Mahale National Park camps - Greystoke
We've yet to find another camp in Africa that comes close to Greystoke, where the location and sense of remove from the real world alone make this an exceptional experience. Add chimps, waterfalls, swimming in the Lake and you'll see why it's virtually impossible to get space here.
Greystoke Camp, the original camp in Mahale, has one of the most beautiful and dramatic locations of anywhere in East Africa, sitting on a white sandy beach at the base of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Tanganyika. To get here is a four hour flight from Arusha and, the best bit, Greystoke is more or less beyond the reach of any wheeled vehicle. You need to want to be there.
The camp was originally built by Roland and Zoe Purcell (although they no longer have anything to do with it these days) and, if you're lucky enough to get space there, is unquestionably the best place to stay for a Chimpanzee safari.
Over the last few years we've been lucky enough to spend a great deal of time at Mahale in all seasons and it's never lost its magical feeling. Rounding Kangwena bay by boat in the twilight to see the the Greystoke Mess lit up with kerosene lanterns frankly makes your heart sing (particularly when you've been plied with drinks on the dhow on your journey from the airstrip).
The camp has 6 rooms built almost entirely out of reclaimed dhow wood. Ben Jackson, who built Greystoke, bought virtually every stranded dhow on the lake shore between Mahale and Kigoma in the process. The result is brimming with superb attention to detail and full of evidence of serious resourcefulness (the nearest hardware shop is 17 hours away by boat) as well as what happens to your mind if you spend too long sitting on a beach in the middle of nowhere.
The main reason people think of coming to Greystoke is to see the chimps, but the location alone takes an awful lot of beating; you can sit for hours slack-jawed and glassy-eyed marvelling at the natural perfection of this little corner of the world.
When you've recovered your wits you can plunge into the exquisite waters of Lake Tanganyika to commune with the brightly coloured cychlid fish, or climb into the mountains to chase butterflies, see waterfalls and streams. Or if that sounds too much like hard work you can just go and help your self to another drink from the mess.
The point is, you might be expecting the chimps, but you wont be expecting the host of other things that make Greystoke one of the best ways to spend a few days in the whole of Africa.
Incl. FB, drinks, park fees, all activities, chimp walks, boating, kayaking, laundry and transfers. Excl. Champagne
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