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Chimpanzees in Gombe in Tanzania

Charming and active chimps love to hang on the trees, jump around, and play. This reserve is a perfect place for seeing how they really behave in their natural habitat

Best time: June–October

Chimpanzees in Gombe

Gombe Stream National Park is a great chimpanzees reserve located in the western part of Tanzania. The park is the smallest one in the country with a territory of only 52 sqr km. British researcher Jane Goodall arrived there in 1960 to study the wild chimpanzees. It turned the park into a huge reserve for studying and discovering every aspect of the life of chimpanzees.

The park is open for anyone wanting to see these cute chimps in the wild. Chimpanzees mainly feed on plants and meat—forest fruits, ants and termites, and sometimes even smaller animals. They live in communities which consist of around 50 individuals; smaller families are formed with usually 7-8 chimps. They communicate with the help of complex language of sounds. The noise of their shout can always be heard in the park. While seeing one very closely is a matter of luck, hearing them is guaranteed. Still, the guides know where the animals hang out and hide, they will make sure you'll have the best chance to see chimpanzees.

The beautiful natural scenery of the park changes from grassland to bamboo forests and tropical rainforests to a gorgeous waterfall valley. During your walks, you can also see other primates, like beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. You can also meet various snakes, hippos, and leopards together with over 200 different bird species. Visitors can enjoy hiking here as well as swimming and snorkelling in Lake Tanganyika.

The best time to come and see the chimpanzees is July through October. It is a dry season, and chimps stay on the lower slopes, thus it's easier to spot them.

Practical info

When is the best time to see chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park?

To increase the likelihood of spotting chimpanzees, it is suggested to visit Gombe Stream National Park during the dry season - from July to October - as it is when the chimpanzees usually stay on the lower slopes. In addition to watching the primates, visitors may also appreciate the panoramic natural landscape of the park that changes from bamboo forests to tropical rainforests, grasslands, and a waterfall valley. Show more

What is the geographical location of Gombe Stream National Park?

Situated in Tanzania and bordering Burundi to the south while facing Lake Tanganyika to the west, Gombe Stream National Park is located on the country's western border. Show more

What is the extent of Gombe Stream National Park?

Covering a surface area of just 52 square kilometers, Gombe Stream National Park is the tiniest of Tanzania's national parks. Despite its size, it is home to a variety of habitats such as forest areas which house a diverse collection of wildlife and bird species. Tour guides provide visitors with informative tours of the park, highlighting its assortment of flora and fauna. Show more

What other than chimpanzees can be observed in Gombe Stream National Park?

Gombe Stream National Park is an excellent location for observing a variety of primates, including red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, beachcomber olive baboons, and red colobus. In addition, visitors can also view over 200 bird species, as well as leopards, hippos, and various snake species in the park. Visitors may also swim and snorkel in the park's Lake Tanganyika. Show more

Is swimming and snorkelling allowed in Lake Tanganyika while visiting Gombe Stream National Park?

Yes! Lake Tanganyika is one of the deepest freshwater lakes globally, and visitors to Gombe Stream National Park can appreciate swimming and snorkelling while surrounded by mountains and crystal clear waters. Lake Tanganyika harbours various fish species, adding an extra touch of excitement to the swimming and snorkelling experience. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin