Greystoke Mahale

Reviews of Greystoke Mahale

Excellent(98%) From 38 travellers
Excellent
35
Good
3
Average
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Poor
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Terrible
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Below are independent comments from 38 of our travellers who have visited Greystoke Mahale, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr. I from London
Arrived on: 8-Aug-2019 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
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Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Greystoke Mahale review

This being our honeymoon, we were tempted to add on a "beach section" to our trip. But rather than head to the east coast of Tanzania with the comparative crowds, we ventured to the west "coast" and it could not have been better! Arriving at Mahale is as if you are arriving on a tropical island, the difference being that this is no island.

Whilst the camp is of the highest standard, the chimpanzees are the stars of the show, brought to life by the quality and knowledge of the guiding: Mwiga was excellent. We saw 36 chimpanzees over the course of the 4 days, some more than once, such that you already started to feel like you were getting to know them. Sitting on the beach as a male chimpanzee walks passed eye-to-eye was an amazing experience. If you have the time and funds to be able to venture to Mahale, my wife and I would most definitely recommend a stay at Greystoke so that you can take away your own experiences.

The variety of other activities on offer also sets this place apart. We went on two additional nature walks, seeing another 5 monkey species and the last surviving warthog in the region, Juliette, was a regular visitor to our lodge. The boat trips are a fantastic way to spend the afternoon - swimming in the beautiful deep clear waters of the lake and having a beer looking out for hippos and crocodiles near the shore on the way back.

The hosts Fabio and Barbs were excellent, as were all of the staff. Indeed, I enjoyed playing a game of football on the beach with the staff - it was great fun played in excellent spirits.

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Mr M from London
Arrived on: 22-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Greystoke Mahale - July 2019

Stunning lodge in a pristine location sandwiched between Lake Tanganyika and the Mahale Mountains. Every area of the camp was exquisitely designed and maintained and the food was some of the best we have eaten anywhere in Africa.

Chimp trekking was excellent although predictably unpredictable (on one day, we were standing guard underneath a giant tree for seven hours waiting for a group of 6 chimps to come down onto the ground - they eventually did, thankfully).

We went for three nights, but would probably choose four nights if/when we come back to maximise our time with the chimps.

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Dr & Mrs S from Oregon
Arrived on: 4-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Greystoke Mahale review

This park is a journey to get to but delivers on chimp sightings. You will waste a day going and coming so go for the 5 day stint.

The 3 full days you are there, go on the morning chimp treks and prepare to exercise, huff and puff and get down and dirty sweaty. Hot showers await upon return. You will see chimps, young and old, playing and all sorts of other antics. Expect a 3-4 hour ordeal to accomplish this. There is not a lot else to see but for some common vervet monkeys and red tailed monkeys.

Yes, there is other wildlife, bush pigs are the most common, but you are not likely to see much else. This is primarily a one species trip for chimps that are not common in most places in Africa. Lake Tanganyika is pristine here. Looks more like the ocean near a coral reef than a lake. You can swim in it and it's good enough for shower water.

Getting there is an adventure with 2-3 stops on a small plane. You will see Tanzania from Arusha to Tanganyika on this flight. The "tents" are over the top cool. You get an "upstairs" lounge, a separate shower and toilette area, in addition to a porch deck and a great "bedroom".

As a helpful tip, my lens of choice for the chimp treks is the 70-200 mm f 2.8 lens set at 1/200 - 1/300 sec at f 4 - 5.6 and let the ISO on "auto" to accomplish these settings or set the ISO yourself but you'd miss some action then, I believe. Second choice, a 100-400 mm or a 75- 300 mm lens with the same settings. A 24-105 mm lens will be "short" on most occasions and the ability to carry two lenses with two bodies in that forest would be near impossible to manage. Most shots were at ISOs of 5000 to 6400, for those that are curious. Many were at higher ISOs.

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Mr & Mrs F from Hunton
Arrived on: 15-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
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Facilities:
Excellent
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Greystoke Mahale review

