The Park, which covers an area of only 52 sq kms, making in the smallest park in Tanzania, is located in southwestern Tanzania, on the shores of Africa’s deepest and longest freshwater lake, Tanganyika. The mountains of Gombe, covered in […]
The Park, which covers an area of only 52 sq kms, making in the smallest park in Tanzania, is located in southwestern Tanzania, on the shores of Africa’s deepest and longest freshwater lake, Tanganyika. The mountains of Gombe, covered in forest, rise steeply in folds and valleys almost directly from the beautiful sandy lake shore.
Gombe, a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hems 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 behavioral 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.
The beauty of Gombe National Park is unique – it is a park without roads, where you can walk and experience nature with all your senses, in its pristine manner. Park’s vegetation varies from evergreen forests of tall trees to open woodlands and grassland. 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.
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