Common Chimpanzee - Scientific name - Pan troglodytes schweinfurtii portrait at Kibale Forest National Park, Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, Africa
africa, african, ancestor, animal, ape, background, cantanhez, chimp, chimpansee, chimpanzee, congo, east, endangered, evolution, face, forest, gambia, gombe, human, hunting, jungle, kenya, kibale, mahale mountains, mammal, monkey, national, nature, nyungwe, pan, paniscus, park, portrait, research, reserve, rubondo, schweinfurthii, scientific, sitting, species, stream, tanzania, toolmaking, tourism, trekking, troglodytes, uganda, virunga, wild, wildlife

©Robin Nieuwenkamp/Shutterstock

Gombe National Park

Top choice in Western Tanzania

With an area of only 56 sq km, this is Tanzania’s smallest national park, but its famous primate inhabitants and its connection to Jane Goodall have given it worldwide renown. Many of Gombe’s 100-plus chimps are well habituated, and though it can be difficult, sweaty work traversing steep hills and valleys, if you head out early in the morning, sightings are nearly guaranteed.

Chimp tracking is only permitted for those aged 15 and older, and you must be with a guide at all times except at the lakeshore.

As well as chimp tracking you can go and see Jane’s old chimp-feeding station, the viewpoint on Jane’s Peak and Kakombe Waterfall. It's also possible to hike along the lakeshore, but you still need to pay the same fees.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Tanzania attractions

1. Kibirizi

8.28 MILES

There are many fishermen at Kibirizi, 2km north of town by the oil depots. The early-afternoon loading of the lake taxis is impressive in a noisy,…

2. Kaiser House

9.72 MILES

This colonial-era building was constructed in the early years of the 20th century for German emperor Wilhelm II, who was planning a hunting expedition to…

3. Jakobsen’s (Mwamahunga) Beach

11.65 MILES

Jakobsen's is actually two tiny, beautiful sandy coves below a wooded hillside. The overall setting is idyllic, especially if you visit during the week…

4. Katonga

11.95 MILES

This large and colourful fishing village is quite a spectacle when the 200-plus wooden boats pull in with their catch. During the darkest half of the moon…

5. Livingstone Memorial Museum

13.07 MILES

The site where the immortal words, ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’ were uttered by Stanley on meeting Livingstone in 1871 is commemorated by a stark grey…

6. Port

13.23 MILES

Many people find Ujiji’s beach and small dhow port a charming step back into centuries past. They don't use power tools to build the boats, so the…