Highlights and main attractions of Gombe Stream National Park
At just 52 square kilometres, this fragile strip of land is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks. Characterised by steep rich valleys veined with swift streams year-round, its fame stems from Jane Goodall’s research of chimpanzees which started in the 1960s and is still ongoing to this day – making it the longest running study of its kind in the world.
Gombe Stream National Park features a similar environment to Mahale - a sandy beach backed by the steep slopes and river valleys of vegetated mountains. Despite its size, there is still a good mix of landscapes, with rolling grasslands, evergreen and steep slopes covered in semi-deciduous forest. Bordered by Lake Tanganyika to the west and the high rift escarpment to the east, it has become a small isolated ecosystem and prime chimpanzee habitat. Gazetted as a game reserve in 1943, it was not until Goodall’s research began that it became a national park in 1968.
The park is now a highly protected area and an economic way of seeing chimps in the wild.