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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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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. 


Fri, Jun 17, 2016

Delivery Day!!

A new season has started here and the work in the village continues.
This week we visited Katumbi to check up on the progress of our projects and hand out the generous donations from our compassionate guests.

Julie Wynne a previous guest of ours who has already supported Katumbi clinic and school with very much appreciated equipment, has also raised the funds for a delivery and examination bed for the clinic along with enough to renovate three of the school's classrooms.

Nurse Elizabeth is the primary health care practitioner here at Katumbi and has a very busy time delivering the 100's of resident's babies in some challenging conditions.  She longed for some new beds to be able to cater for her many clients and was delighted that we could assist in making this a reality.

Always greeted with smiles on the shores of Katumbi Village!

The excitement of new equipment arrivals - friendly locals giving us a helping hand

Nurse Elizabeth's delivery room with the old equipment is a basic affair - so a new bed was a welcome treat

Out with the old - in with the new!

All hands on deck to help assemble the bed!

Multitasking Butati - not just a pretty face! wink

Getting there.....!

Two hours later and we've created a masterpiece! Nurse Elizabeth is very happy with her new donation.

On to number two - examination bed in progress...

No time for snoozing Butati!

Happy patient with her beautiful new bundle!

The school classrooms were very much in need of repair - a new floor is welcomed by all.

New plastering, paint job and fixing the holes now saves the rooms from getting soaked in the rainy season!

Quick pit stop at the local market to give our little helpers a snack! YUM!

Another excellent initiative is the ongoing project set up by another great guest - David Middleton of 'All About The Light'  http://www.allaboutthelight.org/

We had another delivery of lights arrive and we have the pleasure of distributing these great inflatable solar lights to those most in need.  It really is a wonderful thing to be able to literally bring light into people's lives! 

This is a great project that any traveler can take part in - just pop a few in your luggage and get involved with meeting a local community in a way that deepens both your experiences.

Thanks again to all who help it really strengthens our relationships with our communities and gives joy to all those involved.

If you are interested in helping out in anyway you can please do contact the Nomad Trust at:  nomadtrust@nomad.co.tz for more information.

Thanks from all at Greystoke and Katumbi Village!
 


Tue, Jun 7, 2016

Bonobo is a Chimp?

One of the most recognisable male Chimps in the M-Community is Bonobo. He dons a great grey beard but this definitely does not make him a 'hipster' chimp as he has had it long before the bearded hipster look became popular.

He has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride up and down the ranks within the community, reaching his highest rank of no. 2 back in the days of Fanana's rule in 2006. Shortly after disappearing from the group for three weeks only to return in a much reduced state and never really climbing the ranks again. 

He is now into his mid-thirties and doesn't seem too fazed by all the politics, quite content with what he has. 

He does however have a stubborn nature and is well known for gently bumping people out of his way on the path if he comes up from behind unnoticed.

He seems to just go about his business as he wishes and not too worried about his company, although it is believed Orion, one of the other males of a higher rank, enjoys Bonobo's company. 

In 2013 he broke one of his arms...a wound that for a chimp could be devastating but he managed to recover in a few months and carry on in his usual ways.



He is always a crowd pleaser when it comes to good sightings and eventful poses, always giving some interesting facial expressions and not shy of the camera one bit. 


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