Established in 1968 and also formerly known as Gombe Stream National Park, Gombe national park is located in the western region of Kigoma in Tanzania between the border of Tanzania and Congo. It covers an area of 35 square kilometres making it the smallest of all national parks in Tanzania in the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The major attraction within Gombe national park is the chimpanzees whereas there are also other primates like the blue and red-tailed monkeys not forgetting the vervet monkeys with around 200 species of birds, warthogs, snakes, leopards, fish and hippos. Gombe national park is covered by forest vegetation from grasslands, woodland and tropical forest and also steep valleys making the park only reachable by boat. Gombe national park gained fame most especially from the study that was conducted by the primatologist Jane Goodall who spent a couple of years within the forest studying about the chimp behaviour and other endangered species making it stand as the longest-running study of its kind to date

History of the of Gombe national park

Gombe was first noticed in 1943 for its beautiful scenery filled with nature. It was initially marked as a game reserve but then gained its popularity and fame after the research activities of Dr Jane Goodall in 1960 that were carried out within the national park to study the behaviour of Chimpanzees which later cheered it to be upgraded to the level of a national park in 1968 with its gates opened up for various tourism activities in that very year

tourist servicesin Gombe National Park

Kakombe Waterfall:

Just strategically located within in the Kakombe Valley, the Kakombe waterfall is supplied by the Kakombe stream. The waterfall drops a height of 20 meters down the cliff. All around the forests with plenty fig trees not forgetting the perfect spot to view the chimpanzees and several other primates. Kakombe waterfall is just a place you will fall in love with when you give it a try.

Mkenke waterfalls.

Adventuring the fascinating mists dropping over and legitimately would just make you motionless and calm making it a must-see waterfall that could spice up your adventure within Gombe national park

Jane’s Peak: influentially named after Dr Jane Goodall, Jane’s Peak is located up within the Gombe Hills, Jane’s peak used to be that perfect spot where she could take her time and observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat without causing any distractions on them that could make them scared or make them move away. To date, the peak still provides visitors with a gorgeous point for viewing the chimpanzees and other primates.

Gombe Stream Research Centre:

Located near the Kakombe waterfall and jams peak, touring the Research Centre to see where Dr Jane Goodall discovered the behavioural link between chimps and humans would also be another interesting and fun-filled adventure that you would love. The research stream centre was set up to ensure coordination between the other research activities that are being done within the park just because Goodall’s research including the data she collected is still of high importance to scientists to date.

Lake Tanganyika:

Lake Tanganyika is the second-deepest (1447m), the second-largest by volume and the world’s longest freshwater lake shared amongst four countries Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia. This could be the perfect time to view some of the animals coming to the lake to drink water

is a chance to see some of the ninety species of cichlid that live in the lake, and perhaps spot animals coming down to the lake to drink and also home to more than 300 fish species with also some species of reptiles

Wild Animals

Gombe national park is rich with numerous different wildlife animals. Although the Gombe chimpanzee are preferable among other wildlife creature to be watched within the Park, there are also several other wild animals that can be viewed within the park for example Olive Baboon, blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, red colobus monkey and many more others


Gombe national park is home to various and different birds with Over 200 bird species flying around the sky. The birds usually stay in their blotch of forest since food is abundant throughout the year. The birds include the iconic fish eagle, pelican, the jewel African broadbill, black saw-wing, crowned eagle, double-toothed barbet, Kenya rufous sparrow, Livingstone’s turaco, palm-nut vulture, Peter’s twin spot, Red-capped robin-chat, red-chested cuckoo, Ross’s turaco, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird and many others to mention but a few. The best bird-watching period is between December to March

Activities to do in Gombe National Park

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking is one of the many activities within Gombe National Park. These worthy-of-attention mammals that have been accustomed to human visitors were made popular to the world by the innovative and inventory mind work of Dr Jane Goodall who in 1960 started a research program that now stands as the running study of its kind in the planet to date. Taking into consideration that the minimum age to participate in chimpanzee trekking is 15 years plus and also chimpanzee trekking always follows a number of strict rules during the trekking activity. During the trekking process, visitors will be able to view numerous primate species for example red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and blue monkey among conclusion, the trekker must be in very good health and not ill because ill visitors are not allowed to trek within the national park and also trekkers must keep a distance of 32 feet from the chimpanzees

