Gombe Stream National Park safaris, tours & holiday packagesChimp tracking on sparkling Lake Tanganyika
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Long associated with chimpanzee guru Jane Goodall, Gombe Stream ranks among the finest places to track these charismatic apes anywhere in Africa.
Tanzania’s smallest national park and one of its most remote, Gombe Stream extends over 52 square kilometres of hilly terrain climbing from the shores of Lake Tanganyika to the top of the Rift Valley escarpment. It is best known as the site of the chimpanzee research project that was established in the 1960s by Jane Goodall and is still ongoing today.
Some 100 chimpanzees are resident in the park, split into three communities, one of which is exceptionally well habituated to human visitors. Chimp tracking is the undoubted highlight of any visit to Gombe Stream, particularly during the dry season, when the primates forage on the lower slopes of the escarpment and can be located easily.
Gombe has such an evocative setting, particularly at night when the lamps of distant fishing boats bob on the lake, and coming face to face with the chimp community made famous by Jane Goodall is a real thrill.
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Chimps aside, Gombe harbours a varied fauna for a park of its small size. The olive baboons that hang out near the rest camp have been the subject of research since 1967, while other common primates include vervet, blue, red-tailed and red colobus monkeys (the last are frequently seen while searching for chimps).
Some 200 bird species have been recorded. Palm-nut vultures and African fish-eagles perch on lakeside trees, and the lovely and normally elusive Peter’s twinspot are easily spotted in the rest camp.
Lake Tanganyika is itself a wonderful apparition, a narrow but deep body of startlingly clear water that runs along the Congolese border for more than 600 kilometres. Most visitors to Gombe pass through the port of Kigoma, from where it is a short diversion to Ujiji, the lakeshore village in which Henry Stanley is said to have uttered the immortal phrase "Dr. Livingstone, I presume"!
Gombe Stream Map
Gombe Stream's location on Google Maps