Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8000ft Mahale Mountains rising behind.
Greystoke Mahale, places a great deal of importance on not dominating its sensational natural surroundings. Just six wood and thatch bandas are tucked back into the forest line, so that your only view is of beach, and the lake beyond and created almost entirely from sustainable materials sourced on Lake Tanganyika itself.
All the wood was reclaimed from wrecked or retired dhows bought (after much haggling) from villages along the lakeshore. Old fisherman’s canoes have been turned into ladders and thatch from palm trees gathered outside the national park for the roofs.
Each banda at Greystoke Mahale has an en-suite bathroom – accessible by a short boardwalk – with hot and cold running water, strong showers and flush toilets as well as a dressing room and upstairs chill-out deck.
The main mess is the only structure on the beach and the focal point of camp. Here is where you can look out over the lake to the mountains of the Congo in the haze beyond. Your days can start there, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the chimps 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.
Greystoke Mahale affects guests in a way that no other place does; its remoteness, mountains rising from the beach, the wide lake with its many different moods and the feeling that you are the only ones there.