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Gombe Your Guide


About JGI Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research of chimpanzee behavior — research which transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots education program, which has groups in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit

Photo credits COVER: Cyril Ruoso PAGE 1: Hugo van Lawick/JGI PAGE 2: Rob Sassor/JGI PAGE 3: Hugo van Lawick/JGI Map: Lilian Pintea/JGI PAGE 4: Cyril Ruoso PAGE 5: Rob Sassor/JGI PAGE 7: Hugo van Lawick/JGI PAGE 8: Janette Wallis PAGE 9: L  eft: J. Conciatore/JGI Right: Kristin Mosher PAGE 10: Cyril Ruoso PAGE 11: Eric Matthews PAGE 12: Science Museum of Minnesota

PAGE 13: T  op: Michael Neugebauer Bottom: Cyril Ruoso PAGE 14: JGI PAGE 15: 1  -3: Kristin Mosher/JGI 4: Rob Sassor/JGI PAGE 16: M  ap: Lilian Pintea/JGI PAGE 17: Left: J. Conciatore/JGI PAGE 18: Bill Fitch PAGE 19: Cyril Ruoso PAGE 20: H  ugo van Lawick/JGI PAGE 21: T  op: Michael Neugebauer Bottom: David Bygott PAGE 22-23: Michael Neugebauer BACK COVER: George Strunden/JGI



David Bygott and Jeannette Hanby

Green Communication Design inc.

Dear friend, Gombe National Park is the site of the longest continuous study of great apes in the wild. The place where I first arrived in 1960 and worked so hard to get the chimpanzees to lose their fear of the strange white ape who had invaded their world. Eventually they showed me that world, one of great complexity and more than occasional drama. Gombe is a challenging landscape – a place of steep slopes and valleys that can wear out even the fittest of hikers. But Gombe also is a place of utter peacefulness and incredible beauty, with the most stunning sunsets to be found anywhere. For me Gombe also is special in its spirit. Day after day in the early years I was alone, sharing the wilderness with the animals and the trees, the gurgling streams, the mountains, the awesome storms, and the star-studded night skies. I became one with a world in which, apart from the change from day to night, from wet to dry season, time was not important. If you are lucky enough to go to Gombe, I wish for you the same transcendent experience, for if there ever was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, surely visiting the chimpanzees and experiencing the natural beauty of Gombe is it. But I probably don’t have to tell you that. Whether you are an armchair traveler reading about Gombe or you actually make the trip there, you are no doubt already thrilled by the Gombe story. At the risk of dampening that excitement, I ask you to remember that the future of the Gombe chimpanzees is by no means secure. After you have trekked the slopes of Gombe or taken our “tour” in the following pages, I hope you will support the Jane Goodall Institute‘s efforts to help conserve this precious habitat and help the people in communities around Gombe to improve their lives. Both tasks go hand in hand.

With my love, Jane Goodall

the Jane Goodall Institute


The name evokes images of the forest, with chimps prowling through the undergrowth, climbing vine-draped trees and above all, hooting in chorus — a haunting sound that thrills us to the core. You feel an immediate kinship with the chimps in this natural habitat. And they are not alone. Monkeys leap from tree to tree, dancing butterflies tease the eye, streams sparkle, and on the open slopes, the grass rustles in the breeze.


ombe National Park was a game reserve when Jane Goodall first came, established by the British administration in 1943 as a chimpanzee sanctuary. At that time perhaps 1 million chimps lived across the equatorial forest belt of Africa. Now their population may be less than 250,000. Gombe itself shelters and protects about 100 chimpanzees, known and followed with great interest since Jane began her work in 1960.

