Gombe Stream 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 behaviour of the endangered chimpanzees.
Gombe was designated as a game reserve in 1943, was upgraded into a national park status in 1968. The park is located 16 km north of Kigoma town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. It covers an area of 56 square kilometers and is a fragile habitat for chimpanzee.
Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Kigoma Region, Tanzania, 10 miles (20 km) north of Kigoma, the capital of Kigoma Region. Gombe National Park was established in 1968, Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania and its known for hosting the primates called Chimpanzee and it’s the only national park in Tanzania where Chimpanzee Tracking can be enjoyed once traveling to Tanzania, with only 20 square miles (52 km2) of forest running along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
Gombe National park is 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 Stream’s 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.
The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest. Accessible only by boat, the park is most famous as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioural research conducted on the chimpanzee populations. The Kasakela chimpanzee community, featured in several books and documentaries, lives in Gombe Stream National Park.
Gombe Stream’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys have also been known to hybridize in the area. The park is also home to over 200 bird species and bush pigs. There are also 11 species of snakes, and occasional hippopotami and leopards. Visitors to the park can trek into the forest to view the chimpanzees, as well as swim and snorkel in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colourful cichlid fish.
Gombe is the smallest of all the Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall. The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community – that was only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe – is still regularly seen by visitors.