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Western Circuit National Parks

Western Circuit National Parks

Gombe Stream National Park

It is Tanzania ’s smallest park covering only 52 sq km, is located 16 km north of Kigoma town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and is reachable only by boat.

With thanks to Dr. Jane Goodall and her colleagues (who have been studying primates here since 1960), the Gombe Stream National Park is now one of the few places in the world that Chimpanzees can still be found in their natural habitat. Gombe is a place of different characters, just as unique as Chimpanzees are from humans; even though they share more than 95% of human genes!

The best place to spot them is at the Chimpanzee Feeding Station. Allow at least two days to see them as there are no assurances of where and when they will appear each day.

Gombe is a mountainous strip bordering the shore of Lake Tanganyika; which is heavily forested, making it unsuitable habitat for carnivores and therefore safe for walking safaris. There are no roads in the park, which allows you to walk and experience nature using all your senses.

The majority of mammals found in Gombe are primates such as Chimpanzees, Red Colobus, Colorful Red-tail and Blue Monkeys, Olive Baboons, as well as African Civet, Palm Civet and Genet from the cat family, as well as the shy Grey Duiker, Bushbuck, White-tailed Mongoose, Marsh Mongoose and so much more. Birdwatchers will be also richly rewarded; the wide variety of species including Ross’s and Livingston’s Turaco, African and Trumpeter Hornbills, Pied and Giant Kingfishers, Tropical Boubous, White browed Coucal, and Crowned Eagle.

Activities
Chimpanzee tracking, Hiking, Photography, Walking safaris, Bird-watching, Swimming and Snorkeling in Lake Tanganyika and forest streams etc.

When to go
During the rainy seasons (February to June or November to mid December) the chimpanzees are often easier to find as they do not wander very far. But drier months (from July through to October and late December to February) are better for photographing.

Accommodation
There is at a hostel and a few campsites within the Park, but one should be self sufficient and bring all supplies from Kigoma. Guesthouses and hotels can be found in Kigoma town.

Getting there
By air or by road from Dar es Salaam or Arusha or by train from Dar es Salaam or Mwanza to Kigoma and then a boat transfer (1-2h).