ABOUT GOMBE NATIONAL PARK
Gombe National Park, also known as Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Kigoma Region, Tanzania. Established in 1968, Gombe is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania, with only 13.5 square miles (35 km2) but also one of the wildest and most rewarding, covered in forested hills along the unspoiled shores of Lake Tanganyika. Its mountainous rainforests are home to troops of habituated chimpanzees, made famous by the pioneering research and conservation work of Dr. Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioral research program that now stands as the longest – running study of its kind in the world. Gombe national park is one of the two national parks where chimpanzee trekking can be done in the Tanzania and accessible only by boat.
CLIMATE IN GOMBE NATIONAL PARK
The climate in Gombe is warm to hot and humid. Unlike the coastal areas and northern parks, Gombe has one continuous Wet season from November to April. It rarely rains all day, but afternoon thundershowers can be expected. The Dry season starts from the month of May to October. Daytime temperatures are around 26°C/79°F, and it cools down at night.
Gombe National Park is a mixture of woodland, some open areas on ridges and peaks, and thick riverine forest in the many valleys. It is located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, 15 km north of the town of Kigoma and is accessible only by boat. The Gombe National Park’s elevation ranges from 775m above sea level at the lake to 1500m along the top of the steep escarpment. The valleys that run from the escarpment are steep and intersect with deep ravines that drain from the ridges between valleys.
WILDLIFE AND BIRDS OF GOMBE NATIONAL PARK
The main attraction in Gombe national park is the population of habituated chimpanzees. Its mountainous rainforests are home to troops of habituated chimpanzees, made famous by the pioneering research and conservation work of Dr. Jane Goodall. Guided walks are available that take visitors deep into the forest to observe and sit with the extraordinary primates for an entire morning. An incredible experience and one that is the highlight of many visitors’ trips to Africa. Besides chimpanzee viewing, many other species of primates live in Gombe Stream’s tropical forests. Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes inhabit the dense forest, in addition to a wide variety of tropical birdlife.
- Wildlife – Gombe has abundant and diverse wildlife. Habitat preferences and seasonal food cycles determine in a general sense where a particular animal may be at a particular time especially chimpanzees. Although Gombe chimpanzee are favorite among wildlife watchers that come to the Park, there are several other notable animals including but not limited to Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes.
- Kakombe and Mkenke waterfall – Besides the incredible wildlife experience you can head out to Kakombe trail and Mkenke valley and explore the gorgeous natural Kakombe and Mkenke waterfalls.
- Lake Tanganyika – Lake Tanganyika is the second largest of the lakes of eastern Africa. It is the longest freshwater lake in the world (410 miles) and the second deepest (4,710 feet) after Lake Baikal in Russia.
- Birdlife – Gombe is also a home to numerous birds. Over 200 birds species fly around, varying from the iconic fish eagle, three kinds of kingfishers and the bright Peters twinspots. Another remarkable character is the palm vulture, a near vegetarian common to Lake Tanganyika that prefers fruits over carcasses.
ACTIVITIES IN GOMBE NATIONAL PARK
- Chimpanzee trekking – The chimpanzees trekking is the main activities at Gombe National Park. These remarkable mammals, habituated to human visitors, were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall. In 1960,she founded a research program that now stands as the longest running study of its kind in the world.
- Boat Cruising – This activity allows you to feel Lake Tanganyika’s breeze while savoring a view of the Great Rift Valley. A boat cruise is an amazing experience. You can choose a luxury boat or an ordinary speedboat depending on your budget.
- Guided Walking Safaris – Short walks are organized with a guide along the shores of Lake Tanganyika or to the Waterfalls.
- Mountain Hiking – There are magnificent views of the mountains of the rift escarpment falling westwards into the lake. The undulating terrain, valleys and the mosaic forest, woodland and grassland provide visitors with varied attractive landscape.
- Kayaking – Kayaking is also one of watersports activity conducted in Gombe National Park. This activity is done when the lake is calm. Four hours of paddling out offer a great way to explore part of the 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.
- Diving and Snorkeling – Gombe is also a remarkable place for snorkeling and diving. Shielded by hills, the waters here are calm, clear and rich with colorful life that leaves a lasting impression.
- Cultural Experience – Mwamgongo Village is located adjacent to Gombe National Park. The village formed a women cultural group. Visitors get to experience authentic hospitality, learn about traditional dances and local art and craft.
ACCOMMODATION IN GOMBE NATIONAL PARK
Gombe National Park offers high earned and budgeted tourists as it encompasses an array of places to stay. Ranging from rest house, public/special campsites and Banda’s. Private facilities like Kasekela luxury campsite and Gombe forest lodge are also available.