Gombe Stream National Park

An Overview

Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that is in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioral research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world. The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community, only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe, is still regularly seen by visitors. The park’s 200-odd bird species range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter’s twin spots that hop tamely around the visitors’ center.

Best to know in Gombe Stream National Park

  • Is one of the few places where chimpanzees can still be found in their natural habitat.
  • Dr. Jane Goodall and her colleagues have lived here studying the primates since 1960.
  • The park has no roads, which allows you to walk and experience nature with all of your senses.
  • Ujiji, near Kigoma, was the site of Stanley’s famous meeting with Livingstone.

Following animals can be found in the park – Chimpanzees, Red Colobus, colourful Red-tail and Blue monkeys, Olive baboon, African Civet, Palm civet, genet, Grey duiker, bushbuck, bush baby, bushpig, White-tailed mongoose, Marsh mongoose, Giant rat and the Chequered elephant shrew.

Bird life found here includes Ross’s and Livingston’s Turaco, the African and the trumpeter hornbills, pied and giant kingfishers, tropical boubous, white browed coucal, and the crowned eagle.

The Kakombe Waterfall is where the Kakombe stream tumbles about 20m down a rocky cliff.


Covering an area of 52 sq km of dense forest, this is the smallest ofTanzania’s National Parks. 16 km north of Kigoma town, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania.

When to go

  • Wet Seasons (February to June and November to December). Rainfall is about 1600mm but can exceed 2600mm.
  •  Dry Seasons (July to October and Late December).
  •  Winds are particularly strong during April-May and August-September, typically in the morning.
  •  Strong winds are often associated with thunderstorms, and most storms come form the east, creeping over the rift escarpment with little warning.
  •  The chimpanzees do not roam as far during the rainy, so may be easier to find.

 The photographic opportunities are better in the drier months.


  • The absence of carnivores makes the Park ideal for chimpanzee trekking and hiking and one should allow at least two days to find the chimpanzees.
  • Swimming and snorkelling is popular in the Lake and streams. The Mitumba Valley, the Rift, the Kakombe Waterfall and the Chimpanzee Feeding Station can all be seen on foot not being that far apart.
  • Visit the site of Henry Stanley’s famous “Dr Livingstone I presume” at Ujiji, near Kigoma and watch the renowned dhow builders at work.

Where to stay

  • View the most attractive Gombe Stream National Park hotels lodge and camps Click Here
  • Book your tailor-made safari holiday to Tanzania. 


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2022-01-26 12:03
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