Greystoke Mahale sits peacefully on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika with just six traditional thatched bandas, each opening up onto its own sensational view of the sparkling lake. Step outside and a relaxed beach bar, perched on a rocky outcrop makes an ideal spot for a refreshing late afternoon drink. Mahale is home to the world’s largest population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 inhabiting the national park, making this tiny hideaway one of the best spots to observe our closest relatives. A long way from the bush, a gentle hike here instead reveals a world of cascading waterfalls and idyllic rock pools making for a quintessential Tanzanian hideaway.
With the nearest road some 100 miles away, the area surrounding Greystoke Mahale has remained largely untouched, meaning you have a chance to encounter some of Africa’s best flora and fauna in total serenity. Situated in western Tanzania, arrival at the remote Greystoke Mahale is by boat. Pulling up to the pristine Kangwena Beach, with the forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains providing the backdrop, it’s a long way from your typical hotel transfer.
Each of the six bandas has been meticulously handcrafted from sustainable, locally sourced materials to create a rustic elegance. All are set back on the fringes 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 are kitted out with huge comfy beds that face straight out onto the lake. Rooms are sparsely spread along the beach ensuring that everyone 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’s the sunset cruises that keep us coming back for more. Onboard an ancient wooden dhow with the huge African sun slowly sinking into the surface of the lake is a vista that is hard to forget. Be sure to keep your fishing rod to hand too as who knows when an opportunity might present itself for a bit of impromptu fishing.