Mahale Mountains National Park is Tanzania’s far west. We will tell you everything that has ever been written about this place thinking it was enough to prepare you to the sensational Mahale adventure. Wherever you come from, they will fasten your seat belts on a small 12-seats plane that flies to Mahale, then embark you on a big motorized dhow in the fresh water of Tanganica Lake and offer you heavenly pineapple and mango skewers. At an unspecified moment during this long journey the true magic, the imaginative spot, the wonderful hallucination begins. When all the mud-and-straw villages along the beach end, when you pass the Japanese research centre that has been studying for fifty years the wild chimpanzee that live on these mountains, when there is only the greenest rain forest, you will see a huge pelican called Big Bird on the top of a massive yellow-straw hut and someone barefoot on the beach waving their hands to welcome you. Greystoke is more hippie-style than expected, you will become more hippie-like than you were at your arrival, and you will definitely like it. Put together the following elements: six ‘huts’ with private showers hidden in the forest, an iridescent lake as clear as the sea, the profile of Congo mountains, one hour a day spent watching some members of the M-Group 64-chimpanzee community, the warm pancakes and their maple syrup, the rosemary focaccia, the yellow-belly wasabi sashimi, Big Bird, the amateur fishing, the gin at sunset, the burning fire and the stars, the relaxed care revealed by each detail, and the laughs and hilarious stories of the park guides, ‘the chimpanzee men’, as they call them in the village.
Words Paola Corini. Translation Alessia Andriolo. Thanks to Nomad Tanzania.