Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the Great Lakes region. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania. Tanzania is ranked as the top destination for Big Five safaris and the vast majority of tourists also visit Zanzibar – or do a northern circuit of Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
People also come to Tanzania to go chimpanzee trekking. Recently Primate Safaris Rwanda visited Tanzania to clearly understand the difference between the chimpanzees in Tanzania and those in Uganda.
Gombe Stream National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania at only 20 square miles. The park is located in the western Kigoma region and was established in 1968. The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest.
The park is accessible by boat and is known to be a home for chimpanzees. It is in this park where Jane Goodall conducted her research on chimpanzees. The park’s diversity makes it increasingly popular, just like Kibale Forest National park in Uganda. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.
The park is also home to over 200 bird species and bush pigs. There are also 11 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 colourful cichlid fish.
With the support of renowned anthropologist Louis Leakey, Goodall set up a small research station in Gombe Stream in hopes of learning more about the behaviour of our closest relatives. There she spent months tracking the elusive chimpanzee troops, particularly the Kasakela chimpanzee community, and observing their daily habits until she was slowly accepted by one troop and was allowed rare and intimate glimpses into chimpanzee society. She wrote many books and filmed many documentaries about the behaviour of chimpanzees.
Uganda is the world’s second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin and has a moderate equatorial climate.
Uganda is the most well known destination for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Africa.
The Kibale Forest National Park, located in western Uganda, is known to be the home to the close relatives of humans, chimpanzees. It contains a diverse array of landscapes and Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest.
Kibale National Park is an important eco-tourism and safari destination, popular for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. The park has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa. The park protects several well-studied, habituated communities of common chimpanzee, as well as several species of central African monkey including the Uganda mangabey, the Ugandan red colobus and the L’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates that are found in the park include the black-and-white colobus and the blue monkey.
The park’s population of elephants travel between the park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other terrestrial mammals that are found within Kibale National Park include red and blue duikers, bushbucks, sitatungas, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, common warthogs, and African buffalo. The carnivores that are present include African leopards, African golden cats, servals, different mongooses and two species of otter. In addition, lions visit the park on occasion.
The park boasts many species of birds, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, western tinkerbird, two species of pittas (African and green-breasted) and the African grey parrot.
Primate Safaris Rwanda is offering a safari that gives you the opportunity to visit the primates in both nations. Check out the the 8-day safari here!