GombeNational Park

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Tanzania  , Kigoma,
Monday, September 17, 2012

Gombe National Park

Gombe is renowned for tracking chimpanzees. We could not resist the opportunity of going there and see the chimps. As there is no road to Gombe, we booked a chartered boat. (In any other part of the world they would pay you to get you in the boat -  imagine Anita climbing in it.) In any case, the trip towards Gombe Park was easy as it was early morning with a quiet and windless Tanganyika. We arrived safely and more importantly, early in order to organize a guide and pay the respective fees.

And so we set off to track the chimps. The tracking part seems easy or we were lucky. We found the chimps within 15 minutes. (We heard from other people spending the day there and seen none).

It is quite an experience to just spend the time while watching them doing their thing. There were numerous little ones. They are very cute and kept us busy watching them.  Photographing the chimps is difficult as they are always behind branches or in the shade and one cannot get clear shot. I took about 15 minutes of video. Anita took several photo's and we will place a few on the blog.

After spending what appear to be about two hours with the chimps, we set off for a walk to the falls and the top of the mountain. The fall is quite nice and has really clean water as there is no villages  above, so the water filter through the ground and then there is still the fall. The Polish people that joined the tour had a good water fall shower and most refilled the water bottles with fresh water.

We stopped along the way to the top to have our guide give us some historical info w.r.t. Jane…..and her feeding program.  The feeding station (in operation for several years 1960-1982) is now a historical building. Then we set off to the top of the mountain to Jane’s View point. It was a severe climb. (By the way, the Germans Renata and Gerhard declined and went back to reception where they waited for us.) The view of Tanganyika from the top is something to see. The colors of the water resemble a tropical island like those one you see in pictures.

Well, after all the excitement and climbing, it was time to go back. We got into our "chartered" boat and off we went. Midway, the wind started to pick-up. A few of us got pretty wet and only then you get to realize the potential dangers of the trip. Well, there were three people driving the boat. The driver, the fuel man and the steer man, which keep indicating when to slow or veer left or right to minimize the effect of the waves. They get pretty big and a few came into the boat. The boat itself leaked and the structure not steady.  Hannes and Marais will never believe that Anita actually agreed to get into it.

The whole experience is something to remember and hopefully some of it is communicated through the pictures.

We enjoyed every moment of it.

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veronica on

fantastico el paseo, valio la pena el viaje en bote!!!!!!!!

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