Gombe Stream National park
Also known as Gombe National park, Gombe stream national park is located in the western Kigoma Region, 16km north of Kigoma, the capital of Kigoma region. Gombe national park was established in 1968 and it is one of the smallest national parks in the republic of Tanzania occupying an area of only 35 square kilometers of the protected land along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
Gombe national park is most famous for Jane Goodall, the primatologist who spent about fifteen in its forests while studying the behavior of the endangered chimpanzees. It is untamed place of lush forests and clear lake views with chimpanzee families living in the protected park’s boundaries as the main attraction. Besides the chimpanzees, the park is also has other attractions including other primate species like red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and also baboons. Other attractions are; bird species which are over 200, and also wildlife.
Safari attractions in Gombe National park
Animals: Besides its small size, Gombe National park has abundant wildlife. The park records at least about 35 mammal species with Gombe chimpanzee as the favorite to the travelers who visit the park. Other notable primates in Gombe National park besides chimpanzee include blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, vervet monkeys and others. Also, the park has other animals besides primates like hippos and bush pigs.
Bird species: Gombe National park is a home to numerous birds which are over 200 thus making it one of the favorite destinations for birders. The lakeshores in the park is one of the best places to sight different bird species like fish eagles and the palm nut vultures hanging on the palm trees. The best birding time is from November to April since various migratory birds are always in the park at that time. Other birds in the park include Rufous sparrow, double-toothed barbet, golden-rumped tinker bird, Livingstone’s turaco, red-capped robin chat, Ross’s turaco, tropical boubou, common paradise flycatcher, crowned eagle and others.
Mountain peaks: Gombe National park is a place of scenic beauty that every traveler would wish to see. The park has beautiful views of mountains of the rift escarpment that fall westwards into the lake, valleys, mosaic forest, woodland, grassland and undulating terrain. The mountain peaks combined with the rolling hills provide a clear panoramic view.
Kakombe and Mkenke waterfall: Besides the wildlife expeditions, explore Gombe National park to the fullest by heading out to the Kakombe trail and Mkenke valley waterfalls. Fuel your day after a mountain climbing with an experience of enticing mists dropping over.
Lake Tanganyika: This is a great African lake which is the second oldest, largest and deepest fresh water lake in the world after Lake Baika in Siberia. Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest fresh water lake shared among four countries of Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and DR.Congo. The lake shores are breeding grounds and habitats of different aquatic animals like over 300 fish species. The water source also hosts endemic species like reptiles, and invertebrates including crabs, snakes and snails.
Safari activities in Gombe National park
Gombe National park is one of the best destinations where a tourist can capture lots of memorable and unforgettable experiences which on a Tanzania safari. Among the activities in the park include chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, safari walks and hikes, sport fishing, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and others. All these activities are done after the payment of $100 as the entrance fee per person per day.
Chimpanzee trekking: This is the key activity in Gombe National park. During the experience, visitors are limited to one hour of spending with the chimps. Chimp families in the park include Kahama Kalande, Mitumba, and Kasakela. Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to go for trekking and also people with any form of illness. Remember not to go near these apes (chimpanzees) unless you are with a trained guide who is at a cost of $23.60 per group.
Birding: Gombe National park records over 200 bird species thus making it one of the birders haven in Tanzania. Among the birds in the park include the migratory and residential birds like crowned eagle, African broadbill, red capped robin-chat, red-chested cuckoo, Rufous sparrow and others.
Hiking and safari walks: Gombe National park is endowed with different features including valleys, mosaic forest, woodland, undulated terrain and grassland. Involve yourself in the safari walks along the shores of Lake Tanganyika and also hike to the top of Kakombe and Mkenke waterfalls. The park also has beautiful views of mountains of the rift escarpment that fall westwards into the lake.
Boat cruise: Hire a tourist boat and move along the Lake Tanganyika. Boat cruise is an amazing experience that allows one to view different aquatic animals like fish, crocodiles, hippos and others.
Cultural encounters at Mwamgongo village: Mwamgongo village is near Gombe National park. The village formed a women’s cultural group and they produce fabrics, pottery, mats, baskets, grass hats and other local materials.
Gombe National Park has got other activities like sport fishing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and others.