Terrific transfer by boat. The view from the bay as we approached camp was wonderful but overtaken by news that there were chimps in camp! We rushed from the boat, handed masks on the way, and were just in time to see two before they left for deeper forest. A fantastic start which just got better each day we were there.
The camp was idyllic on the shore of Lake Tanganyika which looked and sounded more like a sea but with fresh water! Sadly we were not able to swim from the beach due to crocs having been seen in the area (fair enough!) but were taken out for a wonderful deep water swim which washed all our travel away. The briefing on the chimp trekking was entertaining and informative and served to heighten our excitement about the hoped for encounter next day.
It rained heavily the next morning just as news came that the chimps had been found. As a result the rain forest lived up to its name! I strongly recommend that those wearing glasses do wear a wide brimmed hat/cap and carry both a small towel / flannel as well as something to try and keep the condensation on your glasses under control when raining. Also, take advantage of the walking sticks that are available in camp as they were very helpful to young and old alike on the slippery downhill sections!
The food and accommodation were wonderful as were the staff looking after us so well. The encounters with the chimps were amazing and just got better! Knowing something of their behaviour from the briefing added significantly to both our comfort in their presence and sense that we were not interfering unduly in their lives.
The only downside of the camp was that recent rains had led to an unusual horsefly infestation which made walking about the camp quite unpleasant at specific times! This is unusual and did not undermine our enjoyment at all but is worth knowing if you are travelling when the first rains are possible?

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Ms G from Georgia
Arrived on: 27-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
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Activities:
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Heaven on earth

The best camp! Wonderful staff and accommodations as well as excellent cuisine and drinks. We were able to meet the chimps 3 times on our treks and also had a bonus visit in camp. Would go back in a heartbeat.

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Mr P from Sai Kung
Arrived on: 30-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Greystoke Mahale review

A great experience tracking the chimpanzees through the forest - quite remarkable

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Mr & Mrs K from Guildford
Arrived on: 19-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
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Facilities:
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The Chimpanze Safari !

The one reason to go to Mahale is trekking with the Chimps. It's a journey to get there but so very worthwhile...........a unique experience.

The camp on the shores of Lake Tanganika is excellent, Thai style bandas open at the front with views over the beach to the lake..............very comfortable indeed. The treks can be hard but the opportunity to visit with the Chimps in their own habitat and see their behaviour is something you will never do otherwise. We swam in the Lake, experienced an earthquake at breakfast and just loved it all.

The camp is amazing, lovely open fronted bandas, great food, lovely staff, and a great manager in Julien. We just had a great house party.

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Dr A from London
Arrived on: 16-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
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Facilities:
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Greystoke Mahale review

Considering the location the food and service was excellent.

The guides were extremely knowledgable and the ethos of betterment of the staff was very good.

A ranger borrowed my bird book on a boat trip and was improving his knowledge studying it and asking questions.

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W Party from Chorleywood
Arrived on: 16-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

wonderful lodge in beautiful location

Can't praise highly enough. The camp is in a beautiful, remote location and has a welcoming, friendly feel, which is made possible by the excellent staff from the management down.

The guides, Butati and Mateus were both superb. Knowledgeable and helpful, spoke very good English and had great sense of humour.

The chimp viewing was unbelievable and exceeded all our expectations! It was enhanced by the detailed information of the family history of the chimps and the enthusiasm of the staff.

We would have liked to stay longer as three nights are not enough to enjoy all the facilities of the camp.

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Mr & Mrs R from Aberdeen
Arrived on: 7-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Magical chimp encounters

When we saw Greystoke, after a pleasant boat trip with an enjoyable picnic, we were delighted. The main rustic banda on a large sandy beach is definitely a show stopper. Our room was very pleasant again in a similar Robinson Crusoe fashion but there was a long walk to the en suite bathroom. The staff were all pleasant and the service good.

We preferred the one night when we had pre- dinner drinks around a fire on the beach to having them in the very dark bar at the side of the beach. This bar was pleasant during daylight but in our opinion was to dark with no view for pre dinner drinks, The stars of these occasions were the two excellent guides Mwiga and Butati who told hilarious stories about the chimps and previous encounters.

The meals in the restaurant where great where the star of this show was the camp Manager Julian who held center stage with his stories and experiences. These were amusing if slightly over the top, but it was not the normal guests chatting and sharing their experiences.

The afternoon boat trips were great fun with deep water swimming in the warm lake and fishing. Marcia again showed her fishing expertise as she caught four times as many fish as Mike. We had the fish as sashimi for a bar snack prior to dinner.

The real magic of our stay at Mahali were the chimps. We were in a party of four guests, the excellent guide Mwiga and a very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable park ranger Hussain. We had great chimp sightings on the first two days and watched a big group playing, grooming and fighting on our first two treks. The hour we were allowed to view them each day flew past.One of the amusing highlights was when one of the chimps decided to sit with us when we were watching a group of other chimps playing. The treks were quire challenging especially the second day when we went right off path to be with the chimps and we were grateful to Hussain who helped Mike on the steeper bits .

On the third day the trackers struggled to find the chimps but we went on a less challenging trek and were rewarded with a sighting of a red tail monkey, excellent sightings of red Colubus monkeys plus numerous birds and other small species

Mahali was not an easy place to get to but it was definitely worth the travel to have a magical experience

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