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This thin strip of forest set among mountains and steep valleys bordering the sandy northern shores of Lake Tanganyika, is Tanzania's smallest park. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, a famous British explorer who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world.

Size

52 sq km (20 sq miles), Tanzania’s smallest park.

Location

16 km (10 miles) north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.

Getting there

Kigoma is connected to Dar and Arusha by scheduled flights, to Dar and Mwanza by a slow rail service, to Mwanza, Dar and Mbeya by rough dirt roads, and to Mpulungu in Zambia by a weekly ferry. From Kigoma, local lake-taxis take up to three hours to reach Gombe, or motorboats can be chartered, taking less than one hour.

What to do at Gombe

Chimpanzee trekking; hiking, swimming/snorkelling; visit the site of Henry Stanley’s famous “Dr Livingstone I presume” at Ujiji near Kigoma, and watch the renowned dhow builders at work.

Best time to visit Gombe

The chimps don’t roam as far in the wet season (February-June, November-mid December) so may be easier to fi nd; better picture opportunities in the dry (July-October and late December).

Accommodation in Gombe

1 new luxury tented lodge, as well a self-catering hostel, guest house and campsites on the lakeshore.

Note:

Strict rules are in place to safeguard you and the chimps. Allow at least 2 days to see them - this is not a zoo so there are no guarantees where they’ll be each day.