Gombe National Park is nestled in western Kigoma region – 20 kilometers (10 miles) north of Kigoma, the capital of Kigoma region.
It is a very small national park in Tanzania, covering only 13.5 square miles (35 square kilometers) of protected land along the hills of the eastern banks of the dramatic Lake Tanganyika.
The protected area was inaugurated in 1968 and it is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to woodland to tropical rain-forest.
Attractions in the Park
Though very small, Gombe is a very charming national park as it is even the best one for chimpanzee excursions in Tanzania.
Gombe Stream National Park is illustrious for the Kasakela community of wild chimpanzees which were studied by Dr. Jane Goodall for over 50 years, contributing to the drive to combine the preservation of primate wildlife habitats with the development of eco-tourism and the beneficial involvement of indigenous human communities in Tanzania.
Tracking the chimpanzees in their natural nests is such an interesting experience though challenging.
The Park’s diversity indisputably results to it being a prominent tourist destination in Tanzania. The chimpanzees are the major attraction in the Park, and a face-to-face encounter with these great apes is of a lifetime.
The chimpanzees aside, there are very many other attractions, typically primates, such as; red-tailed monkeys, red Colobus, beachcomber olive baboons, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.
Visitors to the Park will also spot a variety of snake species, bush pigs, bush-bucks, reed-bucks, and hippos along with leopards can be sighted occasionally plus viewing over 200 bird species.
Activities in the Park
The Park has many activities to offer its annual guests, and these include; trekking into the forest to sight the chimpanzees, bird watching, cultural visits, photographing, bush walks, sport fishing, swimming and snorkeling in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish guaranteed to be spotted, or you can even relax and chill on the white sand.
How to Access Gombe Stream NP
Gombe stream National Park can only be accessed by boat departing from Kigoma town. In fact even when you want to travel by air, yes it’s possible, but still you will land in Kigoma and then board a boat to take you straight to the Park’s main gate.
Accommodations in Gombe Stream NP
Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge
In the lush shade of ancient forest trees just off the shores of Lake Tanganyika, lies the small yet intimate Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge. The lodge offers complete privacy by catering for just 14 guests at a time – it boasts 7 forest tents.
Mbali Mbali Gombe is the only lodge in this national park. Gombe Stream National Park is a thin strip of ancient montane forest bordering the second deepest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika.
This park was made world-famous for the primate studies conducted by pioneering British researcher Jane Goodall. Prepare yourself for a truly remarkable experience of chimpanzees and nature in one of the most remote and untouched parks in Tanzania.
Kigoma Hilltop Hotel
Set on a remote outcrop amongst acres of lush gardens overlooking Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma Hilltop Hotel is the ideal escape for guests looking for comfort and relaxation in Kigoma Town.
Located 15 minutes’ drive from the Kigoma airport and five minutes’ drive from the Ujiji Town, the hotel is easily accessible for travelers and conference delegates alike. The hotel is an oasis of tranquility situated just outside the bustling town of Kigoma.
The thatched open-deck Sangara Restaurant is wonderfully scenic and allows for an unforgettable dining experience. Specialties include fresh fish with locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Stay in one of the 30 cottage style rooms at Kigoma Hilltop Hotel where each room offers a stunning view of Lake Tanganyika – Africa’s deepest from its private balcony. Every room offers a view of Lake Tanganyika from its private balcony.
The hotel offers long stay packages for volunteers and NGO Aid workers looking for the perfect home away from home. Golf-carts are provided to move guests in and out of the property during check in to check out.