Gombe advice





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Thread: Gombe advice

  1. #1
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    Default Gombe advice

    Hi guys 'n gals

    The wife and I have a bee in our collective bonnet since meeting Jane Goodall, to drive to Gombe and meet her chimps too. The plan is to set off in the last week of November and take ten to fourteen days there and back. Am looking at 4 days each way with a few nights in the park. However I need ideas for stopovers in between and any advice about heading through Zambia and Tanzania (We haven't been north of Zim before).

    Day 1: Joburg to Harare - staying with last remaining family in Zim.
    Day 2: Harare to Lusaka-ish - where to stay in that vicinity? We have the RTT and all the kit needed to be self sufficient. Are there any decent campsites thereabouts or on the road to Mbeya? What are the roads like and how far can we expect to get in an 8-hour day?
    Day 3: Lusaka-ish to Kasama-ish - again, any good locations in that area? About 11 hours on the road.
    Day 4: Kasama to Kigoma/Gombe - 12-13 hours needed. I may be a bit optimistic on my distances.

    Then the return journey a couple of days later.

    Please let me know if I'm being hellishly optimistic with this idea. Also add any tips for when we're in that region.

    Cheers
    Rob

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Rob

    You are planning a wonderful trip, but are being somewhat optimistic on time and distances. To answer your questions:

    Harare to Lusaka: doing this in one day with a border crossing is, in my opinion, over optimistic. Camping at Eureka (on the south side of Lusaka) or Pioneer Lodge (on the east side of Lusaka).

    Lusaka to Mbeya TZ: I am confused by this as later you say you are going via Kasama. Anyway, there are campsites/lodges between Lusaka and Tanzania both on the road to Mbeya and the road to Kasama/Mbala/Sumbawanga. I have answered this same question on another thread on the forum, but in brief - Fringilla Farm, Forest Inn, Mutinondo Wilderness, Kapishya Hot Springs. There is also Thorn Tree at Kasama which is mentioned on the ongoing blog on this forum by Hugmin42. I don't think you can do Lusaka to Kasama in one day. Definitely camp at Kapishya Hot Springs.

    Kasama to Gombe: this is impossible in one day. It is a long way, mostly gravel roads from Sumbawanga to Kigoma, and you will have a border crossing. In Sumbawanga there are various simple hotels and a mission hostel. Otherwise, about 3 hours away is the gem on Lake Tanganyika, Lakeshore Lodge. Camping possible too in or outside Katavi National Park near Mpanda. The section from Mpanda to Kigoma took us 8 hours. I would think again about going in November and check the weather stats as this is the short rains.

    Getting to Gombe involves organising a boat from Kigoma. Camping in Kigoma at Jacobsen's Beach. Very nice.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2017/05/07 at 11:47 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    I agree with Wazungu's reply completely.

    How do you plan getting to and from the park and where do you plan to leave your vehicle when you take the boat? I see you state that you want to spend a few nights in the park.
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Thanks a lot Wazungu and Stan.

    Wazungu: My apologies, I intended to type Mbala, had Mbeya on my mind. oops. Thanks for the suggestions, esp wrt camping around Mbala/Sumbawanga.

    So I need at least another day, possibly 2, for the drive. In terms of leaving SADC, do we need any visas etc that we can't get at the border? Yellow fever shots?

    Cheers
    Rob

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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Stan: Is leaving the vehicle at the campsite a problem? Was planning on boat in each day with guided walks around the park. Apparently driving in isn't possible.

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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Quote Originally Posted by robmorgan View Post
    Stan: Is leaving the vehicle at the campsite a problem? Was planning on boat in each day with guided walks around the park. Apparently driving in isn't possible.
    The vehicle is perfectly safe left at Jacobsen's. I suggest you liase with Jacobsen's in advance about the boat. You can do some snorkeling (take snorkel and goggles) at Jacobsen's to see the cichlid fish and it is very pleasant swimming off the beach there. Just beware, I am sure I picked up bilharzia there, it is rife near Kigoma. I would get some Praziquantel (Biltrazide) in advance and take 1 tablet 3 x day for 1 day when you leave and then repeat it after 3 weeks, but ask your own GP.

    It is not unheard of for tour groups to fail to find the chimps and if you are driving all the way there specifically it is wise to set aside a few days to make sure you get a sighting. You do not get your money back for a failed sighting.

    Visas, South African passport holders can get at the border or any point of entry. Yellow Fever vaccinations I am not so sure about. We were visiting other countries that required them and a little while ago there was a scare requiring them for Zambia which may have been rescinded. Phone your nearest travel clinic to make certain but I cannot recall being asked for the certificate at the Zambian or Tanzanian border posts.
    From Kigoma/Jacobsen's take a drive to nearby Ujiji to visit the Livingstone memorial to see the little museum and contemplate the exact site where Stanley uttered the immortal words "Dr Livingstone I presume".
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Yellow fever vaccination and certificate to show if asked is imperative for Tanzania. And malaria prophylaxis is very important.

    There are bandas in Gombe Stream. Go on to the Tanzanian National Parks' website TANAPA and look at the accommodation tab on Gombe Stream NP. You would have to take all your food, drink, water etc for a stay in the bandas in the boat with you. I think it is at least a 2-4 hour boat ride to Gombe Stream from Kigoma so not really feasible to do on two or more days. Plus the cost of hiring a boat from Kigoma. What about emailing Mr Jacobsen at Jacobsen's Beach and asking the question? Google for contact details.

    Visas are available at both the Zambian and Tanzanian borders, but don't know whether you South Africans need visas or not. Are you intending on traveling with a Carnet de Passage for the vehicle? You will need to get third party insurance or a COMESA Yellow card for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.

    Safari njema!

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Yes, the self-catering TANAPA chalets/bandas at Gombe are a good idea indeed. They are not cheap but you will probably find it cheaper than taking the boat there and back on a daily basis. You will just need to arrange for the boat to return and fetch you when your stay is over. I would take the precaution of booking and staying two/three nights just in case you miss the chimps on the first outing.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Gombe advice

    Or go very upmarket and stay in Gombe Stream National Park at

    http://www.mbalimbali.com/gombe-fore...e-mbali-mbali/

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