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Gombe Stream National Park

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.

Most common animals in Gombe Stream National Park

  • chimpanzees
  • beachcomber
  • olive baboon
  • anubis baboon
  • red colobus
  • red-tailed monkey
  • blue monkey
  • vervet monkey
  • diadems
  • snakes
  • hippos
  • leopards
  • birds
  • bushpigs
Gombe Stream National park Chimpanzees

Gombe Stream National Park highlights

  • famous place to see chimpanzees
  • Jane Goodall did research on chimpanzee populations
  • Gombe Stream Research Center (GSRC)

Facts about Gombe Stream National Park

  • 20 km north of Kigoma
  • established in 1968
  • small national park with only 35 km2
  • accessible only by boat

Activities in Gombe Stream National Park

  • chimpanzee trekking
  • birding
  • hiking Jane’s Peak
  • walking safaris

Best time to visit Gombe Stream National Park

The best time to visit Gombe national Park for the Chimpanzee tracking is between November and August but you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time to catch all the action.

Travel Tips from our experts about Gombe Stream National Park

My name is Sammy and I am a guide at Gombe Stream National Park for 14 years. Most of our guests are amazed  when they first encounter a group of chimpanzees. Watching them from up close is a privilege that not many people have. The park is small but the amount of monkeys you can spot is impressive.

My advice:

How long to stay? 2 days

Which hotel?

  • Mbali Mbali Gombe Forest Lodge