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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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Wed, Mar 14, 2018

PUPILS DAY IN MAHALE

A few days ago we had a very special group of guests here at Greystoke Mahale. Supported by our Nomad Trust, we invited thirty children of the Katumbi Primary School to spend the day with us. The entire team here at Greystoke had been looking forward to this event and everyone was eager and happy to assume some extra work in order to provide a very special experience to the children. They arrived early in the morning and were greeted with a tasty breakfast in order to give them full energy for the chimp trekking. It seemed as the chimps new that something special was going on and  stayed not too far from camp. For the children it was their first time to encounter their wild neighbours and they were very excited. After a quick briefing given by our guides off we went into the lush and green forest. 

Mandazi, omelette, tea and juice... plates were empty and everyone was happy.

When visiting the chimps it is important to wear masks in order to prevent transmitting deseases.

Happy chimping with Matius

On the way the children learned about the environment, the forest, different mammals and birds and of course told them more about the chimpanzees. The children had a lot of questions and were eager to learn everything about our closest relatives. We went bushwaking through the forest, it was not easy to get to the chimps but then we finally saw them, a few mothers with their babies. 

A beautiful walk through the forest

Life demonstration of grooming

And finally... chimps!

Back in camp we split the children into three groups and passed along all the different departments in camp. Our team did a fantastic job in explaining them about their work and daily routines. The most popular place seemed to be our kitchen, was that related to the freshly baked cookies and muffins maybe? After the training we all had late lunch and then it was definitely time to try out the different games we have in camp.

Yoga lesson with Mwiga

Time to play

Butati explaining about the environment and how the children can help protecting it.

We ended the day by sitting together once more and talk about the importance of preserving this beautiful environment so close to their homes.The children had a lot more questions and proofed that they had paid attention to what they had been taught during the day. It was a fantastic experience for all of us and we cannot wait to repeat it. A huge THANK YOU to the Nomad Trust, the entire team here at Greystoke and TANAPA for their support and making this day possible. And last but not least to the children for bringing so much joy and laughter to our camp!

Little presents at the end

And at the end of the day some wonderful memories being taken home.


Thu, Feb 22, 2018

MAHALE METAL HOUSE DRUMMING

As you might know from many of our previous stories, chimpanzees live in a dominance hierarchy. The males are in a constant competition for social status, and it seems all they are longing for in life is to win a high-rank position, the most desired on the Alpha rank of course. In order to move up the ranks, a male performs what is called charging or intimidation display in front of other males, to show his strength and superiority.  

Alofu, Orion and Fanana charging display 

There are different ways of charging display and it is always great fun to watch this action. All our guides agree that it is their favorite behaviour to watch. And it truly is impressive! You will see the male puffing up his fur and inflating his muscles (he looks twice as big as usual), running around, grabbing and shaking vines, climbing, bending and shaking trees, throwing sticks or stones, slapping and stamping on the ground. It is a powerful moment! Interesting to know is that a low-rank male or even an adolescent before charging display, first will make sure that there is no higher-rank male around, as this one might mistake his showing off as an attempt to challenge him, and most probably would challenge back. Some of the younger chimpanzees within the M-community, like Christmas for example, learned in the past that charging display in front of human visitors is great fun as they are easy to impress.

Naughty Christmas

One of our favorite actions is the Metall House Drumming. When charging display the chimps will use what they can find around them to enhance the impact of their action, like branches, vines, sticks and stones. At Kansyana Camp, the Japanese’ researchers accommodation a little further up north the lake from our camp, the chimps found out that banging against the metal walls of one of the buildings is making a lot of noise. It has been witnessed in the past that when approaching Kansyana Camp, the males get excited almost as if looking forward to do some Metall House Drumming. It is definitely one of the most spectacular ways of charging display amongst the Mahale adult males… see for yourself!

https://www.facebook.com/nomadgreystokemahale/videos/1233618190106108/


Mon, Jan 29, 2018

Mahale’s Game Of Thrones

During the last weeks there have been some interesting movements within the ranks of the M-Community. Primus, who has been the Alpha male since 2012, had to defend his position as leader against some of the younger males.

