Gombe National park
Gombe national park is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania located on the western border of Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo in Kigoma region on the wild shores of Lake Tanganyika. The national park covers an area of 52 square kilometers and lies between an altitude of 2516 feet and 5269 feet above the sea level. Gombe national park was first designated as a game reserve in 1943 and later upgraded as a national park in 1968 and open for tourism in 1978 after the habituation of the chimpanzees for trekking.
Gombe national park is a home of the chimpanzees which are the major attractions. The park became famous due to the research of a primatologist called Jane Goodall who founded a behavioral research program in 1960 that now stands as the world’s longest running study.
Attractions and activities in Gombe national park
Chimpanzee trekking is the major activity carried out in the park where by there are about 100 chimpanzees in the park 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 Gombe national 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.
Gombe national park 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.
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, plant species among others.
Sport fishing is an incredible activity in Gombe national park and 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.
Gombe national park is a home of about 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 Gombe 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.
Where to stay in Gombe national park
There are a wide range of accommodations where you can stay during your safari in Gombe national park and they range from luxury, midrange and budget. The accommodations include Mbali Mblai Gombe Lodge, Mbuzui Mawe Serena Camp, Gombe Forest Lodge, Gombe Bandas, Kasekela Luxury Campsite, Gombe Tented Camp, Jane Goodall Rest House, Kasekela Public Campsite among others.
Best time to visit Gombe national park
Gombe national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time 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.
Gombe 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.
Getting to Gombe national park
Gombe national park 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 Gombe 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.
Gombe national park can also be accessed by use of air transport in that there are domestic companies in Tanzania which 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, Gombe park in Tanzania is the best destination to visit therefore for more information and safari packages about Gombe park, you can contact our tour consultants or visit our website.