What you need to know
- LOCATION: Kangwena Beach on the edge of Lake Tanganyika in the Mahale Mountains National Park, western Tanzania
- HOW TO GET THERE: There are no roads within 60 kms of camp (and long may that last!). The only access to Greystoke is via the lake, and before that a flight best taken from Arusha airport. We operate twice-weekly flights from Arusha on Mondays and Thursdays and it's about a 3 hour/3.5 hour flight - which will make stops at least once (at Tabora to refuel) along the way. Once you land on the airstrip, it's a further 90 minute trip by dhow down the lake until you get to Greystoke.
It's a long journey, but you will certainly feel it's worth it when you arrive, and appreciate why we love the fact that this camp is so far away!
- SETTING: The six double bandas are on the edge of the forest, looking out over the lake with the mountains right behind. All rooms look out over the beach and the lake beyond.
- THE BANDAS: All are open-fronted, with heavy canvas curtains you can pull across if you choose. Made of old dhow wood, not one is the same, but all have a dressing room behind and then a short boardwalk to the bathroom with flush toilet, strong showers and hot and cold water on demand. There's a "chill-out" deck upstairs, accessible by a rather clever canoe-ladder around the side of the banda. This is the place to while away a long afternoon with a glass of wine and a good book.
- HIGHLIGHTS: The magical forest of the Mahale Mountains and the many animals who inhabit it, including other primates, bushbuck, bush pig, leopard and a multitude of butterflies and amazing birds; dinner on the beach under the stars and sundowners on the dhow; kayaking and fishing in the clear waters of the lake.
- CHIMP TREKKING: Most guests will see the chimps at least once in a 3 or 4 day stay, but a sighting is never guaranteed. Whilst they could be right behind camp one day, the next they could be high in the mountains. Chimp trekking happens during every full day that you'll spend at Greystoke, and you'll usually always head off - armed with water and snacks - first thing in the morning. We'll take you up into the forest in two groups of six, accompanied by guides and trackers.
Once you've found them, and we hope you've enjoyed the journey to get there, you'll have 1 hour to hang out with them and watch as they play, groom and forage on the floor around you. We do ask that you wear a light surgical mask over your nose and mouth when you're near the chimps, this is purely because of germs; chimps share so much of our DNA and are very prone to catching all our coughs and sneezes. These masks are available in camp so you don't need to bring with you.
Do bring good footwear with you as sometimes, when the chimps are up high, you can have quite a trek to find them. Whilst you'll be following paths through the forest, they can get steep and the walking can be strenuous. It's a good idea to have longs with you too, there is a nasty creeper in the forest called 'The Buffalo Bean' which can skin irritations to those who get too close.
PLEASE DO BRING "BUSH COLOURED" CLOTHING (GREENS, BROWNS, NEUTRALS ETC) FOR TREKKING IN THE FOREST.
Aside from that, the forest is a very special place indeed and we know you'll have an amazing time.
- CHILD POLICY: We are delighted to welcome children of 8 and over at Greystoke Mahale. However, Tanapa regulations restrict children under 12 from viewing the chimpanzees.
- OPEN: year round except for mid March - early June when the camp closes for some maintenance, and our wonderful staff enjoy a brief return to 'civilization'.