This is the smallest of Tanzania’s National Parks and was formed in 1968 to give protection to its resident chimpanzees, made famous by Dr Jane Goodall. It is a narrow strip of land along the shores of Lake Tanzania, which rises into mountainous folds and valleys full of towering oil nut palms and tall indigenous trees dangling with intertwining vines.
There are no roads, no phones and no electricity. This is real jungle and in it the creatures of Africa rule. It is a real life Tarzan movie set.
Chimps are king of the treetops, but the canopy also harbours red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and olive baboons. Many of the chimpanzees are habituated to humans as a result of ongoing research since the 1960’s. Respect and understanding are key to rewarding chimp encounters.
On the lakeshore pied wagtails and sandpipers dash in and out of the lapping waves and butterflies rise in confetti-like clouds. Palm nut vultures glide over the lakeshore. Young baboons play in the water, sometimes even submerging themselves, which is rarely seen outside this park. Elephants, buffaloes and leopards also inhabit this park.
Dry Season: May to October is dry and the best time for forest walks, although the light rains of October and November are also fine. Mid-December to February are dry and hot.
Rainy Season: the long rains are from March to May when insects come to life and the forest becomes very slippery.
Gombe Stream Specialties
- Close encounters with chimpanzees
- Foot safaris into real African jungle
- Lake Tanganyika – an inland sea
Gombe is Tanzania’s smallest National Park having gained its status in 1968.
It is situated at the country’s western border with Zambia, which cuts through the middle of Lake Tanganyika. This is a malarial area.