The Greystoke Mahale camp, located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, comprises a collection of six deluxe thatched bandas (a type of open-air beach hut) each with its own balcony offering sensational views of the sparkling lake. The relaxed beach bar, perched on a rocky outcrop past the row of exclusive huts is an ideal spot for a healthy lunch or refreshing late afternoon drink. Mahale is home to the world’s largest population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the national park, so naturally this tiny hideaway is the best place on earth to observe our closest mammalian relatives. Furthermore just a gentle hike into the forest will transport you to a world of cascading waterfalls and idyllic rock pools great for escaping the mid afternoon sun. This truly is our quintessential Tanzanian hideaway.
With the nearest road some 100 miles away, the area surrounding Greystoke has remained largely untouched, meaning you have a chance to encounter some of Africa’s best flora and fauna without jeeps full of snapping tourists blocking your view. Situated in western Tanzania, arrival at the remote Greystoke is by boat and we can assure you that pulling up to the pristine Kangwena Beach, with the forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains providing the backdrop, will not be your typical hotel transfer.
Each of the six bandas have been meticulously hand crafted from sustainable, locally sourced materials and take rustic chic to a whole new level. All are set back on the edge of the jungle in order to preserve the serenity of the beach; something that can most definitely be appreciated from the tranquillity of your private veranda. With no doors or walls to speak of, the rooms are cooled by the gentle African breeze (and not to worry the bathrooms are set well back in the jungle and offer lots of privacy) and are kitted out with huge comfy beds that face straight out onto the lake. Rooms are sparsely spread along the beach ensuring that everyone one (12 at most) has a huge stretch of private sand to chill out on.
Why we like it
Aside from the incredible setting and friendly chimps that scuttle along the beach all day long, it was the sunset cruises that will keep us coming back for more. Being served super fresh sashimi washed down with iced vodka may not immediately scream Africa but trust us the ancient wooden dhow you find yourself in and the image of the huge African sun slowly sinking into the surface of the lake is a vista that is hard to forget. Also be sure to keep your fishing rod to hand as who knows when an opportunity might present itself for a bit of impromptu fishing.