Gombe Wild Chimp Safari
- Office In:
- 10-20 employees (Founded in 2005)
- Tour Types:
- Small & medium group tours (Budget & mid-range)
- Price Range:
- $50 to $350 ppper person per day (USD, excl. int'l flights)
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Email Blair | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Got me to Gombe but didn't deliver all of what was promised
Gombe Stream NP is an amazing, magical place. The chimpanzee treks themselves are conducted by TANAPA (Tanzania's national park service) regardless of how you get to Gombe. The TANAPA guide assigned to me was superb.
Gombe Track provided a driver in Kigoma and a cook who accompanied me to Gombe. Both were great and individually deserve 5 stars. The driver stopped by on my night in Kigoma to point out the MV Liemba coming into port, and the cook took time in the evenings in Gombe to help me learn Swahili.
Unfortunately, my overall experience with Gombe Track as a tour operator was marred by two issues.
First, the itinerary I agreed to stated all meals and non-alcoholic refreshments were included. This turned out not to be the case. I was forced to pay for a number of waters and sodas, and on my last day in Kigoma, was told by the "hotel" (see below) that my meals were not included. As a result, I opted to skip two meals (dinner and breakfast) rather than pay for food that should have been covered.
Second, the itinerary I agreed to called for one night in Kigoma at a specific hotel (Coast View). I researched this property beforehand to ensure it was acceptable to me. Instead, without any notice or discussion, I was taken to another accommodation which seemed to be of much lower quality (Aqua Lodge).
Unlike Coast View, Aqua Lodge had no internet/WiFi, no restaurant/bar, etc. While the staff seemed friendly enough and there was a great lake view, my room had only a squeaky ceiling fan that didn't cool the room very well and the poor ventilation allowed outside cigarette smoke in. The bed had a thin bed sheet over over a mattress that wasn't even tucked in. There was a leak in the bathroom that left the base of the toilet in a puddle of water. Finally, I could hear just about everything in the one nearby room that was occupied by a couple who decided to get frisky at 3 am. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much and was counting down the hours until I left.
I should note that my trip to Gombe was initially arranged through another tour operator, who I had a great experience with on another safari. After I had agreed to terms and was in Tanzania, I was handed off to Gombe Track directly. The full payment for my trip was given to Gombe Track. As far as I am concerned, it was Gombe Track's responsibility to be aware of the itinerary/terms and ensure they were followed since it was the company actually conducting the tour.
I paid Gombe Track $900 for 4 days and the last ~22 hours were in Kigoma where I was basically on my own waiting to fly back to Dar es Salaam. This amount did not include the TANAPA fees (park entrance, guide, accommodations at the park, etc.) and airfare, which added more than $600 to the total cost.
$900 should have been way more than enough to profitably cover my (limited) ground transportation in Kigoma, the boat to and from Gombe, 4 days of meals and non-alcoholic beverages, admission to the Livingstone monument in Ujiji, and one night of accommodation in the Kigoma hotel specified in the itinerary I agreed to.
While Gombe Track got me to Gombe and back, and I appreciate that, I now know I paid a lot more than necessary and despite this, I still got less than what was agreed to.
I had been in contact with the owner of Gombe Track via WhatsApp prior to my trip and never heard from him after the trip to see how it went, which was disappointing, especially given the cost. I did two other safaris while on Tanzania, both of which were much less expensive on a per day basis, and both operators were eager to collect feedback afterwards.
Email Gaia | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
The safari at Mikumi National Park was exciting! Charles was a perfect guide! We saw a lot animals!
Very Good! Joshua helpful and kind.
Charles available and on time! a very well prepared person who showed us many animals and explained everything to us! We have seen giraffes, hippos, zebras, lions, two-month lions (they played under our car, emozio!), Warthogs, bisons, elephants, jackals, birds, crocodiles, baboons ... three exciting and exciting days! thank you
Everything run very smoothly and up to our expectations. Although the journey to get to Mahale was long, it was worth it. The car drive was longer than we expected and the boat drive shorter but our driver James drove very safely and was very experienced driver. Djambo was the perfect cook and very attentive to our needs. Most importantly everybody we got in contact with on our journey was extremely friendly and open!
The camp Mango Bandas was really nice, too. The rooms are spacious and clean and also the community space was really nice and spacious and even offered wifi. We had two very knowledgeable guides (Hussein and Merry) who took us chimp trekking.
It was one of the most amazing experiences to observe chimps in their natural habitat!
Email Justin | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Delivered exactly what they promised
Our trip to visit the chimps in Gombe was a last minute arrangement and Joshua and his team made it possible with the minimum of fuss and a maximum of efficiency.
Everything worked like clockwork from the moment we were met off the plane to the moment we were dropped off at the airport after an unforgettable visit to Gombe.
This was a trip we will never forget.
Email Iga & Andrei | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Very professional safari operator
We chose Gombe Safari for our 2 night safari in Selous Game Reserve. They picked us up from our hotel and drove to Ngalawa camp, where we had a cute cottage house made of tent material, with electricity, quite big and nice bathroom and a little porch. There is a family of babboons in the camp which made things even better for us. On the same day of our arrival we went on a boat safari, on which we ve seen a lot of hippos, crocodiles and a beautiful sunset. The second day was game drive, which took about 9 hours, we have basically seen all the animals, including lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants. And the whole time it was just us and the driver in the 4x4 jeep, which was amazing! On the last day we went on a walking safari, which was also very interesting. All those days we had meals at our camp, very delicious and in very big amounts. I recommend this safari operator as well as Selous Game Reserve to everyone!
Email Greg | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Very flexible, friendly and responsive service
I reccommend Gombe Safaris and Tours. It is a very flexible, friendly and responsive service. They put together a good tour which met my needs. Overall, the service providers they used were also good in Kigoma and Gombe. The only area for improvement would have been communications (maybe a bit clearer on the schedules), and ensuring that the service providers on the ground were fully up to speed but overall it was very good.
Email John | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Our trip to Mahale with Gombe Track went off flawlessly.
Joshua was prompt responding to any questions and flexible with our requirements. Our trip logistics were complex in an area with little tourist infrastructure. Every step was perfectly executed. The guides and other support staff were very knowledgeable and had good language skills. I highly recommend their services.
Email Wilma | 65+ years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
WONDERFUL!! Much much more than I expected.
The price of $900.00 seem very expensive UNTIL I saw what we got (flights, private two hour boat trip, a private cook and very good food, a private guild to the chimps, pick up and drop off etc.). Being on the other side of the earth, the communications was excellent and timely even though my e-mail had dropped into the junk box. I would recommend this tour and company to anyone.
Email Linda | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Quality of a weeks safari in 3 days. Fitted everything in due to the exceptional guide
It was all so smooth start to finish, the guide was on time, drove like we were Royals
Email Andrea | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Everything was just perfect! We were lucky to have the best tour guide ever! Charles thank you for everything, you really made it unforgettable for us! Charles is really well experienced in doing safari in Selous game reserve, he knows every corner of the park and places where animals are usually hiding. Thanks to him, we saw every animal and beast we could have seen! Driving to and from Selous was great, again thanks to our driver! Charles you really made it and thank you so so much!! Greetings from Croatia :)
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