“Conserve Gombe National Park”

To reach Gombe you must travel by boat from Kigoma, as there is no road to the Park. During the 16-mile voyage along the crystal clear edge of Lake Tanganyika, you pass the same terrain that Jane Goodall saw as she first came to Gombe. But where she saw sparsely populated wooded hills,

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you see crowded fishing villages and a denuded landscape with crops clinging to steep slopes. Human populations in the area have dramatically increased, leaving the Park as a little island of wilderness. Gombe itself is a narrow strip of land, about nine miles long and two wide, where 13 deep, forested valleys run down from the grassy Rift escarpment to the lakeshore. This is a very precious home for a very precious population of chimpanzees. Kasekela near the Park’s center is the core area of the largest, most studied chimp group – the Kasekela community. There are two other communities in Gombe, also named for their core areas. To the north is the Mitumba group, in the same valley as the tented camp, and to the south, the Kalande group. Each community occupies and defends a territory that changes over time depending on group size and health. In recent years, the Kalande community has been drastically reduced. Disease and poaching have speeded this decline and, sadly, the community may no longer be viable.

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Jane Goodall first arrives at Gombe meat-eating first seen tool use for termite-fishing first seen


David Greybeard begins visiting

Visiting the wild chimpanzees is a privilege, and requires some responsibility. Chimpanzees are much stronger than people and potentially dangerous. At the same time, they are vulnerable to many of the diseases we carry. Respiratory disease is a major killer of chimpanzees here. If you are ever lucky enough to travel to Gombe, please observe the following precautions and etiquette, to protect the chimpanzees and yourself.

Visitor Precautions and Etiquette

When planning your visit: Never take a child younger than 15 years into the Park (i.e., away from the beach area). This can be extremely dangerous. Do not bring any pets or firearms into the Park.

In the Park: Do not leave the beach or camp areas without an official guide. When walking in the Park, stay strictly on the main trails. Do not carry food with you; both chimps and baboons can sense food. Do not disturb, touch, play with or feed animals of any kind. Do not disturb other visitors. Do not pick any flowers, cut or destroy any vegetation. Do not discard any litter, burning cigarettes or matches. Do not relieve yourself except in designated toilets, to reduce disease transmission to chimps. 

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When visiting the chimpanzees: Do not visit the chimps if you have any infectious illness, particularly coughs or colds. Keep at least 10 meters (33 ft.) from the chimps at all times. If they approach, back off slowly. Do not use flash while photographing primates. Do not look directly into the eyes of primates, it is considered a threat. Do not talk loudly, make sudden movements, call or run when around any animals. If a male chimp charges you, hold on tightly to the nearest tree to anchor yourself. He will probably not hurt you. Do not follow any chimps who seem to be avoiding you. Take care not to frighten any infant baboon, chimpanzee or other primate. Do not leave loose hats, bags or clothes near chimps. They may try to eat them.

camp, takes bananas Jane begins academic studies at Cambridge University


Tanganyika becomes independent under President Julius Nyerere

Observation, patience and daring

Imagine you have landed on the shore of Lake Tanganyika and are hiking through Kakombe valley. You are walking through half a century of research. Look around, and let your imagination take you to a momentous event.


young Englishwoman steps from the game warden’s boat on to the pebbly beach. She sees no jetty, no welcoming arch, no buildings except the grass huts of the dagaa fishermen whose silvery catch gleams on the beach. Jane Goodall has no idea what lies beyond the beach, in the dark green forest of the Gombe Stream Game Reserve or on its tawny wooded ridges, except that she hopes to see wild chimpanzees. If you can imagine being with her on the shore, don’t try to tell her she’s embarking on a lifetime career or that she’ll become a world-famous scientist and international icon of conservation and peace. She will just giggle. What a silly idea! She is 26 and expects to be there for four months. Jane came to East Africa from England in 1957 to pursue a childhood dream of working with wildlife. In Kenya, legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey hired her as his assistant. He was eager to organize field studies of all the great apes in the wild, for they could teach us much about human evolution. He recognized Jane’s combination of observation, patience and daring as qualification enough for such work. He finally got funding for six months fieldwork, despite the fact that she had no university degree. (She got a month’s experience observing vervet monkeys while the game department sorted out some problems involving fishing licenses

