The Gombe Stream National Park is located in the far western part along Tanzania’s border with the Congo, and its one of the best places to have a Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Tanzania. This park is best known for the works that Jane Goodall a primatologists who lived within its forests for several years as she studied the behavior of chimpanzees. The Gombe Stream NP which is located along the shores of Lake Tanganyika remains an untamed area with verdant forests offering a very conducive habitat for primates.
The chimpanzees living within its forest are the primary attraction of this park. There are guided walks conducted here during which tourists follow different trails and head on deep into the forest to search for the chimpanzees and spend some time with them. There are a number of other primates living within these tropical forests among which are: the baboons, colobus monkeys and the vervet monkeys. There are also a number other wildlife species inhabiting the forest like: forest pigs, different small antelope species and several bird species.
Checkout our Tanzania safari tour packages that can be customized to include a visit to Gombe National Park for Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania.
The Chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream is the smallest National park in Tanzania comprised of a tiny area stretches from the steep mountain slopes, down to the river valley that borders Lake Tanganyika. This park offers the best habitat for chimpanzees which have been habituated for humans to visit. The habituation works started back in the 1960s when Jane Goodall started a research program to study the chimps’ behavior, and to date that remains the longest running study in the entire world.
Fifi a female chimpanzee which is the only surviving member of the original chimp community that Jane study, back then it was just three (3) year old and today she is alive and can be seen by those who visit the park.
What special about the Chimpanzee?
The chimpanzee shares ninety eight (98%) of their DNA with human beings and there is no need to distinguish between man and the chimpanzee’s way of celebration of hooting, screaming and hooting.
During the chimpanzee trek, once you set foot into the forest, the quiet ambience will be interrupted with an excited hoot merging from the depth of the forest. Before long, this will be answered by several other voices with an increase in pitch, tempo and volume before this builds up into a hyperactive loudening scream. Well that is what is famously known as the Pant-Hoot-Call which is a connecting procedure or call it ritual through which the chimpanzee members are able to identify themselves through their personal vocals. The sound of these chimps echoing through the forest is somewhat terrifying and it increases your urge to come face to face with these forest giants.
Once you track down and find the chimps, you will be allowed to spend an hour with them. Then you can take pictures and have a close observation of these so called ‘cousins of man’. You will see how they feed, communicate, care for their young and take care of each other.
Always remember: chimpanzees are wild animals whose movements are not predictable. Therefore the park offers no guarantee for seeing them.
What to Pack on a Chimpanzee trekking Safari
There are a number of items that we always advise our clients to carry if going to participate in this activity, and these include:
- Hiking boots
- A walking stick
- A sweater since the forest is generally cold,
- A raincoat – should the rain get you up there
- Bottled water
- Woolen gloves to protect your hands as you ascend up the slopes while you cling to tree branches for support
Activities in Gombe Streams NP | What to do
There are a number of tourist activities you can embark on while on a Tanzania Safari here, among which are:
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Swimming in the lake
- Nature walks to watch birds and other primates.
- Visit Henry Stanley’s site located close to Kigoma at Ujiji to see the locals making dhows.
How to Get to Gombe Stream National Park
The park can be accessed by air transport and water transport. There are flights connecting from Arusha and Dar es Salaam to Kigoma. From Kigoma you will take either a lake taxi which takes about 3 hours to Gombe or a private motor boat that takes about one hour.
Best time to visit Gombe Stream National Park
During the wet season, the chimpanzees don’t move very far so they can be easily seen. However for better pictorial output (photography), the dry season is the best time to travel.
However you should keep in mind that during the wet season the forest trails are muddy and slippery which make the trek quite challenging. We as Safari Supremacy always advice our clients to pack strong hiking boots if they are going to participate in this activity.
It is good to note that Chimpanzee trekking tours in Gombe Stream National park can be easily combined with other parks that we arrange visits to, in our Southern Tanzania Safaris.
Accommodation in Gombe Stream National Park
Within Gombe stream NP, you will find a number of accommodation options depending on your budget among which are: a luxury tented lodge, a guest house, self-catering hostels and a camping site by the lake shore.
In case you are interested in taking a Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Gombe National Park, contact us today as we Safari supremacy have specialized in organizing tailor-made Tanzania Safaris and Tanzania Holidays not only in southern Tanzania but across the rest of Tanzania and Zanzibar as well.