Primate Holidays

Gombe Stream National Park

A protected area and one of Tanzania’s smallest national parks, Gombe Stream National Park is situated in the western Kigoma region, 20 kilometres north of Kigoma. It has a total area of 52 square kilometres and borders Lake Tanganyika to the west and the Thigh Rift Escarpment to the east.

Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, which was first designated as a national reserve in 1943 and later changed to a national park in 1968, is a prime habitat for chimpanzees. The Gombe National Park is well known for serving as the focal point for Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee research, which began there in 1960 and continues to this day. It is the longest-running study of its sort ever conducted. With no formal college background and at the age of 25, Jane Goodall set off for Tanzania to do study on chimpanzees based on the knowledge that they share more than 80% of our genetic makeup. While pursuing her studies, she conducted study on Fifi, the matriarch of the first group studied when Jane Goodall arrived at Gombe National Park. Fifi was 3 years old when Goodall first observed her, and she is still alive today.

 A sandy beach, steep mountains, river valleys, rolling grasslands, and steep slopes covered in semi-deciduous forest make up the scenery of Gombe Stream National Park, which is quite similar to that of Mahale. Gombe National area is home to around 150 habituated chimpanzees and is regarded as Tanzania’s premier primate habitat. Other primates found in the area include baboons, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and many others. Over 200 different bird species can be found in the Gombe National Park, including both resident and migratory species that come to the area from November to April.  Yellow-rumped tinkerbird, Peter’s twin spot, Black saw-wing, Ross’s turaco, Palm-nut vulture, Red-capped robin-chat, crowned eagle, Kenya rufous sparrow and among others are some of the bird species can be sighted in Gombe Stream National Park.

Things to do in Gombe Stream National Park.

 Chimpanzee trekking.

The primary safari activity in Gombe Stream National area is chimpanzee trekking safari. The area is home to habituated chimpanzees that have become accustomed to humans and have been trained for trekking. In Gombe Stream National Park, chimpanzee trekking safari begins with a training on the rules and regulations to be followed before heading into the tropical forests in search of the chimpanzees. The activity takes a period of thirty minutes to four hours, while searching for chimpanzees, you may also see dik-dik, bushbucks, bush pigs, and other animals. And after spotting them you can be given a period of one hour in their presence, through finding the chimpanzees in their groups playing and going about their daily lives is the highlight of this encounter, taking their pictures and recording their videos.

Birding safari.

Over 200 bird species, both resident and migratory, can be found in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Birding safaris there provide opportunities to see birds like the African broadbill, Black saw-wing, crowned eagle, Double-toothed barbet, Kenya rufous sparrow, Livingstone’s turaco, Palm-nut vulture, Peter’s Twinspots, Red-capped robin-chat, Red-chested cucko and many others.

Guided nature walks.

Gombe Stream National Park is a great safari place to go on guided nature walks because it is naturally endowed with steep valleys, streams, and rivers as well as a variety of flora types, including alpine bamboo, tropical rainforests, and grasslands. You can have the chance to visit the former Goodall Foundation feeding station during this same excursion, which is where Goodall first started his research on chimpanzees. Henry Stanely and Dr. Livingstone also first met at the old feeding station in 1871. And during the guided nature walks you can have the chance to encounter the park’s wonderful biodiversity.

Boat rides.

Boat rides are available on Lake Tanganyika and the park’s rivers, providing breathtaking views of the park’s greenery and aquamarine waters. Gombe National Park offers boat rides in different phases that is in the mornings and afternoons. These excursions reward visitors with views of birds, other animals like chimpanzees, and the chance to take some beautiful photos especially for the wildlife along the water shores.

Hiking safaris.

Hiking safaris in Gombe Stream National Park are an exhilarating safari experience that provide fantastic encounters with the park’s lush greenery and picturesque views of the surroundings. Hiking also serves as a workout activity because it challenges your physical stamina/fitness and works your muscles. Hiking through heavily forested green hills and tropical forests in  Gombe Stream National Park allows you to see rare wild flower and plant species, chimpanzees, and a variety of birds, including trumpeter hornbills, horn bills, kingfishers, sunbirds, palmnut vultures, and many others.

Fishing safaris.


Fishing safaris in Gombe Stream National Park are particularly engaging safari activities that allow visitors to practise their fishing skills for pleasure in the Lake Tanganyika waters. Numerous fish species, including Lake Tanganyika sardine, Tanganyika killifish, Lake Tanganyika sprat, Tanganyika slates, and enormous tilapia, can be found in Lake Tanganyika. You must obtain a fishing permit that includes a fishing guide in order to go on a fishing safari in Gombe Stream National Park.

Swimming safaris.


Swimming safaris at Gombe National Park are conducted at Lake Tanganyika, which is close by. Lake Tanganyika is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world and the second-largest lake in East Africa. The cool lake waters of a swimming safari provide a pleasant and calming safari experience away from the stifling sun.

How to access Gombe Stream National Park.

Only water and air travel are available to get to Gombe Stream National Park; domestic flights are available from Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. You can take a car from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Kigoma, and a boat connects Kigoma and the park by water.

Accommodation in Gombe Stream National Park


Accommodations at the Gombe Stream National Park are obtained from a variety of accommodation facilities of varying status; these accommodation facilities are divided into luxury, midrange, and budget options.

Luxury accommodations includes GHN Lake Tanganyika Hotel, Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, Gombe Executive Lodge, Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge, Triple J resort and many more.

Mid-range accommodations includes Gombe forest lodge, leader’s lodge, Mahale classic lodge, sunset Vista Hotel and many more.

Budget accommodations include Gombe Bandas, janda lodge, one point, Muzye lodge and many more.

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