Gombe stream national park tanzania
Tanzania Destinations
Selma Kamm
Tanzania Destinations
5 min

Explore the enchanting beauty of Gombe Stream National Park

5 min

Nestled along the shores of the stunning Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is not only Tanzania's smallest national park but also one of the world's most iconic destinations, thanks to the groundbreaking work of Jane Goodall with chimpanzees in the 1960s. This park, with its lush rainforests and crystal-clear streams, offers an unparalleled experience in nature.

The rich flora and fauna of Gombe

Gombe's diversity is astounding, with approximately 100 chimpanzees inhabiting the park, alongside a variety of other primates, including olive baboons and red colobus monkeys. For bird enthusiasts, Gombe is a paradise, home to over 200 bird species.

Meeting the chimpanzees

The highlight of a visit to Gombe Stream National Park is the opportunity to experience wild chimpanzees up close. Led by experienced guides, embark on a trek through the lush forests in search of these intelligent primates in their natural habitat. To see the chimpanzees, you must be at least 15 years old. The number of participants per group is limited to a maximum of 6 people. The maximum viewing duration is one hour per day. If the chimpanzees move and visibility is interrupted, the time will be paused until they are relocated. However, trekking is not allowed for more than 3 hours after the initial sighting, even if the total hour has not been reached, to minimize disturbance to the animals and the forest. Meeting these majestic creatures is an experience you will never forget.

Jane Goodall's work in Gombe

Gombe Stream National Park is not only home to a diverse population of chimpanzees but has also become world-renowned for the groundbreaking work of Jane Goodall, a pioneer in the study of these majestic primates' behavior. In the 1960s, Jane Goodall established a behavioral study program that is now considered the longest-running study of its kind in the world. Her dedication to understanding the complex social structures and behavioral patterns of chimpanzees has profoundly changed our understanding of these animals.

Many visitors to Gombe Stream National Park are enthusiastic about Jane Goodall and her influential work. They are often inspired by her biography and are eager to see the chimpanzee families and places she mentions in her book. This includes locations such as her house, the research center, and Jane's Peak, where she often sat to enjoy the view of the lush wooded hills and the deep blue lake in the distance. One of the most visited spots in the park is the waterfall, where guests enjoy hiking to appreciate the natural beauty and serenity of the area. This hike not only offers a chance to relax amid lush vegetation but also to explore the chimpanzees' habitat and learn more about their environment.

Bird watching in Gombe

For bird enthusiasts, Gombe Stream National Park offers an abundance of opportunities. With its varied habitat and rich biodiversity, the park is home to a wide range of bird species: from colorful kingfishers to melodious hornbills.

Scenic hiking

Gombe is more than just chimpanzees; the park also offers breathtaking natural beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the park's trails. From ancient forests to babbling brooks, there is always something new to discover.

Kayaking and Fishing on Lake Tanganyika

In addition to meeting the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, the surrounding area offers even more adventurous opportunities. From the lodge, you can enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming, and fishing in the beautiful Lake Tanganyika. Paddle gently through the calm waters of the lake and enjoy the serene surroundings as you explore the shore. For those who love fishing, the lake also offers the chance to catch some of the local fish species while surrounded by Gombe's breathtaking landscapes.

Meeting the local people

A trip to Gombe is not complete without immersing yourself in the rich culture of the local communities surrounding the park. Take the time to connect with the friendly residents, learn about their traditions, and share in their warm hospitality. Visit the nearby fishing village of Mwamgongo for a cultural tour. Guided by a local guide, you'll gain unique insights into their fishing techniques, the craft of embroidery, and traditional boat making.

Sunset boat safaris

Another way to enjoy Gombe's beauty is by taking a sunset boat safari on Lake Tanganyika. As the sun sets below the horizon, cruise along the tranquil waters and admire the serene beauty of the park from the water.

Best time to visit Gombe National Park

The best time to visit Gombe Stream National Park is during the dry seasons, from June to October and from late December to early February. During these months, the weather is generally stable and pleasant, making the terrain more accessible for exploration. Additionally, the drier conditions make it easier to spot wildlife, including the famous chimpanzees, as they typically move around the lower slopes of the park.

Accessibility and accommodation

To reach Gombe Stream National Park, you must first travel to Kigoma. Kigoma Airport receives daily commercial flights from Dar es Salaam, with a flight duration of approximately 2 hours. Alternatively, you can book a shared charter flight from Arusha, which flies only on Mondays and Thursdays.

The lodge is accessible only by boat. From Kigoma, you'll continue with a Dhow boat transfer. Departing from the private beach of Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, the boat ride takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach Gombe Forest Lodge.

Gombe Forest Lodge

Nestled along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Forest Lodge offers a harmonious connection to the natural surroundings and an exceptionally comfortable stay. As the only accommodation located in the park, the lodge provides complete privacy with just 6 rooms. Built in the lush shade of ancient trees, just off the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the lodge offers an intimate and exclusive experience where guests can enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the surrounding nature. With elegant rooms, excellent amenities, and a welcoming atmosphere, Gombe Forest Lodge is the perfect base for an unforgettable adventure in Gombe Stream National Park.

Gombe stream national park Tanzania tent

Plan your dream trip to Gombe

Whether you're a wildlife enthusiast, an avid birdwatcher, or simply seeking an unforgettable adventure in nature, Gombe Stream National Park offers something for everyone. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this iconic piece of paradise on Earth?

We recommend staying in Gombe Stream National Park for a minimum of 3 to 4 nights to fully enjoy everything the park has to offer and also increase your chances of observing the chimpanzees multiple times.

We're here to help you plan your trip to the chimpanzees. Contact us today to start planning your dream trip to Gombe Stream National Park.


Gombe National Park on the map: