Greystoke Mahale is owned and operated by Nomad Tanzania. It’s sister camp to Nomad’s Chada Katavi – and we reckon a trip involving both camps is one of the best safaris we sell, certainly very adventurous and possibly life changing too! Greystoke receives consistently great reviews and has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and a laundry service. Please note, the camp is closed from mid-March to early June for maintenance.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is situated at least 60 kilometres from any road, so travellers approach via 90 minutes’ dhow ride on Lake Tanganyika following a flight from Arusha that lasts up to 3½ hours. Flights are available on Mondays and Thursdays. Greystoke occupies a gorgeous stretch of white sands along the lake shore, with the forested Mahale Mountains providing a majestic backdrop!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are six guest bandas, all two-storey structures spaced well apart and nestling into the forest that borders the lake beach. Each banda is made out of old dhow wood and palm tree thatch, blending beautifully with the landscape. A few steps lead up into the bedroom space. This combines with the deck area, as the bandas are open fronted. Here you’ll find a double bed or twin beds with mosquito nets, bedside tables and lighting, a couple of wooden benches, a writing desk and chair, and two sunloungers. A pair of heavy curtains at the front of the banda can be closed and secured for privacy. Storage furniture is positioned in the dressing area, which is behind the bed or beds. There’s hanging space for clothes, as well as a lockable chest. Farther back still, there’s the washroom, with flush toilet, washbasin, and shower. Additional seating is situated on the upper floor of the banda, approached via steep steps carved out of an old canoe! In one banda, this space can function as a bedroom for a child.
Greystoke’s lounge and dining areas are housed in the property’s iconic lodge, a wood-and-thatch banda on the beach. In common with the guest bandas, the lodge has two storeys. It’s entirely open sided, to admit cool breezes. The lounge features comfortable seating around coffee tables, and a selection of reading material. In the dining area, there’s a long table flanked by campaign-style chairs. This is usually the setting for the camp’s delicious buffet breakfasts and light lunches, with everyone eating together and chatting about their experiences of Mahale and surrounds! Three-course dinners are served in the dining room too, following pre-dinner drinks at the spectacular ‘Sunset Bar’. This is found on rocks at the end of the beach, and it’s the perfect place for sundowners at the end of every day! The lodge also contains a reading room, on the upper floor. There are a few board games here too, and breathtaking views over the lake waters.
The main thing to do at Greystoke is chimp treks! These tend to start out in the mornings, and guests are always accompanied by an experienced park scout and guide. Hiking through the forests of the Mahale Mountains makes for an incredible adventure, with plenty of wildlife sightings to enjoy. An astonishing nine species of primate live here, not least the striking red colobus monkey. There are bushbuck and bushpig too, as well as hundreds of vibrant butterflies and an exhilarating assortment of birds, from crowned eagle and harrier hawk to crested guinea fowl and jaunty red-capped robin chats. Trek times vary from 20 minutes to 3 hours, and sometimes longer! During August and September, the chimps occupy the lower slopes of the mountains, even entering camp. Wherever you see them, they’re fascinating to observe. The camp also offers lake-based activities, such as dhow trips, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach. Dhow excursions present exciting opportunities to see the lake’s wildlife, which includes crocodile and hippo. You can try out some catch-and-release fishing too.