Ngongongare Farm for yourself, as it was recently transformed into the luxurious 9-room Hatari Lodge, which features retro ’60s decor and a seven-day safari option that includes trips to the Arusha National Park and Ngurdoto Crater, known as “Little Ngorongoro.” You’ll also go on a hike guided by Maasai warriors, and spend two nights at the tented Shu’mata Camp at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, three hours away from Hatari in the heart of Maasai country. It’s a rugged adventure that would make even Ernest Hemingway proud!
To get to Tanzania, fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport. From there it’s about a one-hour drive to the Hatari Lodge, and arrangements can be made to have someone from the lodge greet you at the airport. A passport and visa are required; three-month multiple-entry tourist visa may be purchased at the airport for the cost of $100. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend visitors to Tanzania be vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid, and boosters for tetanus, diphtheria and measles. If you’re planning to travel to multiple locations within Africa, be warned that many countries — including Tanzania — require proof of yellow-fever vaccination when visiting high-risk areas, including Kenya.