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Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe is famous for its Chimpanzees and the exceptional conservation work of Jane Goodall and is located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

Located in southwestern Tanzania, visitors come to Gombe to experience Chimp safaris, viewing and trekking.

Jane Goodall

In 1960, English woman Jane Goodall came to Gombe Stream to study the evolutionary link humans and apes. Jane Goodall was able to get closer to the Chimpanzees by feeding them with bananas and then study their behaviors. The Chimpanzees are the closest genetically (99%) to human kind.

The chimps of Gombe can be categorized in Kasakela, Mitumba and Kalande. They are smaller in size than those found in the Mahale Mountains.

Our Personal Review

We spend 5 days chimps trekking in 2008.

Day 1

Today we are heading for Gombe National Park.

We found an English speaking guide in Kigoma who will arrange our stay and everything for better photography at the park.

After a 2 hour ride passing fishing villages on a packed (100 locals) longboat we arrive at the Gombe National Park Entrance where our guide sets us up in 2 correct rooms with ensuite in a new building for 25$ a night.

Our cook is preparing some nice dinner made from the food and ingredients we brought. Finally some nice food: fresh fish, French fries, rice, dessert…

Day 2

After a good breakfast prepared by our cook, we head to the Gombe park office to pay the 100$/day fee and head with 2 guides in the forest. Is it relatively cheap conpared to the 500$/hour charged in Uganda to see the rare mountain gorillas.

After 20 minutes walk we quickly found a small group of chimps sitting on the forest floor and cleaning each others.

The next 5 days will see us walk up and down the hills, the Stream and waterfall, or along the beaches of Lake Tanganiyka looking for group of chimps.

Our guide had a walky talky and was able to communicate with other guides and sometimes even the Jane Goodall researchers.

Fredo with his white beard was not the alpha male anymore but still made an impression within the group.

We had to run a few times with a chimp hot in pursuit but as long as we showed respect to the males, all was ok and we were able to get very close while they were resting.

Chimpanzees in Gombe are supposedly smaller than the ones in Mahale.
Looking at their behaviors and facial expressions reminded us of human beings and you could really see in their eyes the intelligence of great apes.

Gombe map