Gombe National Park Guide
Gombe national park although being one of the smallest parks in Tanzania packs a punch no lesser than its biggest brethren.
Being one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania, at just 52 square kilometers, some might believe that Gombe National Park has less to offer. On the contrary, Gombe does have the same to offer as all other parks in Tanzania and even more.
The park was gazetted as a game reserve in 1943. Afterwards, it was established in 1968 as a national park after Dr. Jane Goodall’s research began.
The terrain of the park stands out as characterized by steep valleys and forest vegetation ranging from grassland to tropical forests.
Gombe National Park enjoys a strategic location, 16 klicks( kilos) north of Kigoma region and along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, west of Tanzania.
Kigoma is accessible from Dar and Arusha by scheduled flights; to Dar and Mbeya by rough dirty roads; to Dar and Mwanza by a slow rail service; and to Mpulungu in Zambia by a weekly ferry.
It three hours by local lake taxi from Kigoma to reach Gomber. Motorboats are also an option. They are chartered and take less than an hour.
Climate & Best Time to Visit
Gombe Stream National Park is visitable on most of the year. However, the wet season, from November to April, is a preferable time to be at the park. The access is difficult and trekking is slippery. Besides, the lodges find March and April a good time fot maintenance. It is hard to find accommodation during these months.
During the sry season, from June to September, there is very little rain or no rain at all. It is when the weather is humid and warm, with plenty of sunshine.
Chimps are observable and easy to find on the lower sloped during the dry period. Sometimes, they are even close to the camps or roaming along the sandy shores.
Bird watching time is between December to March. Hundreds of resident and migratory species such as pelicans, storks, ospreys, vultures, rollers, barbets, cuckoos, hawks, eagles, owls, cormorants and many more can be witnessed in the park.
As the saying goes do not judge a book by its cover and that saying surely applies to Gombe park. The park enjoys a rather eccentric but substantial role in housing a large variety of primates aside from chimpanzees such as the olive baboons, red-tailed, red colobus monkeys, and many more primate iterations.
Not only primates riddle the land of Gombe park but over 200 variations of bird and pushpins species, snakes and the occasional hip and leopard also call the park home.
Things to Do in Gombe National Park
1- Chimpanzee Wildviewing: The highlight of the park is the chimpanzee families that reside there protected in the park’s boundaries.
2- Guided Walks: Visitors can easily have guided wals where they can dig deep into the forest, observe and get closer to extraordinary primates for an entire morning. It is an unforgettable experience.
3- Wildlife Viewing: There are many other species besides chimpanzee to enjoy while being in Gombe such as Vervet and colobus monkeys, baboons, forest pigs and small antelopes, besides various tropical birdlife.