Greystoke Mahale enjoys a breathtaking position on a golden beach along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, sheltered by the lush forest of the Mahale Mountains. This isolated setting is home to the world's largest known population of chimpanzees.
A remarkably remote lodge located on a gorgeous white sandy beach flanked by lush mountainous forest, accessed only by light aircraft and then a boat transfer, getting here feels like an adventure in itself...a highly rewardable one!
The lodge’s main building and the six bandas in which you’ll sleep are built from natural materials and blend effortlessly into the environment – staying here you’ll be rewarded with stunning views out over the crystal-clear lake
Finish off the day back down on the beach with your favourite drink in hand, a roaring campfire and the opportunity to reflect on your travels whilst observing the twinkling night sky
Lace up your walking boots and head out into the verdant jungle along with your knowledgeable guide to track down and observe groups of chimpanzees in their natural habitat
On a wide golden beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, sheltered by the lush green forests of the Mahale Mountains, is the magical sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale. One group of chimpanzees is within hiking distance, and each day you can venture out into the forest to observe our closest relatives as they groom, wrestle and forage across the leafy floor. Chimp trekking time is variable, and is dependent on where the chimps are that day. Whilst they can be in the forest right behind camp, they can also be far up the mountain and a possible 5 - 7 hour trek away. The forest paths are not always steep, but the walking can be strenuous so it helps if you're fairly fit. Good sturdy but lightweight walking boots/shoes are a must.
After landing at the airstrip, guests are transferred by boat to camp and welcomed into the main bar and dining area. The accommodation has been designed with flair and is made up of six wildly exotic wooden bandas looking out across the soft sand beach, their interiors fashioned from seasoned dhow timber. Each banda is open-fronted, with dressing room, adjoining bathroom and upstairs chill-out deck. With no roads for miles and miles, everything is done by foot or by boat. And if a day’s ’chimping’ isn’t enough, you can kayak along the lake shore, snorkel, fish (on a catch and release basis), or have a private barefoot dinner on the beach. The bar on the rocks is the perfect place to enjoy endless sundowners over the lake.
By visiting Mahale, you’re also helping to support the most vulnerable members of your extended family. Habitat loss is the greatest single threat to animal extinction today, but the National Park fees levied to visitors here make sure this particular habitat remains secure - not just for over 1000 wild chimpanzees, but a vast array of other living things
When to visit
Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world and 4 countries surround it - Tanzania, Congo, Burundi and Zambia
Kangwena Beach on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, in the Mahale Mountains National Park, western Tanzania.
8-hour 30-minute international flight from London to Nairobi and then Arusha. There are no roads within 60kms of camp, and access is only by aircraft using their shared charter flights which operate on Mondays and Thursdays only from Arusha, or by private charter. Greystoke Mahale is a 90-minute dhow trip from the airstrip.
Chimpanzee tracking in Mahale
Hiking through the verdant forest in the Mahale mountains in search of chimpanzees is a heart-racing experience. Watch as these primate cousins stop to groom, eat and build nests in their natural habitat, accompanied by an expert guide.
Kayaking on Lake Tanganyika
Paddle along the sand-lined shore of Lake Tanganyika, Africa's deepest body of water, enjoying the tranquillity and dramatic scenery around you.