The property is owned and operated by Mbali Mbali, who specialise in providing accommodation in Tanzania. Kungwe is suitable for most types of traveller and an excellent option if you are interested in a bush-and-beach holiday.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via road transfer from Mahale Airstrip, a journey of approximately one-and-a-half hours.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Once you have arrived, you can take time to relax in the communal building, a timber-and-thatch dhow-shaped construction positioned on the lake shores. A short flight of wooden steps forms the entrance, and the lodge is open sided to provide superb views across golden sands to the sparkling waters beyond. Behind, there are palm trees and other tropical vegetation, and the majestic mountains of Mahale loom on the horizon. The lounge contains comfortable sofas and armchairs around campaign-style coffee tables, while the dining area has chic little separate tables flanked by campaign chairs and a selection of drinks displayed on a sturdy chest. Descending onto the beach, you will find sunloungers set out under parasols, a fire-pit area, and the lodge’s own jetty, which marks the starting point of many a boating safari.
Guest accommodation at Kungwe consists of ten safari rooms, all nestled into the treeline to offer some cooling shade. In common with the communal lodge, they are raised on a wooden deck and sheltered by thatch roofing. A few steps take you up onto a private balcony, which has a couple of chairs, a coffee table, and beautiful beach views. Inside each room, there is a four-poster double bed or twin beds complete with mosquito nets, as well as a writing desk and chair, a luggage rack, and a lockable Zanzibar chest for valuable items.
Kungwe offers an exciting assortment of activities. Top of the list is chimpanzee trekking, which takes place in the wildlife-rich forests of Mahale Mountains National Park nearby. As your guide leads you through the trees, you might well catch a glimpse of Angolan black-and-white colobus monkey, giant forest squirrel, red-legged sun squirrel, brush-tailed porcupine, bushy-tailed mongoose, banded mongoose, blue duiker, and Sharpe’s grysbok. However, the chimps are the undisputed stars of the show here. Finding them may take up to a few hours, and the forest terrain is quite hard going at times, but the pleasure of spending time in their company is well worth the trek. These are truly fascinating creatures – so familiar, yet strange at the same time.
The forest is home to a thrilling assortment of birds and butterflies too, and your guide is also skilled in helping you to recognise species and generally to appreciate all the little life-forms in this enthralling part of the world. Back at the Lodge, there’s plenty to do on Lake Tanganyika – boat trips, kayaking, and fishing. The lake contains a vast variety of reptiles, fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, perfect for blue safari fans. And at the end of each day, you can relax around a campfire on the beach and admire the sunset over the distant mountains.