Gombe, 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 gained its popularity after the research of Dr Jane Goodall which is believed to be the longest running study of primates in the world.
How to get there
By boat: Board public boat (up to four hours) or motor boat (two hours). The motor boat can be directly at the park information center located in Kigoma town.
To get to Kigoma:
By air: scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam and Mwanza cities or from Arusha by chartered flights.
By rail: from Dar es Salaam or by ferry from Mpulungu in Zambia.
By road: from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Mwanza.
Best time to visit
Chimpanzee can be trekked throughout the year. However, for plants/insects and better chimpanzee spotting, the best time is during wet season (November to mid May) and for the best photo taking (May to October).
Chimpanzee trekking– This activity is conducted from 0630 – 1830 hrs.
Filming Hiking to Jane’s peak view point
This view point offers a spectacular view of the park and Lake Tanganyika. While at the view point one can hear chimpanzee calling and screaming. The hike takes about two hours from kasekela. No Additional fees apart from the conservation fees
Over 200 birds species fly around, varying from the African crowned eagle that hunts monkeys, to the iconic fish eagle, three kinds of kingfisher and the bright Peters twins pots. Another remarkable character is the palm-nut vulture; a near-vegetarian common to Lake Tanganyika that prefers fruits over carcasses.
Hugo van Lawick in 1988 filmed people of the forest – the chimps of Gombe.
Filming fee: US $ 180 charged per person/day and covers conservation, camping and filming fees. This is applicable to all nationalities.
Main Tourist attractions
The Chimpanzee are Sharing more than 98% of our genes, it’s a look of recognition from our closest animal relative.
Colobus, Red-tailed and Blue monkeys
The majority of the park’s mammals are primates, most of them forest species. Likely to be seen, in addition to the famous chimpanzees, are the colorful red-tailed and blue monkeys.
Kakombe and Mkenke waterfall
The longest and deepest lake in Africa which harbours about 350 species of fish, most of them endemic. The lake shore offers sun bathing and sunset viewing opportunities.