Gombe National Park in Tanzania

Gombe National Park in Tanzania is among some of the smallest national parks in the Republic of Tanzania. The national park is located in the western part of Tanzania in Kigoma region, along her border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Gombe National Park in Tanzania

Gombe national park in Tanzania spans over a radius of 52 square kilometers and lies between an altitude of 2516 feet and 5269 feet above sea level. The national park was first established as a game reserve in 1943 and later designated as a national park in 1968. It was later opened for tourism in 1978, following the habituation of chimpanzees in the park.

The national park is home to about 100 chimpanzees which are the main tourist attraction in the park. Gombe national park gained its fame as a result of research programs by the Jane Goodall Foundation, which was started by Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist. She started conducting behavioral research programs in the park in 1960; and the national park now stands as the world’s longest-running study.

Attractions and activities in Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

There is so much to see and do for tourists visiting Gombe national park in Tanzania; some of the interesting things to lookout for in the park include;

Chimpanzee Trekking:

Chimpanzee trekking in Gombe national park in Tanzania is the top tourism activity that is offered in the national park. The national park shelters about 100 chimpanzees and some have been habituated for trekking. Chimpanzee trekking is an incredible activity where you move into the forest in search of the habituated chimpanzee groups and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Chimpanzee trekking in the park is done on foot with a park guide who will be sharing information about the chimpanzees as well as showing you the trails to follow in the forest. the activity is only carried out by visitors above the age of 15 years and gives you incredible and lifetime experiences as you spend time with the chimpanzees watching them feeding, playing, resting among others. During chimpanzee trekking you will be able to view other primate species such as the red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, red colobus monkeys among others. 

Bird Watching

Bird Watching in Gombe national park in Tanzania is one of the best destinations for bird watching where you will view various bird species like the forest birds, migratory birds and endemic bird species which are only found in Tanzania. birding in the park is usually done along the shores of the lake and in the forest therefore bird lovers will be able to view bird species such as palmnut vulture, peters twinspot, African broadbill, black swaw wing, tropical boubou, African fish eagle, rufous sparrow, paradise flycatcher, Ross’s turaco, red chested cuckoo, crowned eagle, double toothed barbet, Livingstone’s turaco among others.

birding in gombe national park

Guided nature walk

This is an interesting activity in the park where you get an opportunity to explore the park on foot with a park guide or ranger. During the nature walk you will enjoy the fresh air, cool environment, listen to the sweet sounds of the birds, cool breeze among others. There are various nature walk trails to follow such as the Goodall foundations old feeding station trail. The trail leads you a place where the primatologist Goodall was studying or making research about the behavior of the chimpanzees. There are also short nature walks along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to Kakombe and Mkenke waterfalls among others. During the nature walk, you will have great views of the rift valley escarpments, valleys, landscapes, and plant species among others.

Sport fishing

Sport fishing is such an amazing activity in the park. Visitors who want to participate in the activity are supposed to first acquire a sport fishing permit. Sport fishing is only carried out in designed areas with experienced fishing guide who will guide you on how to carry out this exciting activity by use of catch and release method.

Game viewing

Gombe national park in Tanzania is shelters approximately 35 mammal species therefore apart from chimpanzee trekking you can also engage in wildlife viewing where you will be able to view various animals such as bush pigs, reedbucks, hippos, bushbucks among others.

There are other activities in the national park which you can participate in including snorkeling, swimming, cultural encounter where you will visit Mwamgongo village which is located near the park, boat cruise where you will ride on Lake Tanganyika as you enjoy the attractions around.

Boat Cruise in Gombe National Park
Boat Cruise in Gombe National Park

Accommodation  Facilities in Gombe national park in Tanzania.

When it comes to accommodation in Gombe national park in Tanzania, there are plenty of accommodations facilities where visitors can spend a night or two while in the national park and they range from luxury, midrange and budget. The accommodations include Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge, Mbuzui Mawe Serena Camp, Gombe Forest Lodge, Gombe Bandas, Kasekela Luxury Campsite, Gombe Tented Camp, Jane Goodall Rest House, and Kasekela Public Campsite among others.

Best time for you to visit Gombe national park.

Gombe national park in Tanzania can be visited anytime of the year. However, the best time for tourists to visit the national park is during the dry season in the months of July to October. During this time there is less rainfall in the park therefore nature walk and chimpanzee trekking trails in the park will be passable, there will be short grass in the forest which enables clear wildlife viewing. 

The national park can also be visited in the wet season in the months of February, October, November to December because that’s the period when the chimpanzees are easy to trek in that they will not move deep into the forest and you will also be able to view migratory bird species.  

How to get to Gombe national park

Gombe national park in Tanzania can be accessed by boat from Kigoma town to the park headquarters which takes about 4 hours ride when using public motor boats or lake taxi boats and less than an hour when using private motor boats. Water transport is the easiest way to get to the national park in that you will book an international flight to Kilimanjaro international airport in Arusha or Julius Nyerere international airport in Dar es Salaam and then connect to the park by boat.   

The national park can also be accessed by use of air transport in that there are domestic companies in Tanzania that operate charter flights to the park such as Air Tanzania, Regional Air, Zan Air, Coastal Aviation, Precision Air, Air Link among others.  In case you want to book a domestic flight to the national park you can contact Achieve Global Safaris and for more information about airlines that can take you to Kilimanjaro international airport or Julius Nyerere international air pot and the ticket prices you can check Sky scanner or Expedia.

For unforgettable and exciting experiences on your safari in Tanzania, Gombe national park in Tanzania is the perfect getaway destination to visit.  For more information and safari packages about the national park, do get in touch with our team of expert travel consultants at Explore Rwanda Tours or visit our website.

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