Gombe Stream National Park

GOMBE STREAM NATIONAL PARK
gombe-stream-national-park-chimpanzee

An excited whoop erupts from deep in the forest, boosted immediately by a dozen other voices, rising in volume and tempo and pitch to a frenzied shrieking crescendo. It is the famous ‘pant-hoot’ call: a bonding ritual that allows the participants to identify each other through their individual vocal stylisations. To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spine-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.
Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world. The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community, only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe, is still regularly seen by visitors.
Chimpanzees share about 98% of their genes with humans, and no scientific expertise is required to distinguish between the individual repertoires of pants, hoots and screams that define the celebrities, the powerbrokers, and the supporting characters. Perhaps you will see a flicker of understanding when you look into a chimp’s eyes, assessing you in return – a look of apparent recognition across the narrowest of species barriers.
The most visible of Gombe’s other mammals are also primates. A troop of beachcomber olive baboons, under study since the 1960s, is exceptionally habituated, while red-tailed and red colobus monkeys – the latter regularly hunted by chimps – stick to the forest canopy. The park’s 200-odd bird species range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter’s twinspots that hop tamely around the visitors’ centre. After dusk, a dazzling night sky is complemented by the lanterns of hundreds of small wooden boats, bobbing on the lake like a sprawling city.
About Gombe Stream National Park
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
Chimpanzee trekking; hiking, swimming and 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.
When to go
The chimps don’t roam as far in the wet season (February-June, November-mid December) so may be easier to find; better picture opportunities in the dry (July-October and late December).
Accommodation
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.

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COVID-19 SAFETY AND SANITARY MEASURES NOTICE

Due to the recent Covid 19 worldwide pandemic, to keep our guests and indeed our staff safe, we have made serious steps to cub the impact of the pandemic that we would like to make you aware.  We believe that with careful planning and consideration by our staff and guests we can continue to provide the best hospitality services on safari.  For now, this may be our new norm and routines.

The measures taken include the following:
  1. All our staff have received full vaccination approved by WHO
  2. All our staff have received full training in health and safety-related to the COVID-19 virus and are required to be extra vigilant with their personal hygiene and daily routines.
  3. Health condition of driver-guides will be monitored for not less than a week before being assigned to take clients on safari.
  4. City transfer and safari vehicles will be regularly disinfected before picking up clients, especially the high-touch surfaces and seats.
  5. While our vehicles are already cleaned between transfers, they will now also be disinfected between each use.
  6. To keep social distancing, safari vehicles with 4-window seats will be redesigned to take only 2 people in the passenger cabin.
  7. Safari vehicles with 6-window seats will still be available for families/group of friends wishing to travel together in one vehicle.
  8. The driver-guide will be at hand to oversee guests observe the recommended physical distancing at park entry gates, picnic sites, and while checking in at accommodation facilities.
  9. Each guest will receive their own adventure kit, which includes a Wildlife Guides' Journal, mini fan, mask and hand sanitizers, as well as a pair of binoculars – all in cleaned before each new set of guests.
  10. Guests are encouraged to come with their own masks;
  11. The driver-guide will take necessary personal protection precautions at all times which include wearing of masks and using sanitizer regularly after each physical contacts.
  12. Please be assured that all our selection of partner properties we work with have their strict COVID-19 hygiene policy in place.
  13. Tanzania wasn't Really affected by Covid 19 to the same extent as most other countries, especially those in Europe and South America. However, we will keep the above measures in place for your peace of mind.

Our meet and greet teams at airports will still be there to accompany guests into transfer vehicles.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to welcoming you to Tanzania for your African safari holiday of a lifetime.

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