- Once in a lifetime chimpanzee experience
- Utterly remote location
- Luxurious lodge
Greystoke Mahale is a one of a kind camp in the wilderness of West Tanzania. Set on the shore of the beautiful Lake Tanganyika, with a backdrop of towering mountains that make up the Mahale Mountains National Park; this is one of our favourite camps in Africa.
A tiny sanctuary surrounded by stunning natural beauty this camp is famously brilliant. Run by Nomad Tanzania, a long established safari operation with a reputation for excellent safari guiding, this is one of the only places travellers can come for the best chimpanzee viewing in Africa.
Chimp trekking is the motivation behind the opening and running of this lodge, and it really is spectacular. Expert guides lead you through untouched forests every day to spend an hour fascinated by the daily lives of the habituated chimpanzees. With rarely more than twenty travellers in the whole park this feels like a personal adventure and emphasises the specialness of this experience.
As with all animal trekking, it is variable and unpredictable where the animals may be active on any given day. You may only need to walk to the forest edge to be in the midst of the chimp family or it may be a 6 hour trek along steep and slippery mountain trails. Therefore, good fitness and proper walking boots are a must, and we recommend only families with children mature enough to enjoy this plan a visit.
Other activities from camp include snorkelling, fishing,kayaking and sun downers sailing on the lake; guaranteeing an unforgettable experience.
The uniqueness of the location can render it slightly inaccessible and guests should expect around a 4 hour flight in a small plane and an hour boat ride before reaching camp. Upon arrival, the main mess is the focal point of the camp and the only structure that can be seen from the Lake. An unusual, open structure this is a great place to enjoy meals and to watch the sunset from the lamp-lit bar.
Six large guest suites are tucked away on the forest line, with panoramic views of the golden beach and the crystal clear lake beyond. Constructed almost entirely from sustainable materials, they blend into the natural surroundings and offer guests the feeling of being a part of the forest. Across a short boardwalk is the bathroom with hot and cold running water, shower and toilet. Behind the cottage is a personal dressing room and upstairs, a ‘chill out deck’.
The lodge itself has a minimum age of 8 years old for children. However, for their own safety, children under 12 are not permitted on chimp treks and may not even be allowed into the forest depending on the season. For this reason we would only recommend this trip to families with older children as it is such a long way to go for some family members not to be able to participate.
The breath taking setting alone would be reason enough to visit Greystoke Mahale, but paired with the unique chance to see chimps in their natural habitat; this is really an experience we cannot recommend enough.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019