Mahale Mountains National Park, Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania - Classic 4
It's no exaggeration to say there is nowhere in the world like Greystoke Mahale. Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains rising behind.
Greystoke affects people in a way that no other place does; perhaps it's because of its remoteness, and because of the mountains rising from the beach at your backs, the wide lake with its many different moods and the feeling that you are the only ones here. With just six wood and thatch bandas set on the edge of the forest line at the base of the mountains your days can start there, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the chimpanzees and deciding what to do with your day. Evenings end with sundowners on the rocks of the headland, where drinks are served around the lamp-lit bar whilst the mountains, rising behind camp, disappear into the darkness.
When to Go
Our dry season in Mahale starts in June, when the long rains have stopped, and goes through to October. At this time of year the temperatures increase and the skies are quite hazy, the lake has never been more appealing for a cooling dip. As the dry season progresses, the chimps are more usually found in the lower slopes due to their favourite fruits being found lower down.
Mahale's green season runs from November through to March and this time of year is a photographers dream; the haze often prevalent through the dry season is washed away. The forest offers varied viewing, although the forest is at its best, full of the colour of wildflowers, birds and butterflies. The lake is clearest in these months with incredible views of the Congo in the distance.