Embark on an unforgettable journey to Gombe Stream National Park, a hidden gem in Tanzania that offers a unique primate adventure. This guide provides essential information for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania, including details on booking chimpanzee permits, transportation, reliable tour operators, and the best times to visit. Let us be your comprehensive resource as you explore Gombe National Park, the second Eastern Chimpanzee Tracking destination, known for its breathtaking bird watching and serene sailing experiences on Lake Tanganyika.
Gombe Stream National Park, nestled on the western border shared by Tanzania and the Congo, gained global recognition through the groundbreaking work of Jane Goodall. This renowned primatologist spent numerous years studying the behavior of endangered chimpanzees within its lush forests. The park’s history dates back to its designation as a game reserve in 1943, later elevated to national park status in 1968. Situated just 16 km north of Kigoma town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania, this park spans an area of 56 square kilometers, providing a fragile yet vital habitat for chimpanzees.
Gombe National Park is nestled along the untamed shores of Lake Tanganyika, offering pristine landscapes and captivating views of the lake. Beyond chimpanzee trekking, this sanctuary entices visitors with hiking and swimming adventures. The park’s location on the western border of Tanzania and the Congo is renowned for Jane Goodall’s pioneering chimpanzee research. Gombe, initially designated as a game reserve in 1943, was later granted national park status in 1968. It covers 56 square kilometers of land and is a delicate ecosystem that sustains the chimpanzee population.
Accessing Gombe Stream National Park, nestled in the western Kigoma Region of Tanzania, can be an exciting adventure in itself. Located just 10 miles (20 km) north of Kigoma, the capital of Kigoma Region, Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania. Stretching over 20 square miles (52 km2), this park hugs the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, featuring steep slopes, river valleys, and lush forests.
Gombe National Park, with its untamed shores and lush forests, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. While chimpanzee trekking remains the highlight, activities like hiking and swimming also draw visitors seeking unforgettable experiences. Notably, Gombe is Tanzania’s smallest national park, a slender strip of chimpanzee habitat perched along the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The park’s chimpanzees, habituated to human presence, became famous thanks to the groundbreaking research conducted by Jane Goodall. Even today, visitors can encounter Fifi, the matriarch and the last surviving member of the original chimpanzee community studied by Goodall.
Reaching Gombe National Park is an adventure in itself. Unlike many national parks in Tanzania, this park cannot be accessed by road due to its location in the rift valley. Instead, visitors have two main options: air or boat. The nearest town, Kigoma, has an airstrip, making air travel a viable choice. Travelers from Arusha or Nyerere Airport can catch a domestic flight to Kigoma airstrip. From there, a brief 10-minute boat ride transports you to the lodge and into the heart of the national park.
Are you planning an adventure holiday to Tanzania to witness chimpanzees in Gombe National Park? While chimpanzee tracking is available year-round, there are months when lodges close temporarily for renovation, ensuring your stay is as comfortable as possible. Be mindful of these periods to optimize your safari experience in Gombe Stream National Park.