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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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Fri, Mar 10, 2017

A Lake of plains and aspects

At the moment the raining season offers us stunning views of our great Lake Tanganyika. And what a Lake! The second largest water lake by volume (17% of the fresh water on Earth stands in front of us!), the second deepest (1400 meters!), and the longest one (670 km!).

Every single evening the sun sets in such harmony with it, then disappearing far ahead in the hills on the Congo side, leaving us with the rising Venus and the stars popping up one by one. African time for dreams...

And blue, blue, how blue you are Tanganiika. Swimming in your essence is such a pleasure. Butati our fantastic guide has such freedom in you!

And what an ecosystem, hundred of cichlids flourishing for millions of years along the shore. Time to fish Cameron, my friend, and former manager here in Greystoke, the Yellow-bellied Cichlid or "Kunwe". Sashimi is waiting for us around the fire!

Great history is passing by, twice a week, with the MV Liemba. The former German war ship called at the time the "Graf von Goetzen". It was buit in 1913. The captain had her scuttled in 1916 but a salvage team raised her from the water in 1927 than she returned to service as the MV Liemba. Today she still runs and such poetry come to us when we see her passing by in the Great Lake.



Boat cruising is always such an epic time to relax and enjoy the Mahale Mountains, specially when you have the smile and fun of Mwiga our guide on board. And sometimes see the hippos under the clear water. Thank you Willem Dekker, our guest,  for this great shot you did with you Go Pro my friend!


It's difficult to talk about the Lake for me without having a huge thought of our Dear Friend Big Bird, this guy loved soooo much having fun in the water! Keep swimming Buddy !!

Have a lovely weekend,

Julien


Mon, Jan 9, 2017

My Kingdom for a Horse


2017 has come! Happy New Year to you all!  And what a start of the year over here, my friends. As you may know our current Alpha male is Primus, his reign started in 2011 after the violent murder of the previous Alpha, Pimu. Alofu, one of the most well-loved chimpanzees, is ranked number 2. Unfortunately we haven't had news of him and his mother Wakusi since early June. Orion is currently ranked number 3. The last few months we felt Orion gaining trust and around Christmas time, one day, our guests and the guides witnessed almost a "Coup d'Etat"! Primus being chased by the males and some females. Lots of screaming, action, Primus protecting himself high in the trees while the insurrection was taking place. 



Orion

We thought the time had come, a change of King! But it seems that our chimpanzees do believe in Christmas peace as well. Things settled down. Grooming took place again. But tension is in the air, and when Primus appears you can feel the others on the edge. Primus did not abdicate, Primus did not call "my kingdom for a horse" just yet. 



Primus

Let us see how it goes. Life in the Jungle carries on. The Python, the shadow of the leopard, and Santa Claus are the eyes of those events deep in the forest...

But maybe, just maybe, we're gonna have the "Return of a Prince"! Maybe, deep in the forest Alofu is preparing his glorious return...!... To be follow my friends...!

 
Alofu (Photo taken by our former manager Cameron Raffan)


Sat, Nov 26, 2016

The Highs and the Lows of climbing Mt Kungwe



2 Weeks ago, having no guests in camp, my fellows Mwiga (our head guide) , Mfaume (our head chef) and Cossam ( our house keeper) and myself decided to climb Mount Kungwe. 


Mount Kungwe is considered by the villagers around to be a sacred Mountain, and before going there we had to ask the permission and receive the blessing from the Elders. We started our journey from the main headquarter, 17 km ahead would be our goal, Mount Kungwe Peak! 

My friends I can tell you, it has been the toughest climb I ever did! To reach Mount Kungwe we needed to climb first 2 other Peak, Mount Mhensabantu and Mount Humo, then finally our final ascent to Mount Kungwe

Up, down, up , down, 45° up, 45° down, the landscape around were just stunning. On the ascent to Mount Mhensabantu we could see tracks of buffalos. Miombo woodlands was the main environment there, and meeting with Red-Colobus Monkeys and Red-Tailed Monkeys was such a pleasure to the eyes.


But finally, after many hours of walking, here we were, reaching our goal! How fantastic it was! The sun reflecting on the lake offer us a vision of endless fiel of gold. We spent the night in a small Ranger post there, an amazing abundant forest hosting us, with so many different kind of birds and the unique Angolensis Black and White Monkeys. Unfortunately we did not have the chance to capture them in photos, just hearing them at dawn. And also, big time unfortunately, i promised my fellow friends that we would be back in the afternoon! Why? I tell you! They had the plan to play a football match against the rangers at the village in the afternoon!! I dont know how they did it, i was just a dead body at the end!! I can tell you we will be back there! The vegetations and wildlife up there is just stunning! We also heard the calls of the unhabituated wild chimpanzees in the forest below us - that was really special.


It has been such a privilege to spend time with my friends doing that. The moon was stunning that night. So much to see, so much to do here, the Mahale Mountains is full of secrets still to be discovered.  Mahale is unique, and yes this climb made me think more about it. Thanks guys!

 


Sun, Oct 23, 2016

When the Chimps come to camp!

Party Time for the moment at Greystoke Mahale! The last 2 weeks have been so epic here! The reason is that our Forest Water-berry Tree just in front of the office is fruiting, but also the Fig Tree just beside one of our bungalows and some of our Mango Trees close to the beach! And such fun it can be! Here Teddy's just been visiting the bungalow, checking the housekeeping works.

What a great time for our guests, no need for hiking up the mountains, the show happens right there at the morning call!

Here again "Teddy" boy eating, yes elegantly, the water-berry fruits.

What a fig-feast for our lady "Phone" 

A little refreshing drink from our bucket

And then of course a little chat while we digest!

Such a happy time isn't it Fanana?! 7, 9, 12 even 20 visiting us every day! So fantastic; Greystoke Mahale is for sure the place to be for the moment!


Tue, Jul 12, 2016

Muddle in the Middle

The mid-level players of the M-group here in the Mahale Mountains have been on the shuffle. 

Our handsome friend, Teddy, has been on somewhat of a rampage through the middle ranks. He has been seen showing his dominance over Darwin and Michio. If he carries on with this rise he might forgo those develish good looks for a few battle scars when he goes up against the big boys.

Our 'peace-keeper' Darwin has been on a slippery slope for some time now. If he falls too far down the ranks the chances of him regaining his once held 3rd position seems unlikely for his future in the M-group. 

That droopy lip of Michio is one of his tell-tale signs. Thought to be one of the 'up-and-coming' contenders, he showed off his likenss to the great Alofu when making his charging displays for up to half an hour. Illness has forced him into a weaker state that has made his recovery arduous. 

The title of 'King of the Mountain' remains tightly in the grip of Primus. He recently made a trip through camp with a large group on the prowl. His authority over all in the group was clear with all submitting to his will.

Our no.2 ,Alofu, has not been seen so far this season, but that is a common trait of his. We are sure when he does make his reappearance his comfortable position in the community will remain. 

Another male that has not been seen around, but considered a big contender in the eyes of a few Japanese researchers, is our friend Caesar. We hope to find him strong when he comes down off the mountain. 

The villainous Orion remains in his 3rd rank, he was recently seen passing through camp on a  'honeymoon' with Effie and later threw an old stick at a guest. We wouldn't mind seeing him forced down the ranks. 

A new contender on the block could very well be this little chap, at around 4 months old and the youngest in the group, who knows where he could go. The son of Sally, we hope to propose the name Socrates after the classical Greek philosopher. 


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