in Gombe.) At last she was able to go to Tanganyika. As the colonial authorities had insisted that a young woman not venture into so remote a place alone, her amazing mother had volunteered to accompany her. The Goodalls and their Tanzanian cook, Dominic, pitched their tents in an oilpalm grove near the beach, and Jane, armed with notebook and binoculars, began to search for chimps. Today there are well-marked trails, but when Jane began she found that the ridges were rugged and steep, the undergrowth thorny, and the chimps shy of people. When they saw her, they silently slipped away. However, Jane reasoned that if the chimpanzees saw her often, and she was no threat, they would eventually lose their fear. Jane would often walk to her favorite hilltop, “The Peak,” where she could see the entire Kakombe valley, look for signs of chimps in trees and listen for their

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Hugo van Lawick photographs Gombe


Flo in estrus, brings many males to camp Jane’s first National Geographic article, “My Life

hoots. She made some startling discoveries in that first year, even before she could get close to the chimps. Chimpanzees were thought to be vegetarians, but one day, from Jane’s Peak, Jane saw a male chimpanzee, David Greybeard, feeding on a baby bushpig, sharing the flesh with a female. And, just a week later, she saw David Greybeard using a grass stem to “fish” termites of their clay nest mound. Soon after that she saw David and his friend Goliath strip leaves from their stems to make long flexible probes for termite fishing. Chimps are hunters! They make and use tools! The distinction between man and ape was blurring. Leakey was ecstatic. He obtained further funding from the National Geographic Society and arranged for Cambridge University to accept Jane as a doctoral student.

A landmark discovery Anthropologists saw tool-making as a defining trait of mankind. When Louis Leakey heard of Jane’s discovery, he replied, “Now we must redefine ‘tool’, redefine ‘man’ or accept chimpanzees as humans.” Gombe chimpanzees modify stems for termite fishing, long sticks for catching army ants, and leaves to use as sponges for drinking hard-to-reach water or for cleaning themselves. Ivory Coast chimps use stones as hammers for cracking nuts. Other animal species use tools, but chimps are the most spontaneous and versatile tool-users, apart from ourselves.

Personalities, minds and emotions J ane worked hard to deepen her

knowledge and write up her observations. Her intuitive view of the chimps – as individuals with distinct personalities, minds and emotions – did not always mesh well with the views of her ethologist colleagues who were trying to understand animal behavior in a more impersonal way. Fortunately, her supervisor, Robert Hinde, was sympathetic and a rigorously critical thinker. He mentored Jane in scientific methodology and helped her to lay a firm foundation for the long-term data collection at Gombe. Her observations of the complexity of chimpanzee behavior surprised and fascinated him. It was a fruitful relationship. Jane traveled back and forth to Gombe, and, with the help of her first research assistant, she began to form a clearer image of chimp society. Unlike baboons and most other primates, chimps do not travel as a troop. They forage alone or in small parties, e.g., a mother with her children, or two or three friendly males. Often these groups come together where food is plentiful, such as at the Gombe research camp, where, initially, Jane lured the chimpanzees with a banana feeding station. This station was later abandoned, as baboons became interested in the feasts, and the chimpanzees showed increased aggression. Jane and the Gombe staff also became concerned about the risk of human disease transfer to the chimpanzees. Females and their young form the most basic units of chimp society. Adult females do not associate closely with one another, but males form close friendships.

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among Wild Chimpanzees”


Jane and Hugo marry Flo gives birth to Flint First research assistant, Edna Koning, begins work. Tanganyika,

David Greybeard

Males also compete vigorously for status and for access to estrus females. Chimpanzee females in estrus flaunt pink genital swellings, and attract large numbers of males, with whom they mate promiscuously. Males rarely fight, asserting themselves with impressive “charging displays.” He who can intimidate all others and win their submissive “pant-grunts” is known as the alpha male. Goliath was alpha male when Jane began her study. He was bold, with a fast impressive charging display and he had an important adult male ally, David Greybeard. Despite the support that Goliath enjoyed, a lowranking chimpanzee named Mike proved to be smarter. Mike was small but determined. His displays weren’t particularly impressive until one day he incorporated an empty five-gallon kerosene can into his act. There were always plenty of these empty cans around camp. The loud clanging terrified the other chimps. By the time Mike could roll three cans in front of him as he charged through a group, he had become alpha male, apparently without striking a blow. Even though the Gombe staff took his cans away, Mike was alpha for six years.

