The main reason that Jon and I trekked all the way out west was specifically to go to Gombe Stream National Park (NP). This NP is by far one of the most infrequently visited NPs in Tanzania by tourists, yet easily the best one I have visited. To be honest, I can’t imagine more tourism given the nature of the park and maybe that’s why it is so difficult and expensive to visit. Jon and I decided to go the route of public transportation. I mean, it’s not like we really decided so much as we couldn’t afford hiring a private boat to get there. That’s one of the unique features of this park is that you must arrive by boat. So, we got onto a “lake taxi” – basically a dalla dalla boat. We counted approximately 120 people in this wooden boat filled not only with humans but also cargo.
The lake taxi from shore
a shot of the lake taxi from inside it.
The lake taxi takes approximately 3 hours from nearby Kigoma to the NP. It’s only about 15 miles. Gombe is Tanzania’s smallest National Park, but to me, the most interesting as it’s where Jane Goodall began her research of chimpanzees way back in 1960. Even today, the research of these chimpanzees are still continuing. We went to Gombe specifically to go chimpanzee tracking. In fact, we came all this way from our village just to see chimpanzees.
The first afternoon we arrived, we again enjoyed a beautiful, secluded beach on Lake Tanganyika. Only this time, we were greeted with the local baboons. They played, fought, and groomed each other while we relaxed on the beach.