The fossil remains of early humans that Louis Leaky discovered at Olduvai
Gorge were near an ancient dried up lake. Dr. Leakey wanted someone to study
the social behavior of chimpanzees living by the shores of a lake with the
hope that chimpanzee behavior might provide clues to our past as humans.
He chose Gombe because it is located on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, and
he knew that wild chimpanzees lived there.
a Tour of Gombe
Directions: Click and drag the cursor over the image at Gombe and/or use
the tools on the bottom gray bar.
Visit Jane’s Peak, which offered a perfect view of the Gombe
reserve. From this vantage point, the chimpanzees became accustomed
to her presence, and as a result, she was able to make her first good
observations of the chimpanzees.
The beach is located on the shore of Lake Tanganyika and serves as
a point of contact between Gombe and the Kigoma region of Tanzania.
From the beach, Jane takes a boat to Kigoma to get supplies and mail.
In the Kakombe Valley at Gombe Stream, there is a waterfall where
Jane has observed amazing behavior from the chimpanzees. As they approach
the waterfall, the chimps display in slow, rhythmic motion along the
riverbed. They pick up and throw large rocks and branches, leaping to
seize hanging vines, and swinging out over the stream in the wind until
it seems the stems will snap from their weight.