Gombe Stream National Park
It is the smallest National Park in Tanzania: a habitat for
chimpanzees, located between the slopes of the steppe and the
river valley that surrounds the shore of Lake Tanganyika.
Chimpanzees, accustomed to the presence of visitors, have become famous thanks to the English anthropologist Jane Goodall.
In 1960 she founded a research program on the behavior of these animals.
The matriarch Fifi (the last surviving member of the original community, who was only three years old when Goodall first set her foot on the Gombe) is still a regular visitor of the area.
The park has more than 200 species of birds: from the fish eagle to a diverse range of specimens flying peacefully around visitors centers.
Peculiarities of Gombe Stream National Park:
- it is one of the few environments where you can admire chimpanzees in their natural habitat;
- the park has no beaten roads, so you can walk in the midst of nature living a unique experience;
- Ujiji, located near Kigoma, was the famous meeting point between Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone: at the time, in 1871, they were the only two Europeans in Africa within a hundred kilometers range;
- in the park you will find numerous animals such as chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, white-nosed vervet, diadem vervet, green baboons, African civets, African palm owls, servaline genets, silvicapre, imbabala, dwarf galagoni, mongoose, mongooses of swamp, giant rodents and checkered elephant shrews;
- you can find many species of birds, including: Ross's turaco and Livingstone's turaco, hornbill trumpeter, spotted kingfisher and giant kingfisher, boubous tropical kingfisher, cucal with white eyebrows and crowned eagle;
- the waters of the Kakombe waterfall plunge for over 20 meters into the river bed.
What to do
Bird watching, climbing, walking safaris, wildlife safaris, camping.
It covers an area of 52 km² of dense forest; it is 16 km north of the city of Kigoma, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.
Kigoma is connected to Dar es Salaam
and Arusha by scheduled flights, to Dar
es Salaam and Mwanza by a slow train
service, to Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and Mbeya by bumpy roads and to
Mpulungu (Zambia) by a weekly ferry.
You can get to Gombe from Kigoma by ship, with motorboats it takes about an hour.
When to Go
In the wet season (which goes from February to June and from
November to December) rainfalls are around 1600 mm and can reach
up to 2600 mm.
The dry season, instead, goes from July to October and around the end of December.
In the period between April-May and August-September the winds are particularly strong, especially in the morning; these very often accompany the storms that usually come from the east.
During the rainy season the chimpanzees are not very active and so they are easier to find.