By the end of December our guests together with our guide Mwiga witnessed Christmas moving up the ranks, pushing Orion down and securing his position as the second male in the group. Soon after that, Christmas convinced four other males to challenge Primus, not being successful as Fanana decided in the last moment to change sides and be loyal to Primus. We were surprised by Christmas' ambition, shortly after having taken Orion's position aiming to become the Alpha male.

And it is not only Christmas reaching out to take over from Primus. Teddy, at the age of only 17, is gaining strength and has become very popular within the M-Community. He is very smart and especially the females do like him (he is also known as “the handsome chimp”). Our guides, who spent a lot of time with the chimps and know them so well, are definitely considering Teddy a candidate for becoming the next Alpha Male, despite his young age. 

Only a few days ago, our guests witnessed Teddy and Darwin attacking Primus and beating him up seriously. Primus managed to escape without losing his position, however during the last days haven’t been seen with the group, probably to recover from the assault. He knows that if he has a weak moment, the other males will sense the opportunity and he would be in serious danger of being pushed down from his throne. Also during the last days, Teddy has been seen walking with a large group of chimps, acting as their leader. Does this mean he is close to take over from Primus? And what about Christams, will he be satisfied being number two or is he still aiming at the position as Alpha male? Exciting times in Mahale, we are eager to know how the story will continue...


Wed, Jan 3, 2018

The Mahale Soundtrack

I was just about to sit down and tell you all about how we celebrated New Year’s Eve here at Greystoke Mahale with the latest group of truly wonderful guests we waved goodbye this morning. Yet before, I took a moment to look at their comments in our guest book… and what I found is so absolutely brilliant that I decided there are no better words for 2018’s first chapter:

I AM A CHIMPTREKKER

FOLLOWING KING MAKERS

USING THESE BUSH WACKERS

TO CUT PATHS FOR SPECTATORS

NOMADS THE CLAN

M GROUPS THE FAM

MAHALE “FIVING” OUR WAY TO

THE HEARTS OF FANS

OOO OOO AH AH

THAT IS THE CALL

DON’T FREAKING OUT

WHEN THESE CHIMPS COME CLOSER TO YA’LL
 

LED BY PRIMUS

DON’T GET IT TWISTED

THIS CAMP IS BETTER THAN ANY

GORILLA MISTED!

YOU FEELING FANCY

AND FANCY A HADSY WITH CHIMPANZEES

EVEN THOSE IN IN-FANCY ARE SWEETER THAN

TANZANIAN CANDIES!
 

OO AHS THE CALL

KARIBUNI TO YA’LL

KWAHERI MY FRIENDS

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO PASS ON THE BALL…

A huge thank you to the lovely Jenn and Brandon for these wonderful words, and to Kenneth for capturing this twisted little guy smile

The New Year is no blank page anymore and a lot more memories are about to be created. We are looking forward with a lot of excitement to everything that is about to come. On behalf of the entire Greystoke family we are sending our very best wishes to all of you and hope you have a magical and peaceful New Year!

Barbara and Fabio


Fri, Dec 15, 2017

New beginnings

We welcome a new couple to the shores of Mahale, and look forward to a whole new chapter of adventures with Fabio and Barbara. Here is a little from the new Greystoke camp managers. 

"A new life... I don’t believe in magic and yet there is something so special about this place that makes you think again. In 2014 we travelled to Greystoke Mahale for the first time and our lives changed. Since then we have been coming back year after year, and this time we are here to stay. For the last three weeks we have been busy finding our feet on this white sandy beach we now call home on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, and settling into our new roles as camp managers.

It is good manners when moving into a new place to greet your neighbours, and that is just what we did. We started at the top and paid our respects to Primus the alpha male, we then popped over to see the baby vervet, and finished with the youngsters who have grown considerably since our last visit. We have found a new family with this fantastic team in camp and we are already building friendships with all the resident creatures around.

We are so excited to share our adventures with you all and create new memories with everyone who comes to visit us and get a taste of the Mahale magic.

Barbara & Fabio, Greystoke Mahale


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