greystoke mahale camp

Nomad Tanzania Camps


 

Overview

It's no exaggeration to say there is nowhere in the world like Greystoke Mahale. 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. Greystoke affects people in a way that no other place does; perhaps it's because of its remoteness, and because of the mountains rising from the beach at your backs, the wide lake with its many different moods and the feeling that you are the only ones here.

With just six wood and thatch bandas set on the edge of the forest line at the base of the mountains your days can start there, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the chimpanzees 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.

Highlights:

  • Small, relaxed & remote camp - reachable by boat,

  • Perfect for the camper and active traveler that can live in basic conditions.

  • Set on the beach at Lake Tanganyika

  • Guided walking forest hikes and chimpanzee encounters and other primates

  • Birdlife is amazing

Rooms:

Greystoke thatched rooms

The six rooms at Greystoke are entirely in-keeping with the setting. When Roland Purcell established his camp here, he was conscious of the responsibility of ensuring a light footprint. Built of thatch and salvaged dhow wood, each of the open-fronted rooms is tucked into the treeline, almost invisible to the passing fishermen in their small canoes. The rooms all have verandahs and an upstairs chill-out lounge with views across the white sand to the vastness of Lake Tanganyika.

The rooms are open-fronted with great canvas drapes which can be closed in the event of a storm. The twin or double beds nestle beneath a canopied net. A dressing area leads on to an en-suite bathroom. There's running water here, with a boiler that is lit on request to preserve energy, and a flush loo. The rich foliage that gives the camp such character can be enjoyed while you are showering in privacy.

Activities & features:

Chimping 

Nomad share the mountains and the lake with so many animals, but it's the chimps that inspire; it's 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. The Greystoke guides have 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.

After tracking them, for an hour or two, maybe more, only aware of the sounds they are making ahead of you, you find them; suddenly they are everywhere. You 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 favour, yet another perhaps plotting a coup. There is humour too as the young chimps fall about the floor and play remarkably human games. 

hiking the forest

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.

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Reviews:

Amazing place to stay - exceeded all our expectations!
— Traveller 2018