Size: 20 sq. miles (52 sq. km.) – Best Chimpanzees Viewing: Feb.-June, Nov.-Dec. (wet) – Best Photography: July-Oct., Late Dec. (dry)
Sweeping up from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is a forested wonder. The smallest of the Tanzanian parks, Gombe Stream owes much of its fame to the studies of Jane Goodall, who conducted her groundbreaking research on the wild chimpanzees in this area.
Indeed, the chimps are one of the main attractions and visitors are overwhelmed by the experience of joining the primates in their natural habitat as they go about their business.
Gombe Stream does not contain roads and observation of wildlife must be done on foot or by boat. (The park is accessed by boat from Kigoma.) It’s a small park, but hilly and some trails can be demanding. Chimpanzee treks and swimming in the rivers and lake can be arranged as well as a visit to the chimpanzee feeding station.
Did you know?
Stanley’s famous encounter with Dr. Livingstone took place near Kigoma in a place called Ujiji.
Camping in the park
Camping on the beach is allowed; however, remember that animals will be attracted to food and can be very destructive so be sure to secure all your supplies.
At the park headquarters visitors may spend the night in one of several buildings but be sure to bring all your own supplies.
Kigoma Hilltop Hotel
Overlooking the blue waters of Lake Tanganyika from a rocky outcropping above, the Hilltop Hotel offers 30 luxury cottages each with hot/cold water, ensuite bathroom facilities, satellite TV and beautiful views.