Gombe Stream National Park
Situated on the white sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream is an untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views. It is one of only two places in Tanzania where you can trek to see wild chimpanzees. When combined with Katavi and the Mahale Mountains, it is an excellent choice for travellers wanting a secluded safari experience.
Gombe Stream National Park, Overview
Spanning just over 14 square miles on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream is Tanzania’s smallest national park. It is one of three places where you can see chimpanzees in Tanzania. The park’s diverse topography comprises vast grasslands, dense woodland areas and tropical rain forest, bisected by steep valleys, rivers and streams of water. Famously, this is the site where Jane Goodall completed most of her pioneering chimpanzee research. The resident primatologist spent many years in Gombe observing the behaviour of Chimpanzees, an endangered species. Thanks to Jane Goodall, Many of the chimpanzee troops here are habituated (used to humans), meaning you can trek to see them up-close in their natural forest habitat.Gombe is home to many rare primates alongside chimpanzees. There are olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.
The best time to visit Gombe
The best time to visit Gombe Stream National Park is from June to September, during the dry season. Trekking through the forest is easier at this time of year, and the likelihood of seeing the chimps increases. Gombe has one continuous wet season from November to April, and we advise you to avoid this time, as nature walks are less enjoyable in the mud and rain and likely lead to cancellation.
From Dar es Salaam the best way to get to Gombe Stream National park is by domestic flight to Kigoma. There are daily scheduled flights, and they take approximately 2 hours. From Arusha, only shared charter flights are available, and they operate twice a week. Driving is not recommended due to the rough terrain and long distances. Trains and buses are also available but can take up to 2 days if travelling from Dar es Salaam and are not recommended for people who like the luxury and comfort of travelling in business class.