Greystoke Mahale

On remote Kangwane Beach on the edge of Lake Tanganyika in the Mahale Mountains National Park, western Tanzania, magical Greystoke Mahale has one foot in the Mahale Mountains forest and the other in the crystal-clear waters of the lake.

Your days at Greystoke Mahale are spent soaking up the myriad wild pleasures of your pristine surroundings. As well as the chimps, the forest is home to nine species of primate and many other animals, including bushbuck, bush pig and a rich variety birds and butterflies. Spend the morning chimp trekking or hiking gentle trails in the beautiful forest, cooling off in one of the many waterfalls or rock pools. Lake Tanganyika is also a tranquil playground: start the day with a dawn kayak trip to watch the sun rising over the mountains or relax with an afternoon dhow cruise, observing hippo swimming in the translucent waters and enjoying sundown cocktails as the day draws to a close.

Each of the six wood-and-thatch bandas (suites) is set into the forest for ultimate exclusivity and is made from reclaimed wood sourced from wrecked or old dhows (traditional fishing vessels). No two bandas are the same, but they all have equally spectacular lake views. The open-fronted bandas are closed with heavy canvas drapes. Old fisherman’s canoes have been repurposed as ladders, and palm tree fronds from outside the national park have been gathered to create the thatch roofs. Each banda has its own en-suite bathroom, accessible by a short boardwalk, with a hot and cold shower and a flush toilet. A dressing room and an upstairs viewing deck/chill-out zone complete the picture.

The focal point of camp is the main “mess” area on the beach. This is where you gather for meals or start your day with breakfast, while you wait to hear news of the chimps and decide how to spend your day. The view over the lake to the mountains of the Congo in the haze beyond is blissful, and evenings end with sundowners on the rocks of the headland, where drinks are served around the lamp-lit bar while the mountains that rise behind camp melt into the darkness.

Chimp trekking (with guides and trackers) takes place first thing in the morning during every full day that you’ll spend at Greystoke. While a chimp sighting is never guaranteed most guests will see the chimps at least once in a three- or four-day stays.

Things to do
• Track wild chimpanzee
• Forest hikes
• Birding
• Dhow cruises
• Kayaking
• Fishing

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