8
Days

Serengeti big game and Mahale chimpanzees: Greystoke Mahale and Lamai Serengeti

When to go - Seasons and Prices

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Price From: $7,900pps

Lamai Serengeti and Greystoke Mahale are possibly the most iconic lodges in East Africa. Lamai is beautifully located around a granite kopje, with the most commanding views in the Serengeti.  Greystoke is set on a crunchy white sandy beach lapped by gin-clear water and backed by forested mountains inhabited by wild chimpanzees. A stay here is something to anticipate, and will impart memories to cherish. The combination of these two camps is an unmissable journey into some of Tanzania's most beautiful places. This itinerary is possible any time between June - March but we think it is really extra special between Nov and March each year as the value is truly unbeatable. 

January

Price From: $7,900pp

The area around Lamai is home to incredible resident game year round, and at this time of year there are far fewer people as the crowds head south chasing the migration. In Mahale the chimps begin to disperse into smaller, tighter family groups as the community spreads out to ensure ample food for all. This is an interesting time to see the dynamics of chimpanzee politics, because dispersal shows the strength of relationships.

February

Price From: $7,900pp

The area around Lamai is home to incredible resident game year round, and at this time of year there are far fewer people as the crowds head south chasing the migration.

This is also a lovely time in Mahale. Small clusters of close-knit chimps forage and patrol their favourite areas, including the beach/forest edge. Walks to find the chimps can be longer sometimes but it's unpredictable.

March

Price From: $7,900pp

The area around Lamai is home to incredible resident game year round, and at this time of year there are far fewer people as the crowds head south chasing the migration.

In Mahale, redtailed monkeys and trumpeter hornbills watch over the camp from the forest edge. The chimpanzees are moving higher up the slopes to take advantage of more fruit in the upper slopes of the forest. They tend to come together in larger groups more often.

April

Camps are closed. 

May

Camps are closed. 

June

Price From: $10,600pp

Dependent on weather patterns there is a possibility that the first migration herds will reach the Northern Serengeti at the end of June. This is a good time to combine Lamai with Serengeti Safari Camp further south if you are keen to catch the migration. 

In Mahale, chimpanzees can often be found in big groups but can be quite high in the forest taking advantage of an abundance of fruit in the upper slopes. Walking is easier but can be longer at times.

July

Price From: $13,000pp

The wildebeest gather in their tens of thousands and criss cross over the Mara River. A river crossing is a phenomenal sight, truly the stuff of wildlife documentaries.  

In Mahale the chimps are still enjoying the fruit-rich slopes and can be found congregating in large groups. Mornings spent exploring this
magnificent forest, following the hooting calls of chimps are rewarding. Afternoons are spent relaxing on the boat or in camp.

August

Price From: $13,000pp

The wildebeest gather in their tens of thousands and criss cross over the Mara River. A river crossing is a phenomenal sight, truly the stuff of wildlife documentaries.  

In Mahale the chimps are still enjoying the fruit-rich slopes and can be found congregating in large groups. Mornings spent exploring this
magnificent forest, following the hooting calls of chimps are rewarding. Afternoons are spent relaxing on the boat or in camp.

September

Price From: $13,000pp

The wildebeest gather in their tens of thousands and criss cross over the Mara River. A river crossing is a phenomenal sight, truly the stuff of wildlife documentaries.  

As in August, the Mahale chimps are not high in the mountains anymore, reducing the trekking time. Afternoon boat trip and a plunge into the lake, then cruise back to camp.

October

Price From: $11,700pps

The wildebeest gather in their tens of thousands and criss cross over the Mara River. A river crossing is a phenomenal sight, truly the stuff of wildlife documentaries.  

In Mahale the chimps are still low, often in the vicinity of camp. Signs of other animals including leopard, warthog and baboons are seen. Beach life is still idyllic.

November

Price From: $7,900pp

The migration starts to head south from Lamai but there is still the chance of a few stragglers crossing the Mara River. Despite the odd shower in Mahale, the chimps are still on the lower slopes, which is always good news.

December

Price From: $7,900pp

The bush is verdant and green and there is plenty to see, without too many other people around and the plains around Lamai burst with life. In Mahale the chimps are expected to still be within reasonable reach so trekking, while never easy, should not be too long. Make the most of the boat, fishing and relaxing in between.

Camp Itinerary

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3 Nights Lamai Serengeti

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4 Nights Greystoke Mahale

Day by day

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Fly from Arusha into the Serengeti National Park

Fly from Arusha into the Serengeti National Park

Depart Arusha by scheduled flight to the northern Serengeti. This flight is one of the most scenic in Tanzania, soaring past iconic landmarks like Ol Donyo Lengai and the Ngorongoro Crater. Flying over the Serengeti you realise the sheer scale of the seemlingly never ending plains. Our guides will meet you at the airstrip and take you back to Lamai Serengeti. 

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Days 1 - 4

Lamai Serengeti

Get yourself to Lamai between November and March, slow down a little and we'll show you another side to the Serengeti. Unlike the southern plains of the Serengeti that dry out, forcing all but the hardiest of species to leave, this area remains lush and green. There's a collective sigh of relief from the resident game when the one and a half million migrating wildebeest - and the madness that attends them - leave town for a few months. And the resident game at Lamai Serengeti is spectacular. We venture out in custom-built 4x4s, or on foot to explore the winding river lines, rocky outcrops and sweeping plains. If you were to visit just one part of the Serengeti, we really think it ought to be here. Read more about Lamai Serengeti. 

Lion cub in the Northern Serengeti. A leopard in the Kogatende area around Lamai Serengeti.
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Fly from the Serengeti to Mahale National Park

Fly from the Serengeti to Mahale National Park

Our shared charter flight to Mahale will collect you from the Serengeti. This flight down to Mahale is a long journey, taking about four hours with a refuel stop in Tabora along the way. The arrival into Mahale is pretty unforgettable as you fly low over the mountains and land on the airstrip that sits right on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. 

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Travel to Greystoke Mahale by traditional dhow

Travel to Greystoke Mahale by traditional dhow

When you arrive at Mahale airstrip our wonderful guides will meet you and take you by boat to Greystoke. This journey takes about an hour and a half and skims along the banks of the impossibly clear lake with the Mahale Mountains rising dramatically from the beach. Coming around the headland and catching site of the iconic Greystoke mess sat on our own patch of white sandy beach is always a memorable moment. 

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Days 4 - 8

Greystoke Mahale

We share the mountains and the lake with so many animals, but it's the chimps that really inspire us. Time spent with them is time away from everything else that is ordinary. But, there's more. Hike the forest paths looking for all the other animals who quietly live here. Swim in pools up in mountain waterfalls, take a kayak out for a dawn paddle and enjoy the sunrise coming up over the mountains. Have sundowners on our old wooden dhow or just relax on the warm sands of the beach with a drink in hand. We've been in this remarkable place for over 20 years, and are still in awe of it. It's impossible not to be. Read more about Greystoke Mahale. 

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Fly back from Mahale to Arusha

Fly back from Mahale to Arusha

You will bid farewell to the team at Greystoke and head back to the airstrip by boat in time to catch your scheduled shared charter flight back to Arusha. This flight again stops in Tabora for a refuel stop and arrives in Arusha in the late afternoon, usually in time to connect with any International departures from Kilimanjaro airport. 

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