Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe Stream National Park is the site of Jane Goodall’s chimp research. Along with Mahale Mountains Naitonal Park, this is also a very good place to view chimps. Trekking tends to be more difficult than Mahale due to the faster rising terrain. The beauty of Gombe is there is only one safari camp in the area, however, the beach is pebbles instead of sand and there are not the variety of water activities that are on offer at Mahale.
Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Tanzania, along Lake Tangayika just south of the border with Burundi. The park is Tanzania’s smallest, just a small strip along the lake that encompasses just 20 square miles. Access is by flying into Kigoma and then transfer one and a half hours by speed boat to Gombe Stream. Like Mahale there are twice weekly scheduled flights that continue on to Kigoma after stopping at Katavi and Mahale. It is also possible to fly from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma or from Arusha via Mwanza to Kigoma so there are more flexible options and potentially cheaper flights to reach Gombe which might make it a more affordable chimp trekking option than Mahale.
Gombe is all about chimp trekking. There is excellent olive baboon viewing and potential for a couple other primates as well as secretive forest mammals like bush bucks. Along the lake are excellent birds like African fish eagles and palm-nut vultures.
Below are some sample itineraries that include a visit to Gombe Stream:
Best Times to Go
Gombe Forest Lodge is open all year except for March and April when there are heavy rains. The driest months June through October may have the easiest trekking conditions but it is best to plan timing for the best game viewing on your traditional safari and then the chimps will be excellent to add at anytime of year.
Below are some of the accommodations available for Gombe Stream National Park. Click a link below for more information.