Boat cruise

The boat cruise is for basically moving around the freshwater lake of Tanganyika as the visitors also known as tourists hire a boat to move about and around the lake. This activity is full of different and amazing experiences since you get to spot a lot of wildlife near the lake as you feel the breeze of the Tanganyikan-based lake seated within the rift valley escarpments. One could hire any type of boat be it a speedboat or luxury boat

Sport Fishing

Though sport fishing requires one to pay a fishing permit, it’s entirely an activity that is practiced for leisure and pleasure. Other people refer to it as the catch and release game. Sport fishing is usually practiced when the lake weather is calm and not rough in order for the visitor to enjoy the maximum enjoyment and experience of the activity. The sports fishing boats along with the informed team will make sure that the visitors enjoy the sport carried out in the fresh waters of Lake Tanganyika

Snorkeling and diving

Gombe National Park being a beautiful and gorgeous place for enjoyment and relaxation as one relieves the brain, the park also offers activities of snorkeling and diving which put some value to your visit around the park and country at large. The Snorkeling and diving is on average conduced for 3 hours within the lake of Tanganyika. This is just part of the many activities once can undertake on a visit to the mighty national park of Gombe

Walking Safari

Since Gombe national park has no roads for vehicles, you shouldn’t get surprised to find that there are no safari drives but rather the walking safari. Walking safari is an interesting and worth trying activity that provides you with a chance to explore and discover the beauty of the park while on foot. The walking safari always starts with a briefing then later you are allocated an armed park guide is entitled to shield you against any dangerous circumstances during the nature viewing walk. During the nature safari, you will be able to view the beauty engulfed within the park with your pure naked eyes for example, you will be able to view Waterfalls, numerous wildlife within the park ranging from animals to birds and many others. During the walk, you will also encounter some tourist attractions like the venue where Henry Stanley met Dr Livingstone in 1871 and the feeding station of Dr Jane Goodall. The walking safari is an activity filled with joy and worth giving it a try due to its ability to make you view a diversity of attractions as you also take pictures if you wish and among others


Gombe is an ideal or idyllic place for the lovers of birds and also for people who are studying about birds. with Over 200 bird species of that have been seen within the park and many more bird species that are yet to be discovered. The Park is habitat to both permanent and migratory birds for example the iconic fish eagle, pelican, the jewel African broadbill, black saw-wing, crowned eagle, double-toothed barbet, Kenya rufous sparrow, Livingstone’s turaco, palm-nut vulture, Peter’s twin spot, Red-capped robin-chat, red-chested cuckoo, Ross’s turaco, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird and many more others. The best bird watching period is between December to March since they are easier to find because many of the resident bird species are nesting within the park hence a great opportunity to maximize the best experience of bird watching.

Location and how to get to Gombe national park

Gombe National Park needs some detailed planning to reach there just because it’s located in a deeply remote part of Tanzania near the borders of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By Boat, the perfect and simplest way is by boat which can be any kind of boat being it a speed boat or any other type but the type of boat would definitely influence the number of hours you would take to reach the park from Kigoma town through Lake Tanganyika. While on the boat, you will enjoy this boat ride, with the fresh waters of the lake. By Flight, it would definitely depend on your location, because you would need to either fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Nye ere International Airport, and then connect to Kigoma Airport which is found in Kigoma town the nearest to the national park

Best time to visit Arusha National Park

The beautiful and enriched national park of Gombe can be visited throughout the year but with the best season to visit being between June to October which is the dry season around the park whereas March to April and October to December are the wet seasons within the park consecutively. The best season for viewing wildlife is during the dry season since most of them gather around places containing water like the waterholes and also the vegetation within the park is not that too high and not neglecting the fact that mosquitoes will have reduced during the dry season. During the wet season, it may become difficult to reach the park since the roads leading to the park may become harder to navigate through and other challenges that will lead to cancellation of plans which affect the wildlife experience negatively. However, this may be a chance to view some migratory birds that come through to the park during the wet season