Jane’s observations of Goliath, Mike, Flo and the other chimps were published in National Geographic, with captivating photos by filmmaker/photographer Hugo van Lawick, who became Jane’s first husband. (They would divorce in 1974.) As the level of support for the Gombe study increased, Jane and Hugo were able to build a permanent camp with chimp-proof buildings and to hire more research assistants. The Gombe Stream Research Center was born.

Deepening knowledge O n the main path across the northern

slope of Kakombe valley there is a steel prefab hut at the edge of an open area. From here you can look east to the rift escarpment, or south to the steep ridge called “Sleeping Buffalo.” From 1965 to 1975, this clearing was the hub of the Gombe Stream Research Centre. A research office — “Pan Palace,” named after Pan troglodytes, the chimpanzee’s scientific name — stood in the center. Jane and Hugo’s house and most of the support staff and stores were on the beach. Researchers were housed in smaller metal rondavels scattered between the beach and Pan Palace.

With a larger staff following the chimps further afield, Jane and her team soon observed that the Kasekela chimps mainly used the central third of the Park. Only parties strong in adult males approached the limits of this range. If they heard a group of distant chimps, they either made a lot of noise or remained silent, and usually turned back. The males defended a large community range, within which females had smaller overlapping ranges. Young females in estrus often traveled long distances with male groups. Often they

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following union with Zanzibar, becomes the United Republic of Tanzania.

traveled alone into neighboring territory where they mated with the males. But young males always stayed in the community where they were reared – if they tried to enter a neighboring group they would be killed. The same kind of community structure has been observed everywhere else chimps have been studied in the wild. In 1968 two human alpha males, Professors Robert Hinde from Cambridge and David Hamburg from Stanford University, visited Gombe. Both had been supportive of the Gombe research and were keen to send more students. And so the research team grew. They embraced new topics, including other species, beginning a long-term baboon


Senior National Geographic staff first visit Gombe new permanent

study in 1967 and a red colobus study in 1969. Gombe’s protected status also was upgraded in 1968, when it became a National Park. In 1969, tragedy. A dedicated researcher fell over a cliff to her death as she returned from a day of tracking. From then on, nobody was allowed to follow chimps alone. The Center hired Tanzanian field assistants to accompany and help researchers. These local men were masters at navigating the forest. They soon learned to recognize individual chimps or baboons and to understand their behavior. Among the first to be hired were Hilali Matama, Eslom Mpongo and Yahaya Almasi.

This photo is historic and does not reflect current policy regarding mandatory distances from chimpanzees.

PROFILE: Hilali Matama Hilali is among Gombe’s most devoted chimp followers. When he began in 1969, he was a slight young man with a good sense of humor, and he quickly emerged as a natural leader. He stayed with the chimp project for the next 36 years. For much of that time he was headman of the Tanzanian research staff. He was tireless, patient, and a keen observer with a phenomenal memory. Hilali has many stories to tell of his time in Gombe. When he was a child, lions lived in the Gombe area! He remembers when there were fewer people, more forest, less clearing of land for small farms, and then waves of refugees from the north. He remembers each of the clumsy, stumbling young researchers from distant lands, and of course, the comings and goings of Jane. Now retired and a respected mzee, or elder, Hilali is still involved with Gombe, because the field staff members often go to him for information and perspective.


