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Gombe Stream National Park

The pioneering work of Dr Jane Goodall, who studied the chimps of Gombe have helped make this park world renowned. Accessible only by the crystal blue waters of Lake Tanganyika, the entry into Gombe is by small boat. A true adventure!

Fast Facts

Major Attractions
  • Chimpanzees and 8 other species of primates
  • View Jane Goodall’s world re-known research station
  • Mountains, valleys, waterfalls and streams
  • Lake Tanganyika
  • Rift Valley
  • Kakombe and Mkenke Riverine waterfalls
  • Meeting place by Dr Livingstone and Stanley at Ujiji in Kigoma town
  • Snorkeling with Cichlids(colourful fish)
  • Trekking - chimpanzee
  • Walking safari - waterfalls, streams.
  • Swimming/snorkeling
  • Cultural tour - visits to nearby fishing villages,visit the site of Henry Stanley’s famous “Dr Livingstone I presume” at Ujiji near Kigoma, and watch the renowned dhow builders at work
  • 52 sq kms(20 sq miles) Tanzania’s smallest park.
  • Gombe Stream National Park forms part of the western circuit of Tanzania.


Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks. The park is a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Gombe Stream National Park is world famous for its chimpanzees. The chimpanzees of Gombe were made famous by the pioneering work of Dr Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest running study of its kind in the world. These primates have been studied and researched since 1960 with research continuing to the present day.

Accessible only by the crystal blue waters of Lake Tanganyika, the entry into Gombe is by small boat. You will glide in over the still waters and alight on the sandy beaches of Lake Tanganyika’s shores, where Baboon’s might be fossicking through the sand looking for an opportunistic meal.

After spending some time observing troops of chimpanzees you can cool off by taking a swim or snorkeling in the azure waters of Lake Tanganyika.  The Lake is famous for its abundant number of colourful cichlid fish.

The scenic beauty of Gombe astounds all who visit. From the majestic views of the mountains of the Rift Escarpment falling westward into Lake Tanganyika to the rich mosaic of waterfalls amongst the tropical jungle the scenic richness of Gombe makes this park a definite ‘must do’ on a visit to Tanzania.

Gombe is a place of personalities. The chimpanzees are as individually unique as humans and no scientific expertise is required to distinguish the different characters of the cast. Their repertoire of hoots, grunts and screams identify the celebrities, those in a position of power and those in supporting roles. Perhaps you will see a flicker of understanding when you look into a chimps eyes assessing you in return. Sharing more than 98% of our genes, it’s a look of recognition from our closest animal relative.


Gombe Stream National Park is unique and world famous for its resident chimpanzee population. However, this is not the only primate you will find inhabiting this lush jungle. You may also expect to come across olive baboon, blue monkey, red tailed monkey, vervet monkey, red colobus monkey, two species of nocturnal bush babies.

The park boasts over 250 species of birdlife. There is also a diverse range of mammals including buffalo, bushbuck, bush pigs, leopards, duiker and civet. Reptiles are also able to be spotted such as pythons and Nile monitors

Unlike any other national park in Tanzania you may swim in the tranquil blue waters of Lake Tanganyika. Fish are abundant and over 100 kinds of cichlids will provide a visual mosaic of colour. You will also be amazed at the amount of butterflies along the shores of Gombe stream. Commonly seen are Pansy butterflies.


Gombe National Park survives as a natural habitat because it is a small, isolated ecosystem surrounded by natural boundaries.

The Gombe Stream  National Park is within the Rift Valley. The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest.

One of the major attractions of the park is Lake Tanganyika, the longest and deepest lake in Africa. It is the second oldest lake in the world having existed for about 12 million years.


The wet season from mid October to mid May has a break of approximately two weeks in January. The remainder of the year is the dry season during which temperatures are 18 degrees celsius to 32 degrees celsius.

Rainfall in the wet season varies tremendously from an average of 1,600mm to a peak of 2,600. Temperatures during the rains range from 21 degrees celsius to 27 degrees celsius.

The morning wind is particularly strong during April and May and is often associated with thunderstorms.


Strict rules are in place to safeguard you and the chimps. It is recommended that you allow at least 2 days to see the Chimpanzees and be prepared for some steep and arduous foot trails.


Gombe is generally good to visit all year round. Though it should be noted that the chimps don’t roam as far in the wet season(February through June and November through to mid December) so they may be easier to find.

Accommodation at Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Forest Lodge Room

Gombe Forest Lodge

The main attraction of Gombe Forest Lodge is its location within the Gombe Steam National Park and its chimpanzees, made famous by British pioneering researcher Jane Goodall.

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, LakeTanganyika, Tanzania Safari, SafariHQ

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel

Set on a remote outcrop amongst acres of lush gardens overlooking Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma Hilltop Hotel is the ideal stopover point for safaris to the western parks.

Optional Activities in Gombe Stream National Park