Western Tanzania - Lake Tanganyika
Chimps, Forest and Lake
Famous for being home to some of the last wild chimpanzees in Africa the Mahale Mountains National Park nestles on the Eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Lush forests meet the crystal clear waters of the lake and the 1600 square km is home to a multitude of birds, butterflies and flora as well as colobus monkey,lion, giraffe, porcupine, duiker, zebra, warthog and more.
"After tracking them, for an hour or two, maybe more, only aware of the sounds they are making ahead of us, we find them; suddenly they are everywhere. We sit quietly on the forest floor and take a deep breath, this is what it's all about."
Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains rising behind.
The rustic, eclectic rooms are tucked back into the forest line, so that your only view is of beach, and the lake beyond.
All the wood was reclaimed from wrecked or retired dhows bought (after much haggling) from villages along the lakeshore. Old fisherman’s canoes serve as ladders and thatch from palm trees gathered outside the national park is used for the roofs. Each one has an en-suite bathroom - accessible by a short boardwalk - with hot and cold running water, strong showers and flush toilets. Dressing room and upstairs chill-out deck
The main mess is the only structure on the beach and it's the focal point of camp, where you can look out over the lake to the mountains of the Congo in the haze beyond.
Your days can start there, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the chimps and deciding what to do with your day. Evenings end with sundowners on the rocks of the headland, where drinks are served around the lamp-lit bar whilst the mountains, rising behind camp, disappear into the darkness.
Number of rooms: 6
Style : Bush Camp
Activities: daily chimp treks, hiking, swimming, kayaks and fishing
Ellie says, " There is nowhere on Earth like Greystoke Mahale - it truly is an experience like no other. Pure peace for the soul."
Recommended for purists and those of the most adventuresome spirit.
Greystoke Mahale is reached by flight flollowed by boat transfer across the lake.