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research camp constructed Jane earns her PhD


polio epidemic kills and paralyzes chimps


Jane and Hugo’s son “Grub” born

PROFILE: Anthony Collins and Shadrack Kamenya The unflappable Anthony Collins began work at Gombe in 1972. He has spent more time at Gombe than any other researcher. Anton came to Gombe to study baboon behavior, life history and ecology. After he earned his Ph.D., he returned to Gombe to continue research on baboons as well as help direct the field researchers who collect behavioral data on chimpanzees. Anton is a vital part of Gombe’s human social nexus in the area, linking researchers past and present, Park staff, donors, administrators, local community leaders and visitors. He is an excellent communicator and facilitator. He speaks fluent Kiswahili and is widely respected for his understanding of the region, his humanity, sincerity and good sense. This puts him in a good position to carry the message of conservation to the people who live near the Park and those who visit. Dr. Shadrack Kamenya has been employed by JGI-Tanzania as co-director of the Gombe Stream Research Center. Anton says, “Shadrack is a miracle, and very wise; he is always working for conservation and human concerns.” Shadrack supervises researchers and approximately 40 field assistants working in Gombe, directs and coordinates conservation efforts in and around Gombe, and oversees the Gombe Research Education Program. As though this were not enough to test the strength, dedication and resilience of this unusual man, Shadrack participates in Africa-wide efforts dedicated to primate conservation and human concerns. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology and conservation biology at the University of Colorado and has participated in paleontological, geological, and archaeological studies.


Following chimps What is it like to follow chimpanzees all day? Exciting and frustrating, peaceful and thrilling. Researchers go to the nest site before dawn and wait for the group to wake up. After that, they just have to keep up. The chimp might sit and feed in one small area all day. Or travel with a large group across three valleys, through two-foot tunnels in thorny vines, up and down precipices, through savage army ants and rainstorms. Trackers often come home in the evening scratched, bruised and tired. But then they can cool off in the lake and swap chimp stories over dinner. Exhilarated and exhausted, they know there is still data to record and observations to add to the accumulating insights into chimp behavior.

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A flu epidemic kills chimps Robert Hinde and David Hamburg visit Gombe Gombe becomes a National Park


Following the death

“Just as awful” A s the Gombe study continued

into the 1970s, events revealed the darker side of chimp nature. Jane says, “When I first started at Gombe, I thought the chimps were nicer than we are. But time has revealed that they are not. They can be just as awful.” Mike’s six-year reign as alpha male ended when the younger, larger and very aggressive Humphrey charged him and pounded on him. After this Mike just gave up. At about the same time, seven of the 16 community males withdrew from the Kasekela area to the southern part of their range. The two subcommunities — Kasekela and Kahama — continued to meet from time to time, with much excited displaying followed by long grooming sessions, and sometimes they would combine forces on a border patrol to the far south. But conflict between chimp communities escalated. Having defeated Humphrey and won the submission of all the Kasekela males, Figan took them to “war” against Kahama. Their strategy was simple: hunt the enemy down, one at a time, attack them brutally, and leave them to die of their wounds. Within four years, they eliminated all seven Kahama males and at least one of the females. Data later showed that by doing so, the Kasekelans gained access to more food resources, and the inter-birth interval of their females decreased – i.e., they fed better and bred better. But it is chilling to know that the Kasekelans killed, with their teeth, hands, and feet, their former companions and grooming partners ­— and to realize that friends so quickly became tribal foes.


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Violent events were taking place among the Kasekela females as well. Passion, one of the high-ranking females, and her daughter, Pom, developed an abnormal taste for other females’ babies. In a threeyear span, they killed and ate between five and 10 newborn infants. While this was extreme, other high-ranking females have also been seen attacking new mothers and taking their infants. While such brutality is disturbing, Jane is quick to point out that chimpanzees are also capable of altruism. For example, two infants, Mel and Darbee, each about 3 1/2 years old, were orphaned by a pneumonia epidemic. Both orphans were at first adopted by unrelated adolescent males, Spindle and Beethoven, who had themselves lost their mothers. Spindle would even share his night nest and allow Mel to ride clinging to his belly if it was rainy and cold. Later, both orphans were taken on by a childless female, Gigi. Important events were also happening in the human community. Perhaps most significantly, Derek Bryceson became the Director of Tanzania National Parks. Bryceson was a former British fighter pilot, farmer, and one of the only democratically elected white members of Parliament in Africa. In his new position, he visited Gombe frequently. Jane found him very sympathetic and supportive, and they became good friends. Jane and Derek were married in 1975.

of a researcher, Tanzanian field assistants are recruited


“In the Shadow of Man,” Jane’s account of her research on chimpanzees, published.

