Gombe National Park, also known as Gombe Stream National Park, is located in the western Kigoma Region, Tanzania, 10 miles (20 km) north of Kigoma, the capital of the Kigoma Region. Established in 1968, Gombe is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania, with only 15.5 square miles (35 km2) of protected land along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to woodland to tropical rainforest. Accessible only by boat, the park is most famous as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioral research conducted on chimpanzee populations. The Kasekela chimpanzee community, featured in several books and documentaries, lives in Gombe National Park.
Gombe’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys have also been known to hybridize in the area. The park is also home to over 200 bird species and bushpigs. There are also many species of snakes, and occasional hippopotami and leopards. Visitors to the park can trek into the forest to view the chimpanzees, as well as swim and snorkel in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish.