Wednesday, August 31, 2011


A frequent visitor to camp is a female family of Warthogs. They love to munch on the Palm nuts so its easy to tell when they are getting close as I can hear a load cracking sound as they open the nuts in their strong jaws. Yesterday we were happy to see that the young girls are nearly fully grown and hopefully more than a match for the local Leopard.

Look at those little tusks, see mums tail in the background which was bitten off by a leopard.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You won't see these fish in any other lake.

There are around 400 species of fish that live in Lake Tanganyika and 98% are endemic, meaning they are found no where else. Ed Erickson brought his underwater camera to Mahale and kindly gave me some interesting photos of these Tanganyika fish which he took while snorkeling in front of the Lodge.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

An early morning thunder storm

At 5am the lightning started followed by rolling thunder, it then proceeded to rain heavily for 2 hours. When it stopped the light coming over mountains cast an strange glow over the camp. Not normal for the middle of the dry season.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Swimming in Lake Tanganyika

One of my favorite things to do on a beautiful evening on Lake Tanganyika is to cruise right out from the coast, hang the ladder off the back of the boat and dive into the crystal clear fresh water. It feels eerie knowing that you are swimming in depths greater than 4000 feet. Tina and Katrin Weitzel took my advice and enjoyed a refreshing plunge and a gin and tonic while watching the setting sun.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Birthday wish

Brian Fredrick's birthday wish came true yesterday when he trekked and found Chimpanzees relaxing on a dry river bed.

Mums protective hand is never far away.

Kalunde the King maker.

Kalunde is keeping an eye on Brian.
Thanks for great photos Brian.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Scouting for fruit

Michio and Nkombe visited camp this morning. They walked along the beach and up the path past my office and climbed into the trees. It took them 2 minutes to decide the fruit in the tree was not ripe enough and off they went back the way they came. Almost like a scouting party who will report back to the higher ranking Chimpanzee’s, one or two more weeks and the fruit will be just right.

 Walking up from the beach

 Climbing the tree.
 Leaving camp
 Michio on his way back to the main group to report, no ripe fruit at Greystoke, yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mahale Award Ceremony

Kiri and I have just had the pleasure of hosting another wonderful group of guests. Last night we sat overlooking Lake Tanganyika and had a mini award ceremony while enjoying cocktails.

Couples awards:
Spike and Cathy – Chillaxation award in recognition of your superior abilities to relax under the most difficult circumstances.
Donna and Frank – The Lion award for slaying a tsetse fly through Donna’s pants.
Ruth and Les – Tsetse fly award for most heroic encounter with the Tsetse fly’s and diverting them away from the rest of the group.
Quinten and Toni – Stinky hippo award.
Betty and David – Birds and the bee’s award, enough said here.

The most memorable moments on Safari were:
The massive flock of Pink Flamingos that blotted out the sky as they flew over the vehicles.
Orion (Chimpanzee) charging past everyone on the path and flinging himself from tree to tree.
The big herd of Elephants that rushed through the river and past the vehicles in the Serengeti.
The Hammer Kop and Kingfisher sitting on the back of a Katavi hippo.
The Wildebeest crossing a river during the migration.

Honorable mentions:
Les is awarded the “Dung ho” medal for his encyclopedic knowledge of animal dung (we can also call this the King of Kak or the Pharaoh of poo).
David gets the white roll award for the most toilet stops in the Serengeti.
Order of the Blue spotted Lampril goes to Betty for believing that this is actually an African bird.
Finally the most prestigious award – Alpha male was not awarded to Quinten or Les as expected but went to the true Alpha male …. Pimu.

We hope to see everyone back in Tanzania soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The hunt that went wrong

Chimpanzees love Red Colobus Monkeys, not to play with but to eat. A fully grown Red Colobus weighs about 12kg compared to 50kg for a male Chimp. Chimpanzees will organize themselves into hunting parties and surround a Colobus Monkey, trap it and kill it. A few days ago the Durant family was lucky enough to watch Chimpanzees hunting a troop of Colobus. It all went wrong though. Just as the Chimpanzees looked like they had the Colobus trapped, three big male Colobus monkeys ganged up and chased Pimu the Alpha male through the trees. How embarrassing! Not so tough are you Pim!!

 Olivia Durant was able to snap this photo of a Red Colobus leaping through the trees but unfortunately the chase happened too fast.

 A male Red Colobus Monkey.
Thanks for the Photos Olivia.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Primus's power play

We thought or I thought that young Primus would try to form an alliance with Orion or Alofu and challenge the Alpha male (Pimu) to become the number 1 Chimpanzee within the M community. However, Primus has decided to take a conventional approach to get to the top and has started to challenge Alofu who is currently the number 2. Alofu is 28 and an experienced campaigner who was once the Alpha male himself. In stead of being drawn into a fight with Primus, Alofu has been hanging out away from the action. Yesterday he walked through camp with his good friend Vera.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Our outdoor workshop

Greystoke Mahale is a very remote Lodge. When something breaks down we usually have to fix it here. Mato and Musa often double as boat drivers and mechanics.

 From left, Mato, Musa and the local fundi Hamisi.