Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome to Mahale

Welcome to Greystoke Mahale’s new blog site. Cut off from the worries of the outside world Greystoke is a world famous lodge where you can enjoy spectacular scenery, while swimming (beware of the Crocodiles, and water Cobra’s) or boating on Lake Tanganyika, or relaxing on its white sand beaches. We live on a stretch of sand called Kangwena beach which is about one and half hours by boat from our small airstrip. Oh, I nearly forgot, here you can also personally meet a very special cousin of ours the Eastern Robust Chimpanzee.

Thanks to Kyoto University Mahale National Park is home to a unique community of Chimps who are so used to people that they carry on their daily lives while we can stand and watch seemingly with out bothering them. The Japanese have been studying the behavior of the M community since 1965 and have never given the Chimps a reason to distrust us, this means we have an incredible chance to get up and close to them. Its not unusual for Chimpanzee’s to brush past your legs as they move down the path, and a word of warning, always hold you walking stick behind your back our you might find it in the hands of a displaying Chimp.

We’ve worked in remote places before but nothing like Mahale. The Fiords of the South Island of New Zealand, Northern Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, and the central mountains of New Zealand’s North Island mustn’t have been enough so we decided to go one step further and move to the wilds of Africa.  Even the National parks of Zambia didn’t seem remote enough so here we are sitting on Kangwena beach looking out at the Congo. What’s next you might ask? Well apparently there may be a new species of ape yet to be photographed over in the Congo, who knows, maybe somebody can give us a grant to find them! Jokes aside, we are extremely lucky that Nomad have given us the chance to work in such a wild and exotic location like Mahale National Park.

Our blog will endeavor to show you a small slice of what life is like for the Mahale family that lives here, including, the guests, managers, 28 staff, and 700 Chimpanzees.
Untill next time. Steve, Kiri and the team.

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