On a far-flung beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika , below a huge story-book tropical forest, lies the tiny sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale. The water is as clear as gin, the air scented and the living is very easy indeed. The forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rise behind camp, home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the national park. Each day you can venture out into the forest, to observe and commune with these, our closest relatives, as they groom , wrestle and forage across the leafy floor.
Your home at Greystoke Mahale is in wildly exotic wooden bandas, looking out across the soft sand beach, with interiors fashioned from old seasoned dhow timber and decorated with style and panache. The six open-fronted bandas are set just on the forest line, looking out over the lake, with dressing rooms behind and upstairs chill-out decks; they are designed with flair, generosity and passion for the most demanding of castaways. The bathrooms are set just behind, and accessible via a short wooden boardwalk. They all have flush toilets and powerful showers, with hot and cold water available on demand.
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Hike in the stunning tropical forest that covers the slopes of the mountains. Its home to nine different species of primate, including the chimpanzee. The 'M' group live in the mountains close to camp, and have become habituated to human presence over two decades. Every morning, trackers go out early to find the chimp's whereabouts, then after breakfast you can head off along the forest paths until you're surrounded by their calls. For an hour, sit quietly with them watching their daily life; grooming, wrestling, bickering, foraging, eating, and mothering. The local tribe believes that chimpanzees were once people who retreated into the forest and just a few hours with these amazing apes shows why. You can also observe leopard, bushbuck, bushpig, other primates and a multitude of birds and butterflies which are found throughout the forested slopes of the mountains. The waters of the lake, the second deepest in the world after Russia's Lake Baikal, sparkle with over 250 species