Gombe National Park
PRESENTATION OF THE PARK
Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Kigoma Region, Tanzania, some 20 km north of Kigoma. Established in 1968, Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania, with only 52 sq. km of forest running along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. It is located only 100km north of Mahale Mountains National Park and is accessible only by boat.
The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest. Gombe Stream is best known as the place where Jane Goodall did her pioneering studies on chimpanzees, beginning in the 1960s. It’s one of the two places in Tanzania for a chimpanzee safari.
The chimps don’t roam as far in the wet summer season so may be easier to find on walks and hikes through the forest. It might be better to visit between February and June, or during November and December when there is a higher likelihood of being able to observe the chimps while they are less active. There are no guarantees, but most guests allow 2 days for a chimpanzee trek.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARK ?
Is one of the few places where chimpanzees can still be found in their natural Habitat.
• Dr. Jane Goodall and her colleagues have lived here studying the primates since 1960
The park has no roads, which allows you to walk and experience nature with all of your sense
• Ujiji, near Kigoma, was the site of Stanley’s meeting with Livingstone and uttered those famous words, “Dr Livingstone, I presume?”
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 the Chequered elephant shrew.
Bird life found here includes Ross’s and Livingston’s Turacco, the African and the trumpeter hornbills, pied and giant kingfishers, tropical boubous, white browed coucal, and the crowned eagle.
The Kakombe Waterfall is where the Kakombe stream tumbles about 20m down a rocky cliff.
Gombe Stream Game Viewing and Activities
Best known for its habituated chimpanzee population, Gombe Stream National Park provides visitors with a unique opportunity to witness these incredible primates (sharing 98% of our human DNA) in their natural habitat, being conserved and protected to sustain their fragile existence. After the invaluable work of Jane Goodall, who dedicated her life to the conservation of the Gombe Stream chimps from the 1960s, wildlife programs have broadcast from within the park, frequently featuring one of the families that can be visited in the park today.
Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream include beachcomber olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys and vervet monkeys. The Park is also home to over 200 bird species, as well as providing a home to a vast number of bush pigs. There are 11 species of snakes, and also a number of hippos and leopards, as well as bushbuck, Palm-nut vultures and Fish eagles.
Truly biodiversity, Gombe Stream is an undiscovered paradise where visitors can trek into the forest to observe chimpanzees, or swim and snorkel in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish. Gombe Stream is the perfect place for a walking safari, allowing guests to cool off along the way with a dip in one of the many streams that dissect the park.
Gombe Stream Seasons and Climate
Gombe Stream National Park is located close to the equator, making the climate warm and humid throughout the year. Evenings remain warm, unlike parks found in the north, cooling down to a temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius, while average daily temperatures get to be about 25 degrees.
Variations in climate are common due to the wide range in altitudes, and temperatures therefore rise and drop according to height. Areas open to tourists are mainly found where the altitudes are lower, therefore cooler.
The dry season is from May to October, which is when the chimpanzees are likely to be seen in big groups, however they tend to move around more at this time. The wet season continues from November to April, bringing the rains in the form of afternoon thunderstorms that seldom last the whole day.
There is very limited accommodation in Gombe Stream National Park, but due to its close proximity to Kigoma, guests can stay in town and transfer to Gombe for daily activities. We recommend the following accommodation options for the best experience:
Gombe Forest Lodge offers complete privacy by catering for just 14 guests at a time. Spacious safari tents, carefully positioned under the shade of huge mango trees face Lake Tanganyika. The tents are positioned on raised wooden platforms and are decorated with distinct African flair and locally produced furniture.
Gombe Luxury Tented Camp is located near the Mitumba stream at the northern end of Gombe Stream National Park. The location of the camp is exceptional, placed right on the lakeshore with an extensive private beach. All the tents are designed and constructed under big shady trees with views that make the most of what this unique beach front forest location.
Set on a remote rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma Hilltop Hotel the perfect overnight location for guests visiting Gombe Stream, which is only a few kilometers away by boat. There are 30 newly refurbished cottage-style rooms, all boasting private verandas.
How to Get There?
Safaris in Tanzania begin at Arusha, which is situated close to the northern safari locations.
Tanzania Adventures will fly guests to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is the primary receiving airport in Tanzania. This airport is only a few kilometers away from Arusha airport, which is the safari node of the country and where most light air transfers take off from.
Once guests have landed at Kilimanjaro, they will connect with a road transfer that will take them to Arusha airport. Depending on timing of guests’ itinerary, they might spend a night in Arusha before heading off on a scheduled flight to an airstrip or airport nearer their safari destination.
Gombe Stream National Park is located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. It is only accessible by boat. Guests will fly from Arusha to Kigoma or even board on a 24 hours adventurous ride by an express train from Dar es Salaam, and then, embark on a boat transfer to the park. Motor boats will take an hour, while lake taxis can take up to 3 hours to reach Gombe.
Trekking with chimps in Gombe Stream National Park, An experience you will never Forget!
Book Gombe Stream National Park with Fronny Expeditions today!