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Chimpanzee, wildlife shot, Gombe National Park,Tanzania
Portrait of a baby chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania
20782804 - a baby olive baboon and his mother papio anubis in gombe stream game reserve, tanzania
  • Size: 52 km sq
  • Distance from Arusha: 1,020 km
  • Distance from Kigoma: 16 Km
  • Established: 1968


The Gombe stream national park is located on the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika near the border with Burundi. The landscape of the park is made up of steep valleys, streams, and rivers. The vegetation changes from tropical rainforests, alpine bamboo to grasslands – like that of neighboring Mahale Mountains National Park. Air charters land in Kigoma few times in a week, but accessibility into the park is limited to boats departing from Kigoma town.

Gombe is famous for a population of chimpanzees live within the park. These incredible primates habituated to humans can be seen on a walking safari through the forests. Other primates seen in the park include vervet monkeys, beachcomber olive baboons and red-tailed monkeys.

Bushbucks and bush pigs can also be seen foraging on the forest floors from time to time.

The park is home to over 200 species of birds, amongst the most commonly seen are fish eagles, palm nut vultures, tropical boubous and trumpeter hornbills. Lake Tanganyika with is clear water is home to over 100 cichlid species as well as hippos. Apart from walking safari to see the chimpanzees and forest at Gombe. Lake Tanganyika is also a wonderful place to go snorkeling and swimming, or just relax on the white sand.

Herd of zebras grazing near savanna watering place
26177939 - hippo
  • Size: 4,471 Sq km
  • Distance from Arusha: 1,000km


Katavi National park is the fourth largest park in Tanzania. It is also by far one of the least visited in the country, making it a truly untouched wildlife paradise. It is located in the west of Tanzania and is quite hard to access by road, so the easiest way in and out is by charter flights.
The park is primarily fed by the Katuma River which in the rainy season – April and May – transforms the park into a wetland. Lake Chada and Lake Katavi are both seasonal lakes which are situated within the park boundaries. In terms of vegetation the park hosts a varied mix of bush land, Miombo forests, riverine forests as well as grasslands.

For those lucky enough to visit Katavi, the dry season – June to October – is by far the best time to see animals. The Katuma River is one of the only sources of water in the dry season and is the lifeline for creatures both large and small when they congregate along the river to drink and bath. Then, when the last lakes and swamps are drying, up to a thousand hippos at times would huddle together for that last bit of water. Large crocodiles can be seen basking in the sun or in the remaining mud pools.

The Katisunga plains in the heart of the park attracts large numbers of wildlife and it is one of the few parks where visitors can catch a glimpse of both the roan and sable antelope in the same place. Other animals grazing here are zebra, hartebeest, eland, giraffe and defassa waterbuck. Katavi is also one of the least parks that boasts massive herds of buffalo; some herds easily reaching a thousand animals or more. The parks have also big number of elephants approximately 3000 residing in the park. Predators such as cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, and servals are also present in the area and the resident prides of lions are always around looking for their next meal. Leopards also call Katavi home.

With over 400 species of birds, Katavi is a great place for birdwatchers. Large flocks of storks like saddle bills, open-billed and spoon bills as well as African fish eagles, Bateleurs, lilac breasted rollers, crested barbets and paradise flycatchers are but a few on the long list of birds in Katavi.

chimps 3
chimps 2
chimps 1 copy
  • Size: 1,613 sq Km
  • Distance from Arusha: 1,150 km
  • Distance from Kigoma: 130 Km


Mahale National Park is in the remote western part of Tanzania. The park borders Lake Tanganyika, of the oldest and deepest Lake in the world. Reaching to this park is an adventure as it is accessible only by air and boat. There are no roads in the park, only forest paths through the lush vegetation. This park is a hiker’s paradise, but most importantly it is a chimpanzee paradise. The park is teeming with life, rivers and waterfalls are everywhere and around the shoreline of the lake, are the most unspoilt white sandy beaches anyone could imagine.

The chimpanzee trekking takes visitors on a wild adventure through the misty forests. Hikes can vary between 30 minutes for the first sightings to up to 3 hours. During these walks hikers also have the chance to spot other animals such as roan and sable antelope, mongoose, warthog and sometimes even lion and leopard. Crocodiles are also known to live in the park. Hippos are sometimes sighted in Lake Tanganyika, swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

With almost 355 species of birds, the park will satisfy both amateur and serious birders. On the sandy beaches on can spot pelicans and different storks as well as malachite kingfishers, pied king fishers and fish eagles. Closer to the forest Livingston’s turacos, narina trogons, crested guinea fowls, and blue cheeked bees eaters can be easily seen. The lake has over 250 endemic fish species and can be see while snorkeling in the shallow water.

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