Mahale Greystoke Lodge


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 main mess is the only structure on the beach and it's the focal point of camp. Here is 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.


Greystoke affects us in a way that no other place does; we think it's because of its remoteness, and because of the mountains rising from the beach at our backs, the wide lake with its many different moods and the feeling that we are the only ones here.


Little has changed since we first landed on the beach.


Rooms at Mahale Greystoke Lodge


For many years our camp in Mahale was simple tents. So when we built Greystoke Mahale, while we wanted it to be as unique as its setting, it was important that it didn’t dominate its sensational natural surroundings. That's why we've tucked the rooms back into the forest line, so that your only view is of beach, and the lake beyond. It’s also why we chose to make the rooms almost entirely from sustainable materials sourced here on Lake Tanganyika.


All the wood was reclaimed from wrecked or retired dhows bought (after much haggling) from villages along the lake shore. We've used old fisherman’s canoes as ladders and thatch from palm trees gathered outside the national park for the roofs. Greystoke Mahale has just 6 wood and thatch bandas set on the edge of the forest line at the base of the mountains.


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.


Activities at Mahale Greystoke Lodge


Hike the forest paths looking for birds and butterflies, as well as the other shy mammals who quietly live there. Swim in ice-cold pools up in the mountain waterfalls, take a kayak out for a dawn paddle towards the middle of the lake; drink your morning coffee there and enjoy the sunrise coming up over the mountains.


Go for sundowners on the old wooden dhow, lazily following the shoreline and stopping to fish along the way, or just relax on the warm sands of the beach with a drink in hand.


The Chimps at Mahale Greystoke Lodge


We've been in this remarkable place for over 20 years, and are still as in awe of it as we were when we first arrived. It's impossible not to be. We share the mountains and the lake with so many animals, but it's the chimps that inspire us; hard not to compare their daily lives, their movements, feeding, squabbling, foraging and grooming, with our own.


Time spent with them is time away from everything else that is ordinary. We've watched, over the years, as families have grown, alpha males have come and gone, bonds and friendships have been created and then broken, and then created again. They are not so different from us. It's all acted out on this natural chimpanzee stage, and witnessing it is something we are privileged to be able to do every day.


We watch again and again, through our guest's eyes, as the enormity of what they are seeing hits them for the first time. 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.


For the next hour it's as if you scarcely breathe, so wrapped up are you in watching them go about their daily life. You become aware of the subtleties of different relationships, through gesture, sound and expression. One dictating the pace, another courting favor, yet another perhaps plotting a coup. There is humor too as the young chimps fall about the floor and play remarkably human games.


It's all acted out on this natural chimpanzee stage, and witnessing it is something we are privileged to be able to do every day.


Rates - 2014 / 2015
Dates Per Person Double Single Supplement
Please call us at 1.800.414.3090 for more information incorporating Mahale Greystoke Lodge into your safari.
Registered Seller of Travel License # 602 127 852.    •   

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