On the western boarder of Tanzania and Congo lies Gombe National Park, the Park is most famous for Jane Goodall, the resident primatologist who spent many years in its forests studying the behaviour of the endangered chimpanzees. Gombe is the smallest of all the Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat spanning the steep slopes and river valleys that edge in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
Gombe Stream located on the wild shores of Lake Tanganyika, 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, not to forget a wide variety of tropical birdlife.
An eager whoop erupts from deep in the forest, boosted immediately by a dozen other voices, rising in volume and tempo and pitch to a frenzied shrieking crescendo. It is the famous ‘pant-hoot’ call: a bonding ritual that allows the participants to identify each other through their individual vocal stylizations. To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream becomes a spine-chilling outburst which is also an indicator of looming visual contact with man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.
The park’s 200-odd bird species range from the iconic Fish Eagles to the jewel-like Peter’s twinspots that hop tamely around the visitors’ centre. Such an opportunity to site!
About Gombe Stream National Park
Size: 52 sq km (20 sq miles), Tanzania’s smallest National Park.
Location: 16 km (10 miles) north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.
Kigoma is connected to Dar and Arusha by scheduled flights, to Dar and Mwanza by a slow rail service, to Mwanza, Dar and Mbeya by rough
From Kigoma, local lake-taxis take up to three hours to reach Gombe, or motorboats can be chartered, taking less than one hour.
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