The late ‘70s were hard times for Jane and for Tanzania. Tanzania’s human and financial resources were drained by a war with Uganda and for some years there were shortages and chronic poverty throughout the land. This had a dramatic impact on conservation in Tanzania. Both inside and outside of parks and reserves, animals were poached for meat and trophies, trees were felled for fuel, for farmland and for profit. It was difficult for authorities to find support for national parks. Derek Bryceson’s political influence was important to the survival of Gombe and the research during these hard times, right up to his death from cancer in 1980.

Expanding mission


ombe researchers continued to look at chimpanzee feeding behavior, ecology, infant development, aggression, as well as other primate species. They also were able to document details of chimpanzee “consortships” — periods in which males take females away from other community males for unchallenged mating time. Jane suggests that

chimpanzees thus show a latent capacity to develop more permanent bonds similar to monogamy or serial monogamy. Jane continued to spend time at Gombe, even as she began to travel widely promoting conservation. But her main priority was to analyze and write up 25 years’ worth of Gombe research. Her book The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior was published in 1986. Clear, readable and authoritative, this book reaffirmed her status as a leading primatologist. Its publication was celebrated by a conference in Chicago, “Understanding Chimpanzees,” which brought together many chimp biologists. They were fascinated by one another’s findings, but alarmed to realize how widespread and urgent were the threats facing wild chimps, and the horrific abuses inflicted on captive chimps. The message was clear: We understand chimps much better now. They are more like us than we ever imagined. But now we must help save them. Jane and some colleagues put together an action plan to conserve wild chimps by surveying the whole species’ range to locate viable chimp habitats, and by persuading local governments to protect them.

KEEP OUR CHIMPS SAFE You wouldn’t dream of harming a chimpanzee, but it could happen by accident. Diseases have caused at least half of all chimpanzee deaths at Gombe, and humans may have been the source. Jane first became aware of this in 1966 when polio killed six chimps and crippled six more. Since then there have been outbreaks of respiratory diseases (flu or pneumonia) in 1968, 1978, 1987, 1996, and 2000 and mange in 1997. Sometimes the toll was huge: In 1996 flu killed eight chimpanzees; in 2000 at least 35 became ill. This is why we emphasize that if you have any kind of contagious illness you MUST NOT visit the chimps, and even if you feel healthy you MUST keep at least 10 meters (33 ft.) from chimps at all times.

the Jane Goodall Institute


It soon becomes a bestseller.


Flo dies Derek Bryceson becomes Director of TANAPA


Figan becomes alpha male of Kasekela group

Mass of data Sophisticated tools A s data collection at Gombe generated A new synthesis of the life of wild ever more information, it was obvious to all concerned that the mass of handwritten field notes and other data overflowing the cupboards of Jane’s house in Dar es Salaam needed to be stored safely and digitized. In 1995, the Gombe archives found a permanent home. The Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota was established under the direction of Dr. Anne Pusey. Anne is no stranger to Gombe, having joined the field research team in 1970. She now oversees the archiving, digitizing, analysis and publishing of five decades of field data.

Researchers at the Center network with other long-term researchers in Tanzania and other parts of Africa. They exchange data and ideas and collaborate on studies comparing different chimp populations and their cultures. Researchers across Africa have noted exciting differences in the ways chimps use tools, get food and interact socially. How tragic that their ranges are diminishing, chimpanzees along with their cultures vanishing.


