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“A real privilege to visit Mahale and to stay here”
Review of Kungwe Beach Lodge

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Kungwe Beach Lodge
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A real privilege to visit Mahale and to stay here”
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Our visit to the Mahale Mountains, staying in Kungwe Lodge, was a real highlight of our trip to East Africa and is one of the most incredible places we have ever been to. It was a real privilege to be able to spend time with the chimpanzees and we had some very memorable close encounters. Mahale is hard to get to and is expensive but it was well worth it and we are so glad that we splurged and stayed here. The lodge itself is lovely, set on a beautiful white sand beach on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. The lush forest starts right behind the lodge and goes up the mountains. The food was pretty good and very fresh - the last night's beach dinner was especially good. Chimp tracking was the highlight but even just walking through the jungle was a great experience - it felt like Tarzan! The lake was beautiful and it was a great place to relax as well. I wasn't willing to swim here as we had seen crocs and hippos but we did take out a kayak and explore with that. Just a pointer - if you're going to lounge around at the beach, either keep covered or go to town with the deet because there are tse tse flies. I got bitten big time.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Loui-fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

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Livingstone, Zambia
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2011

The lodge is set at the foot of the magnificent mountains, and the staff are what make this lodge so amazing. It is isolated, peaceful and absolutely beautiful. The food is outstanding, and is the perfect platform to view the magnificent chimps that still live in the wild in this remote area, as well as other wildlife that visit the lodge daily. Well worth the trip!!! Thanks to the amazing staff for the attention to detail and excellent and outstanding service.

Room Tip: All the tents are amazing!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Florence Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queens, NY
Level 6 Contributor
48 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2011

I have to be honest and say that I literally cried the whole plane ride leaving Mahale because of how much I was sad to leave. Kungwe Beach Lodge and the chimp tracking was the favorite part of our East Africa trip.

The lake was amazingly beautiful and relaxing (although loud like the ocean at times!) We had a difficult time finding the chimps but we did see them 2 out of the 3 days we trekked and the strenuous hike was absolutely worth it....and it was fun too! We were completely in awe of them and couldn't believe how they just walk right passed us!! We loved our guide Given and all the staff at Kungwe. Bernard the manager arranged a birthday celebration for cake with me and helped me with my continuing learning of Swahili.
Oh and Laundry Service was GREAT..thx!
We were very lucky in that we came in between 2 larger groupd of guests so it was just us and one other couple the whole time we were there. Oh, and we loved Andrew our waiter and the food and especially the desserts!!!.were really really good. Oh, and the South african wine was delish Rooms were really nice with view of the lake....really just loved everything and I wanted to live there forever.

If the staff reads this they will remember that I said, "Ningetaka kubaki kwa usiku hamsini zaidi"!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank grubyrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiesbaden
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2011

I stayed here with my husband for four nights at the end of August 2011 as part of a safari circuit in Southern Tanzania.

It is really not very easy to get to, but if you are interested in watching chimpanzees in their natural habitat, you should go for it! We deliberately booked 4 nights as we had heard that it might be very difficult to view the chimpanzees. But after a mere walk of about 10 minutes on the first day of our stay, we found ourselves right in the middle of them. It was even a bit frightening, especially as my husband got hit by one extremely unbehaved male (Orion) when they crossed paths. In three days that followed we had constant contact with this chimpanzee group, that comprises about 65 individuals. These primates have been habituated by Japanese scientists since 1963 (well done guys!). We were told that it would not be possible for tourists to see them if they were still really wild. They even came to our camp to feed on the olive tree next to tent no 7. We saw them eating, playing, mating and hunting a Red Colobus Monkey (not my favorite scene - but very authentic indeed!!).

Apart from chimp tracking you can go kayaking on or swimming in the fantastically clear and clean and HUGE Lake Tanganyika. We also did a boat trip to a place where there were hippos and crocodiles. The Mahale Mountains are unbelievably beautiful and on this boat trip you can really enjoy them.

The tents are new, clean, well layed out and have enough space between them to ensure privacy. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the food REALLY good. I would like to specially thank our guides Given and Peter once again for all the great chimp encounters and the valuable, detailled and all-embracing information they had to offer about their proteges. The knew every chimp by their names!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
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4 Thank TheodorWiesbaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2010

We were the only guests for two of the three nights we were there so we had the wonderful staff and guides to ourselves. The lodge is in a magical spot on Lake Tanganyika. The chalets all look out onto this beautiful and very deep lake. The chalets were spotlessly clean, the laundry service prompt and perfect. The beds so comfortable I wanted to stay in bed all morning. The food is fabulous. Beware - the trekking in the summer months can be long and arduous to find the magical chimps. But worth every step. Bring sturdy shoes and well conditioned legs as you may have to hike for as long as three or four hours to find the chimps if they are high in the surrounding mountains. The guides and trackers are real pros so if the chimps are any where near - they will find them.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank letsgo8833
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2010

We stayed at Kungwe beach as greystoke was full. At first we were upset as we had our heart set on Greystoke as we were travelling with Natural high Safari, HOWEVER we lucked out. The lodge has been completely renovated and sits next to greystoke. The staff and grounds could not have been nicer. Since were were the ONLY persons at the resort we had our guide and tracker all to ourselves- we even snickered while passing the larger (albeit small) groups from greystoke. The experience is amazing- you leave in the morning after the trackers have searched for the Chimps and hike. Since August is a great time of the year for viewing as the vegetation is LOW (critical)the chimps are very close wihtin an hour hiking. We were able to spend the maximum amount with the chimps each day with minimal heavy hiking. Others we met along the rest of our trips in Tanzania were not so lucky some never even saw them- We however spent 4 days with the chimps- they are wonderful- personable and even throw things at you as a sign of affection we are told. The resort sits on the lake and fishing and kayaking are fun
It is a bit of a trek to get there with multiple stops and a boat ride- but worth the effort. You should bring high hiking boots- NO sneakers

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank marikim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kungwe Beach Lodge

Property: Kungwe Beach Lodge
Address: Mahale Mountains National Park 20965, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Kigoma Region > Mahale Mountains National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Mahale Mountains National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kungwe Beach Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a stretch of golden sandy beach and overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika the recently refurbished Kungwe Beach Lodge is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury in a romantic setting.The light, airy and spacious tents are furnished in the traditional ‘safari’ style, with unbeatable sunsets over the mountains of Congo. In the gathering darkness fishermen’s lanterns light up across the lake, mirroring the stars above.Candlelit dinners are served either on the beach or in our dining area, to the unique sounds of Africa - beetles, crickets and the night calls of chimpanzees, the perfect way to relax after a perfect day! As well as being famous for chimpanzee tracking, this part of Lake Tanganyika offers some of the best fresh water fishing in Tanzania. Here you can catch ‘Sangara’ (Nile Perch), ‘Kuhe’ (Yellow Belly) to name just a few.So be it a strenuous chimpanzee trek, a scenic boat trip, an adventurous fishing excursion or just time spent relaxing on cushioned sun beds while listening to the lapping of the waves, your stay at Kungwe Beach Lodge will be a memorable experience to take away with you. ... more   less 

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