Climate and vegetation of Gombe national park

The climate within Gombe national park is warm to hot and with relatively high levels of water vapour in the atmosphere throughout the year. The dry season is experienced from May to October with may being the end of the wet season and the start of the dry season as well. the temperatures during the dry season are about 26°C/79°F during daytime and reduce down to around 16°C/61°F during night. the wet season is experienced from November to April with temperatures around 25°C/77°F during daytime and 17°C/63°F during the night hours. The vegetation of Gombe national park is of five main major types for example evergreen forests with medium packed shrub layer in the bottom of the valley, open packed Miombo woodland, drier areas of the valleys and some parts of the lower slopes around the lakeshore, grassland with spaced trees cover and semi-deciduous forest cover

Accommodation at Arusha National Park

Mbali Mbali Gombe Lodge

Mbali Mbali Gombe lodge which sometimes referred to Gombe forest lodge is an elegant and charming place offering Accommodation to Gombe Stream National Park visitors, located in the growing luxuriantly and under covering of ancient forest trees just a distance from the shores of Lake Tanganyika with extremely beautiful and impressive views of the deep seated blue waters of the lake and the charming sunsets in a distance of the Congo Mountains to the west. The lodge has 7 Forest tents with a combination of twin or double room configurations, it may not be that big lodge but it provides complete satisfaction by providing and catering for just 14 guests at a time

Main amenities

  • Daily housecleaning
  • Private beach
  • Beach shuttle
  • Restaurants
  • Swimming pool
  • Airport van
  • Air conditioning
  • Garden
  • Laundry room

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel

Located outside the town of kigoma and overlooking Lake Tanganyika. Kigoma Hilltop Hotel is just the elegant and perfect accommodation spot for the visitors of Gombe national park. The hotel is just 15 minutes from kigoma airport and also the ideal number one resting and chilling spot for visitors with the hotel having 30 cottage looking like rooms decorated in the old colonial style. The lodge is also seated on an environment with an enjoying environment that offers modern comfort for the visitors.

Main amenities

  • Swimming pool.
  • Restaurants
  • Private beach
  • Gym
  • Tennis court
  • Table tennis

Livingstone Executive lodge

Livingstone Executive lodge is a quality lodge located in Ujiji a town in Tanzania, the lodge is located about 9 kilometers south of Kigoma town, 5 km from the Kigoma airport and 4 km from Lake Tanganyika. Livingstone Executive lodge has self-contained rooms that are clean and healthy. The environment within which the lodge is located is calm and inviting not forgetting the complimentary breakfast offer by the lodge to their beloved visitors

The lodge has rooms that contain wardrobes, TV set, fan, sofas, chairs and bathrooms all in one

Main amenities

  • Laundry services
  • Security
  • Parking space
  • Breakfast

Mahale Classic Lodge

Mahale Classic Lodge is an elegant and attractive second to none lodge located within Kigoma region in the western parts of Tanzania. Being located near the deepest lake in Africa, and near to Gombe National Park, it gives visitors an opportunity to view the geographical layout of different scenery even before visiting them. Mahale classic lodge is also besides Dr Livingstone’s memorial site. The lodge offers accommodation in both air conditioned rooms and suites containing a fridge each accompanied with the right and perfect facilities

Main amenities

  • Airport Shuttle
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Restaurant
  • Parking

Baraka Lodge

Baraka Lodge is a well-organized hotel located in a calm, peaceful, and untroubled surrounding of Kigoma town in Tanzania. The lodge consists of beautiful and stylish looking rooms with each room consisting of a tiles, wardrobe, flat screen television and an en-suite bathroom. The lodge is 200metres away from kigoma library and also close to Mwanga market which could give the visitor variety of different foodstuffs

Main amenities

  • Laundry Facilities
  • Security
  • Parking