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Greystoke Mahale

The Original Mahale Camp

Greystoke Mahale is nestled on a white sand beach in Lake Tanganyika. Towering behind the lodge are the Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest known populations of wild Chimpanzees left on our planet.

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Sun, Jan 25, 2015

Drumming in the New Year with the Tongwe

2014 was seen off with a fantastic Christmas here in Mahale.  We have had a fantastic year and the most precious of experiences with the Chimps so we welcomed in 2015 in proper jungle style with the help of the local Tongwe people who drummed, sang and danced with us all well into the night.

Our guests saw in the New Year with the Tongwe and Mahale family dancing lakeside awash with stardust and crackling fire transporting them back to an old world and tranditions the forests of Mahale have known for many years.  

We are looking forward to another fabulous year ahead filled with love and laughter around our campfire and sharing this incredible slice of paradise with you all!

Karibu Sana!! x

 


Fri, Jan 16, 2015

Teddy

Teddy's just a youngster, but he's already a hit with the girls.

Earning himself the nickname 'Handsome boy' amoungst the guides and trackers and you can see why.

He hangs out with the high ranking males, learning the ropes, he's an excellent hunter of Blue Duiker due to his agility and speed.

He's also one of the most peaceful and relaxed chimpanzees in Mahale.

I wonder why anyone would get that idea!

Come join us and chillout with Teddy in Mahale.

Words and pictures by Mark Sheridan-Johnson, photographer and temporary manager at Greystoke Mahale.


Fri, Dec 5, 2014

Butterfly Flutter By

Mahale truly is a haven for a stunning array of Butterflies. You will seldom walk anywhere without seeing one of the many beauties fluttering by. 

Here are just a few that I have managed to snap in the past week...getting them in flight is the new challenge as well as identification.

Are these two beauties the same species or not...they look very similar but have slight marking differences.

A tiny butterfly you cannot miss, it has quite a fascinating make-up...Hypolycaena antifaunus try saying that doubly fast.

The beach is a great place it seems for butterflies, they must get some salts from the edge of the lake.

This is the Veined Swordtail,

Or is this a Veined Swordtail...different fazes and they could well both be Veined Swordtail's.

This little one is a Grass Yellow...is it a Regular, Angeled or Common...the forewing (top wing) has only black if you look close enough, this tells us that it is most likely a Common Grass Yellow.

Here we have the Variable Eggfly...not such a pretty name for a pretty butterfly.

This is a common visitor to us at Greystoke...it is of the Acraea family, a very big family of butterflies, this one in particular is the Elegant Acraea.

Take off...the electric blues of the Green-banded Swallowtail make you second guess their names.

A beach gathering...at times you will find big congregations of butterflies right at the lake edge, a few days ago it was the turn for these African Leopard Fritillaries.

Just hope Big Bird does not take any notice of you when you are watching butterflies as he is quite fond of the odd butterfly snack.


Sat, Nov 15, 2014

Progression for Katumbi Village School

When working in such fragile protected areas as Mahale National Park our efforts to conserve the precious Chimpanzees here must also include the support of the local populations whose lives are affected by the limitations a park can impose on their daily lives.  With fishing and agriculture the main stay of the local villages in the area it can be hard to understand why we need to protect areas of the forest and lake and so with the creation of the Nomad Trust we aim to support projects in areas local to our camps to provide understanding of the importance of conservation and engaging them with the tourism industry.  The majority of our staff here are employed directly from Katumbi and the surrounding areas, which assits in that understanding and gives you a chance to meet people who are incredibly passionate about their home here.

We support Katumbi Village in many ways through donations from guests and also through 'Pack For A Purpose' where items go towards the small clinic which struggles to maintain supplies. We are working with Katumbi School with many projects which you can learn about in the following pictures:

A beautiful location, the school sits at the top of the hill overlooking the village and receives refreshing cool breezes off Lake Tanganyika

With 800 students at Katumbi School the 7 teachers have their work cut out!

Visitors to the school are always welcomed warmly with a song or two and much excitement!

We continue working towards providing the most basic equipment needed: desks, chairs, uniforms and books. 

The Government Ciriculum includes Computer Science and all students had were text books with pictures of computers, it wasn't until a recent donation of nine laptops from a very kind guest that they can now actively learn on a real one!

We have been working on building a 'Computer Lab' to house the laptops so the students can learn in an effective way and keep the comupters safe.  We just need to finish the floor, windows, door and several solar panels to power the laptops!  Keeping up with the fast moving technological world is essential for the children to progress and have a chance to gain work in the future.

Cool dudes of the class!

Another project in progress funded by donations to the trust is the teacher's house that sits right at the top of the hill behind the school with some of the most incredible views over the mountains! It's very nearly finished and will be a welcome home for the much needed teachers for the 800 pupils at Katumbi!

Schools Out!! So much excitement as everybody rushes down the hill!!!

If you would like to get involved your donations no matter how small make a big difference to the pupils here.

You can check out the Pack For A Purpose website on:   http://www.packforapurpose.org/ to see what useful items you could bring with you, or once in camp you can speak with the Managers who will gladly help you with small donations and a visit to the village if time allows.  Alternatively you can email us at nomadtrust@nomad.co.tz for more information about all the projects in Tanzania.


Wed, Oct 22, 2014

Enjoy the Rain

We have been experiencing the first of the Mahale rains over the last few days. They have been incredibly impressive with rolling thunder over the mountain and solid 30 minute flashfloods. But it seems to have brought mixed emotions from the birds in camp.

The Pied Wagtails that have their nests in our Dhows and are great friends but by the looks of this little fella, the rains are not so such a wonderful thing.

The beautiful Collared Sunbird seemed to be loving the after effect of the rain hopping from limb to limb in search of little worms and drinking nectar rich water from the flowers.

Palm-nut Vultures are a frequent visitor to Greystoke feeding on the fruits of the palms or scavenging any fish along the shore. When it comes to the rain they most certainly look drab and uncomfortable...poor chap.

In these rainy conditions the Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird thrives feeding on all the little insects that come out after the rains. 

The Blue-spotted Wood-Dove is a very shy undergrowth dwelling species that paid a visit to the beach after the rains, it looks as though a good dry out on the beach was needed.

Of course there is a Big Bird that steels the show, he most definitely does not like the rain sitting all huddled up on top of the roof, refusing to come down for hours after the rain has stopped. 

We have some good ponchos for hiking in the rain so no need to bring your own. See you soon!


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