In an interview conducted almost a decade ago on action needed to save the chimps, Dr. Jane Goodall mentioned, “While there were more than 1 million chimpanzees in Africa in 1900, now fewer than 300,000 remain in the wild, and some conservationists fear they will become extinct in the wild within 30 years”. The Gombe National Park has since 1960, witnessed an unprecedented study of these last remaining primates and here is why the smallest national park of Tanzania will always shine bright in history of wildlife research.
- The Gombe Stream Research Centre is the living laboratory that studies wild chimpanzees. More than 165,000 hours have been spent to collect information on the behavior of 300 + chimpanzees.
- Dr. Jane Goodall who was the pioneer to initiate efforts toward the study of these primates arrived with a pencil, paper and binoculars in 1960 at Gombe National Park. Her research continued till 1986 after which she started playing an active role towards conservation of these Chimpanzees till date. Dr. Goodall is now 84 years.
- Gombe National Park is known to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a mountainous 52. Sq km escarpment by Lake Tanganyika home to the last remaining chimpanzees backed by Dr.Goodall’s intensive study and protection again hazardous medical and human refugee threats. Prior to Goodalls’ arrival, the park was undergoing massive deforestation.
- The in-depth studies of these primates are of great evidence suggesting that chimpanzees have personalities like human beings; this discovery is now helping scientists to understand human behavior and temperament. Did you know chimpanzees also laugh, use tools, hunt, eat meat and show maternal care?
- A safari to Gombe Stream National Park is amusing and enlightening. The wild chimpanzees in have been observed using body language to communicate. They express emotions through gestures such as kissing, patting, hugging, shaking fists and holding hands. In fact, Chimpanzees share nearly 99% of the human DNA.
- Dr. Jane Goodall named various chimps and treated them with utmost care and compassion. Each of these primates has unique traits which are likened to the human behavior. David Greybeard, one of the favorite chimps of Dr. Goodall known for his silver beard was seen digging in a termite mound with grass, to retrieve it laden with termites which he proceeded to eat. Later she saw him with another male, preparing twigs to use as tools to ‘fish’ for termites. While many chimps have passed away with fascinating human like behavior, some more of these named primates can still be spotted in the park as they carry on the legacy and continue to be resource in the integral research.
- Gombe National Park is a thriving jungle of a variety of primates, Besides the chimp population, one will also get to see olive baboons, red Colobus and red tailed monkeys. You will also be able to spot leopards, bushbucks, fish eagles and vultures in and around the park.
- Gombe National Park is one of the beaten path destinations of Tanzania and offers beyond primate observations throughout the year. The stay is expensive yet worth to explore the most unique and smallest park of Tanzania, the deepest and largest, Lake Tanganyika, the Great African Rift Valley and enjoy unique excursions such as walking safaris, fishing, sailing and snorkeling by the African wilderness.
Are you interested to visit the Gombe Stream National Park and walk through the thick canopy to spot the chimps? Write to us to book an unforgettable safari.