Gombe Stream National Park
It is Tanzania’s smallest parks, covering an area of 52 sq.km, Gombe is a narrow strip of chimpanzee habitat on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees – habituated to human visitors – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall’s studies.
Due to the park being heavily forested, large game animal are not found in this area, but the park is home to a number of different species of monkey including the red colobus, red-tail and blue monkey, grey duiker, bushbuck and bushpig as well numerous species of bird including trumpter hornbills, Roos’s turaco, crowed eagle, narrow tailed starling to mention a few.
The park can only be accessed by boat
Location: North-western Tanzania, 16Km North of Kigoma town. Usually requires flight with Precision Air from Dar Es Salaam (daily) or charter flight from Arusha
Activities: Chimpanzee trekking, swimming/snorkeling
Mahale Mountain National Park
Mahale National Park is home to some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees: Tracking the chimps is a fascinating experience. T likely that you will observe them grooming each other in small groups, squabbling noisily, or bounding from tree to tree swinging on vines.
Watching a mother chimp with her offspring is truly remarkable. Difficult to reach and relatively expensive, Mahale has few visitors each year. And although chimpanzees are admittedly the main attraction, the park supports a diverse forest fauna, including troops of red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and a colorful array of forest birds.
Location: Western Tanzania, reachable by flight from Arusha or Dar Es Salaam
Activities: Chimpanzee Trekking, Hiking, Swimming and Fishing
Katavi National Park
Isolated, untrammeled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago.
Tanzania’s third largest national park, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
The bulk of Katavi supports a hypnotically featureless cover of tangled woodland, home to substantial but elusive populations of the localized eland, sable and roan antelopes. But the main focus for game viewing within the park is the Katuma River and associated floodplains such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada.
It is during the dry season, when the floodwaters retreat, that Katavi truly comes into its own. The Katuma, reduced to a shallow, forms the only source of drinking water for miles around, and the flanking floodplains support game concentrations. With an abundance of giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.
Rubondo National Park
Rubondo Island is tucked in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest lake, an inland sea sprawling between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Rubondo is more than a water wonderland. Deserted sandy beaches nestle against a cloak of virgin forest, where dappled bushbuck and the shaggy-coated aquatic Sitatunga move fleet yet silent through a maze of tamarinds, wild palms, and sycamore figs strung with a least 200 bird species.
A number of indigenous mammal species – hippo, vervet monkey, genet and mongoose – share their protected habitat with introduced species such as chimpanzee, black-and-white colobus, elephant and giraffe, all of which benefit from Rubondo’s inaccessibility.
Location: Island in Lake Victoria, reachable by flight form Arusha or Serengeti
Activities: Nature Walk, Fishing and Boat Excursion