The Gombe Stream National Park is located on the western border of Tanzania and the Congo. Established in 1968, It is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania with only 35 km2 of protected land along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. It is a famous place for those who want to see chimpanzees off the beaten track. Guided hikes take visitors into the forest to see chimpanzees in the wild. The area has steep valleys and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to forest and tropical rainforest.
Jane Goodall’s research in the national park
The Gombe Stream national park is the place where Jane Goodall did her research on chimpanzee populations. Jane Goodall first traveled to Tanzania in 1960 at the age of 26 with no formal college training. Her research proved the intellectual and emotional sophistication of the chimpanzees. Goodall set up a small research station in Gombe in hopes of learning more about the behavior of our closest relatives. There she spent months tracking the chimpanzee troops, particularly the Kasekela chimpanzee community. She observed their daily habits until she was slowly accepted by one troop and was allowed rare and intimate glimpses into chimpanzee society.
In 1967, the Gombe Stream Research Center (GSRC) was established to coordinate ongoing chimpanzee research in the park. Run mostly by a team of trained Tanzanians, the GSRC is the longest-running field study of an animals species in their natural surroundings.
Animals in Gombe Stream National Park
Gombe’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream national park include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys also hybridize in the area. The park is home to over 200 bird species and bushpigs too. And you can find many species of snakes and occasionally hippos and leopards.