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Gombe national park in Tanzania

Gombe National Park, 52 sq km (20 sq miles), Tanzania’s smallest national park. Located on the western border of Tanzania and the Congo, is most famous for Jane Goodall, the resident primatologist who spent many years in its forests studying the behavior of the endangered chimpanzees.

There are truly wild places in Tanzania, Gombe National Park is one of them. The nature value of Gombe was noticed in 1943 when it was designated as a game reserve. Gombe gained its popularity after the pioneering research activities of Dr Jane Goodall in 1960 which is believed to be the longest running study of primates in the world.

Conservation status was upgraded to that of a National Park in 1968 and opened for tourism in 1978 after chimpanzee habituated to human visitors. It is located 16 km north of Kigoma town on the shores of the world’s second deepest Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania with an area of 56 square kilometers.

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 National Park main attraction is obviously the chimpanzee families that live protected in the park’s boundaries. Guided walks are available that take visitors deep into the forest to observe and sit with the extraordinary primates for an entire morning — an incredible experience and one that is the highlight of many visitors’ trips to Africa. Besides chimpanzee viewing, many other species of primates live in Gombe Stream’s tropical forests. Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes inhabit the dense forest, in addition to a wide variety of tropical birdlife.


best time to visit Gombe

Gombe Stream National Park is visitable on most of the year. However, the wet season, from November to April, is a preferable time to be at the park. The access is difficult and trekking is slippery. Besides, the lodges find March and April a good time fot maintenance. It is hard to find accommodation during these months. 

During the sry season, from June to September, there is very little rain or no rain at all. It is when the weather is humid and warm, with plenty of sunshine.

Chimps are observable and easy to find on the lower sloped during the dry period. Sometimes, they are even close to the camps or roaming along the sandy shores. 

Bird watching time is between December to March. Hundreds of resident and migratory species such as pelicans, storks, ospreys, vultures, rollers, barbets, cuckoos, hawks, eagles, owls, cormorants and many more can be witnessed in the park.


how to get to Gombe national park?

Drive, schedule or charter a flight from Dar es salaam, Mwanza or Arusha or take a slow or fast train from Dar es salaam or ferry along the shore of Lake Tanganyika from Burundi or Zambia to Kigoma. To reach Gombe you must travel by boat from Kigoma. Depending on your budget, there’s an option of speed boat, which takes much less time- or passenger’s boat, which takes longer about 4 hrs.Boat ride is an amazing trip.


Where to stay in Gombe national park?

Our favorite  Accommodation facilities in Tarangire National Park.

Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge,

Gombe Bandas

What activities are there to do in gombe national park?

Chimpanzee Wild viewing
 The highlight of the park is the chimpanzee families that reside there protected in the park’s boundaries. 

Guided Walks
Visitors can easily have guided walks where they can dig deep into the forest, observe and get closer to extraordinary primates for an entire morning. It is an unforgettable experience. 

Wildlife Viewing
There are many other species besides chimpanzee to enjoy while being in Gombe such as Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes, besides various tropical birdlife.

 Lake Tanganyika
African great Lake, one of the attractions in Gombe National Park. This is the longest and deepest lake in Africa and the second deepest lake in the world


Top Highlights

  • Tanzania’s smallest national park
  • Gombe gained its popularity after the pioneering research activities of Dr Jane Goodall in 1960
  • Main attraction is obviously the chimpanzee families that live protected in the park’s boundaries



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