Gombe Stream is home of the world famous chimp reserve.
Monkeys to see here include baboons, blue monkeys, red-taled
monkeys, red colobus monkeys and of course, chimpanzees.
When you come here, youve got to remember to bring all
your provisions with you, and the accommodation is somewhat
The focal point of Gombe are the chimps. Its reconciling
their interests with those of tourism that has occupied the
founder of the reserve, Jane Goodall, for 25 years.
Here, in the 1960s, Goodall carried out major research
conclusively the unique relationship between man and chimpanzee,
as we share 95% of our genes with them (some people may share
more than others!) and they have similar hearing, smells and
other senses to humans.
Visiting the reserve
Tourists who come to chimp watch pay $100 a day just to come
in whether they see the chimps or not, so be prepared; you
may be disappointed. Some of the chimpanzees in the main study
community are actually quite aggressive to strangers, so it
can be dangerous. Care has to be taken not to pass on diseases
to the chimps, as humans and chimps immunity systems are so
similar that we can catch their diseases and they ours.
Threat of man
Habituating the chimps - getting them used to coping with
people - involves living in the middle of dense jungle, often
alone, and under trying conditions. Despite all this, the
biggest threat to the chimps still comes from humans. In places
like Saudi Arabia and Dubai, its the
thing to have a little collection of exotic animals and you
simply must have a chimp. Some chimps get smuggled
through into eastern Europe, Mexico, Cuba or South America
for medical research or for entertainment. The Goodall institute
offer rewards to anyone who gives evidence of people who are
abusing chimps or keeping them illegally. Because of rapid
habitat destruction, the chimpanzee is an endangered species.
Only around 100,000 - 200,000 exist in the wild.
Chimpanzees eat plants and meat, they are omnivores, eating
forest fruits and ants, termites and small animals, and occasionally
other smaller monkeys. They hang around in groups of around
50, and smaller sub gangs of 6 or 7 chimps. They use a complex
language of sounds, the calls of the chimps are always in
the air of the Gombe reserve, so you can be in the presence
of the great monkey even if you dont have a chance to
see a wild chimp up close.
If you fail to spot a wild chimp, don't get too disheartened,
the landscape and flora and fauna is fantastic in and around
the reserve. From Janes Peak you can see a stunning
view of the entire park and Kakombe Waterfall.