GOMBE NATIONAL PARK

Gombe National Park, also known as Gombe Stream National Park is one of national parks located in western Kigoma Region, 16 km north of Kigoma on the shores of the world’s second deepest Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania near the border with Burundi. Lake Tanganyika has an area of 56 sq Kms with a size of only 56 sq km, Gombe National Park is Tanzania’s smallest national park, but its well-known primate inhabitants and its connection to Dr. Jane Goodall have given it worldwide renown.  Dr Jane Goodall is the innovative researcher who has conducted primate researching activities in Gombe since 1960. Jane is believed to be the longest researcher of primates in the world. Conservation status of Gombe was upgraded to a National Park in 1968 and opened for tourism in 1978 after chimpanzees comforted human visitations. Many of Gombe National Parks’, 100-plus chimpanzees are well habituated, and though it can be difficult, sweaty work traversing steep hills and valleys looking at them but if you head out early in the morning sightings are nearly guaranteed.

The scenery of the park is made up of steep valleys, streams and rivers. The vegetation alternates from tropical rainforests, alpine bamboo to grasslands – similar to that of neighboring Mahale Mountains National Park. Gombe is prominent for a population of chimpanzees’ lives within the park. These incredible primates habituated to people can be seen on a walking safari through the forests. Other primates seen in the park include olive baboons, vervet monkeys, beachcomber and red tailed monkeys. Bushbucks and bush pigs can also be seen rummaging on the forest floors from time to time. More so, the park is home-based to over 200 species of birds, amongst the supreme commonly seen are fish eagles, palm nut vultures, tropical boubous and trumpeter hornbills. Lake Tanganyika with its clear water is the home to over 100 cichlid species as well as hippos.

The Best time of your safaris at Gombe National Park

Gombe National Park can be reached by Air-Chatters and Public transport to Kigoma firstly and then take boats departing to the park. Drive, schedule or charter a flight from Dar es salaam, Mwanza or Arusha or take a train from Dar es salaam or ferry alongside the shore of Lake Tanganyika from Burundi or Zambia to the Kigoma region will be the first move. To reach Gombe National Park you must travel by boat from Kigoma. Depending on your budget, there’s an option of a speed boat, which takes much less time- or a passenger’s boat, which takes longer, about 4 hrs. Boat ride is an amazing trip while leading Gombe National Park.

Walking safaris to see the chimpanzees and forest is the main attraction at Gombe. Lake Tanganyika is also a wonderful place to go snorkelling and swimming, or just relax on the white sand. Hippos and crocodiles tend to keep their distance from Gombe which means visitors can take a dip in the lake without having to worry about sharing the water with wild animals. While at Gombe a visit to the Goodall Foundation’s old feeding station should be on the list of things to do and the nearby village of Ujiji is where Henry Stanley met Dr Livingstone in 1871.

The Kigoma region has higher seasonal variation in monthly rainfall. The rainy period of the year takes up to 8 months, from September to May. A lot of rain falls in the months of January, February, March, April, November and December. Kigoma experiences a dry season in the months of June, July, August and September. On average March is the wettest month and July is the driest month. So, plan to visit the park between the month of June and September.

The uniqueness of Gombe National Park

Gombe National Park offers year-round visit for travellers from different parts of the world.  The place enables travellers to cruise along different parts of the park in order to experience historical inquisitiveness. Rainy season is the best for chimpanzees sporting while the green vegetation blooms and provides astonishing scenic views. Waterfalls are at their best from November to Mid- May. Dry season provides a chance for best photo taking, short and long hike and this is from May to October.

 Wild Animals

Gombe National Park has abundant and diverse wildlife animals. Habitat favorites and seasonal food sequences determine in a general sense where a particular animal, especially chimpanzee will be at a particular time. Although Gombe chimpanzees are most looked among wildlife viewers that come to the Park, there are several notable animals found as well.

Kakombe and Mkenke waterfall

Apart from the incredible wildlife experience, visitors will head out to Kakombe trail and Mkenke valley and sightseeing the beautiful natural Kakombe and Mkenke waterfalls.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Gombe National Park is attractive to herpetologists and other scholars as it harbors dozens of reptilian and amphibian species of which some of them are widespread to the Park.

Bird’s Life

Gombe National Park is also a home-based to abundant birds. Over 200 birds’ species fly around and diversified from the iconic fish eagle, three kinds of kingfishers and the bright Peters twins pots. Another extraordinary character of the park is the palm vulture found near vegetarian common to Lake Tanganyika that preferring fruits over carcasses.

Tourism Activities in the Park

Gombe National Park is a place to capture lots of memorable experiences, ranging from getting a view of wildness, the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika to a view of dense tropical rainforest. Visitors can take trails for deep forest hike with great occasions of bird watching, butterfly gazing and sightseeing at Jane’s peak, mountain hiking to the waterfalls and large inhabitants of the shy.  Social African great apes make Gombe National Park a popular destination for exciting moments of chimpanzees trekking. Furthermore the Lake offers an extensive area for sport fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and swimming.

Chimpanzee trekking

The chimpanzees trekking is the core activity at Gombe National Park. These incredible mammals, habituated to human visitors, were made famous by the pioneering work of Dr. Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a research program now standing as the longest running study of its kind in the world.

Boat cruise

While tourists being in Gombe National Park will be exposed to the opportunity of hiring a tourist boat and just move about in the Lake Tanganyika to view its tourist attractions and leisure. A boat cruise is an amazing experience of which one can choose a luxury boat or an ordinary speedboat, depending on your budget for it permits you to feel Lake Tanganyika’s breeze while enjoying a view of the Great Rift Valley slope.

Walking Safari

Visitors will also experience short walks along the shores of Lake Tanganyika or to Waterfalls while being in Gombe National Park.

Mountain hiking

Being in the Bombe National Park, you will be exposed to magnificent views of the mountains of the rift escarpment falling westwards into Lake Tanganyika. The swelling terrain, valleys and the mosaic forest, woodland and grassland offers to visitors varied attractive landscape viewing and hiking.

Butterfly gazing

Gombe National Park possesses butterflies the most colorful, striking and silent beauty. Butterflies of the forest are among smaller creatures in the Gombe forest. The estimated total butterfly found in Gombe National Park is about 400-500 species.

Filming

Gombe National Park is a hotspot for filming. A number of Tanzanian journalists and TV crews have been involved in chimpanzee and conservation in general. Moreover there are a lot of concerns over the years by international communities such as National Geographic and BBC on Gombe’s chimpanzees and the forest as well as the entire ecosystem.

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the watersports interventions conducted in Gombe National Park. Small narrow boats which propelled by means of a double –bladed paddle are mostly used for kayaking events in the park. This intervention is done when the lake weather is calm. Four hours utilized for paddling out offers a great way to explore part of stunning Lake Tanganyika.

Sport Fishing

Gombe National Park offers sport fishing activity. This activity is done for preference as it is also known as a catch and release. Catching and releasing activity is done when the Lake weather is Calm. Crews are experienced at all movements of fishing. Well-equipped sports fishing boats and knowledgeable crews will ensure your entire enjoyment out on Lake Tanganyika water.

Snorkeling and diving

Gombe National Park has a unique tranquil beach. Water sport interventions such as snorkeling and diving will add values to visitors. Lake Tanganyika, world’s second deepest Lake offers a whole other world to explore under the water. Gombe is an extraordinary place for snorkeling and diving. Safeguarded by hills, the waters here are calm, clear and rich with colorful life that leaves a lasting feeling. This activity is executed for 3hours within the lake.

Cultural tourism at Mwamgongo village

Mwamgongo Village is situated adjacent to Gombe National Park. The village formed a women cultural group that visitors go there to experience authentic hospitality, learn about traditional dances, local art and craft. The cultural group owned by mentioned women produce pottery, fabrics, grass hats, mats and baskets. These things are produced by using traditional techniques and local materials.

Accomodation

Gombe National Park offers best accommodation services to high earned and budgeted tourists as it encompasses an array of places to stay. Accommodation services are ranging from rest house, public/special campsite and Banda’s. Private facilities like Kasekela luxury campsite and Gombe forest lodge are also available. You are welcome.

KARIBU TANZANIA – KARIBU GOMBE NATIONAL PARK