Gombe Stream National Park

gombe forest lodgeClick to enlarge

Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania's national parks. The major attraction of the Gombe Stream National Park is the chimpanzees, made famous by Jane Goodall in 1960 when she established the area as a chimpanzee research station.

Despite its tiny size of only 52 sq km, it's a magnificent, dense tropical forest rising steeply from Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. It is a park without roads, where you can walk and experience nature with all your senses. The Park is a small island of wilderness surrounded on three sides by cultivation and on the fourth by the lake. As such, it is especially vulnerable to change, and needs careful protection.

Although the chimpanzees are the park's star attraction, one will be amazed at how these wild creatures accept them as they go about their everyday activities. There are many other species, including baboon, vervet monkey, red colobus monkey, blue monkey and bush babies. Gombe also hosts a wide variety of bird species which range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter's twinspots that hop tamely around the visitors' centre.

It is best visited during the dry season (June to October) since the chimps don't roam as far, providing for better photo opportunities. The wet season is typically from February to June and then again from November to mid-December.

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