Marked as the smallest national park, Gombe is one of the few places where Chimpanzees can still be found in their natural habitat. Perfect for game viewing, snorkeling and swimming in the lake and its streams.
Situated on the wild shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views. Hiking and swimming are also popular activities here, once the day’s expedition to see the Chimpanzees is over.
Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of Chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its Chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioral research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world. The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community, only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe, is still regularly seen by visitors. The park’s 200-odd bird species range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter’s twin spots that hop tamely around the visitors’ center.
. One of the few places where Chimpanzees can still be found in their natural habitat.
. The park have no roads, which allows you to walk and experience nature with all of your senses.
. Ujiji, near Kigoma, was the site of Stanley’s famous meeting with Livingstone.
. Following animals can be found in the park – Chimpanzees, Red Colobus, colorful Red- tail and Blue Monkeys, Olive baboon, African Civet, Palm civet, genet, Grey duiker, bushbuck, bush baby, bush pig, White-tailed mongoose, Marsh mongoose, Giant rat and Cheered Elephant shrew.
. Bird life found here includes Ross’s and Livingston’s Turaco, the African and the trumpeter hornbills, pied and giant kingfishers, tropical booboos, white browed caudal, and the crowned eagle.
. The Kakombe Waterfall is where the Kakombe stream tumbles about 20m down a rocky cliff.
WHEN TO GO
Wet Seasons (February to June and November to December). Rainfall is about 1600mm but can exceed 2600mm.
Dry Seasons (July to October and Late December ).
. The absence of carnivores make the Park ideal for chimpanzee trekking and hiking and one should allow at least two days to find the chimpanzees.
. Swimming and snorkeling is popular in the Lake and streams. The Mitumba Valley, the Rift, the Kakombe Waterfall and the Chimpanzee Feeding Station can all be seen on foot not being that far apart.
. Visit the site of Henry Stanley’s famous “Dr Livingstone I presume” at Ujiji, near Kigoma and watch the renowned dhow builders at work.