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chimpanzees is emerging. It validates and greatly expands Jane Goodall’s early observations, but while Jane started her research with little more than a pencil, notebook and binoculars, today’s researchers use sophisticated technological tools. These include Global Positioning System handsets and Geographic Information System software, which enables accurate mapping of chimp ranges and natural resources. Satellite imagery allows measurement of habitat types and their changes over time. In addition, non-invasive sampling of urine and dung can measure sex hormones, stress hormones, SIVcpz (a virus similar to HIV), and signs of other infections. Fecal samples can provide enough DNA to confirm paternity and other genetic relationships. On the web, Google Earth and high resolution satellite images allow anyone to take an imaginary flight over Gombe, vividly bringing the park into view. Stories written by Gombe researchers, photographers and others can be appreciated by anyone with Internet access ( gombe-chimp-blog) Following are just two of the fascinating studies published in recent years. A bibliography of papers and books generated by Gombe research would run to about 600 titles.


Jane and Hugo divorce


Jane and Derek Bryceson marry Tanzanian assistants take over all data collection


JGI founded

Female status and ranging F or years we were not sure


Predation Craig Stanford’s field study and long-term analysis showed the nature and extent of chimp predatory behavior at Gombe. Eighty percent of chimp kills during his study were of red colobus monkeys. Adult males were the chief hunters. One individual (Frodo) made almost half the kills. Hunting peaked during the lean months of August and September. The daily amount of meat eaten approached that consumed by some foraging human cultures. Although hunters sometimes rewarded consorts or allies with a share of the kill, hunting seemed to be not political but a means of getting protein. One out of every five colobus in the chimps’ range was killed each year. Three-quarters of victims were infants, snatched from their mothers, or juveniles — not quick enough to evade a chimpanzee hunter. Colobus groups near the centre of the chimp range were almost half the size of the groups at the edge.

why females have a dominance hierarchy, as mothers mostly forage alone with their families. Carson Murray showed that each female uses a distinct core area. High-ranking females get the best areas, where they can find the most food with the least effort. But low-ranking females even at the best of times have to forage as other females would in times of scarcity, meaning that they are nutritionally stressed. High-ranking females have a shorter interval between births and rear more of their young successfully. Their young may also enjoy higher rank when adult. Attacks by high-ranking females against immigrant females or against lower-ranking females with new babies seem to be an expression of competition.

Even as research expands our understanding of how chimps live, human population expansion raises the question of how long they will survive.

Powerful force for conservation A s Jane has said, “The chimpanzees

of Gombe will not survive without the support and participation of the people who live and work on the land surrounding the Park. But that is not a responsibility a community can shoulder when it is struggling against poverty and over-dependent on dwindling natural resources.”

the Jane Goodall Institute



ChimpanZoo founded to benefit captive chimpanzees


Jane publishes “The Chimpanzees of Gombe” and becomes an activist

A powerful force for conservation in the Gombe area began in 1994 with the establishment of JGI’s Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education Project (TACARE). TACARE is a grassroots, community-centered model for conservation and development. Its aim is to help local communities find sustainable ways of meeting their food, health care and education needs while conserving their forests. TACARE works by getting communities to say what help they need. Then, community members take part in all decisions that are made about the project. Also known as “Take Care,” the program has helped create hope for thousands of families around Gombe.


Village forest reserves protect favored Microcredit schemes enable villagers to TACARE COMMUNITY-CENTERED CONSERVATION

wooded areas adjacent to Gombe National start and expand small environmentally PROJECTS Park and let other more distant woodlands sustainable businesses. and forests regenerate, providing sustainable Health care services, include HIV/AIDS activities for local people, e.g., beekeeping education and counseling, as well as family and cultivating medicinal plants for sale. planning to lessen families’ burden of care Kitwe Forest Reserve, on the western side and free people — especially women — to pursue educational and business opportuniof Kigoma town, is used to train local people in agro-forestry practices and the ties outside their homes. potential for recovery of degraded miombo Water supply improvement, by protecting woodland. springs and catchments, digging wells and piping water to villages, reduces women’s Tree nurseries provide seedlings for domestic labor and improves health. reforestation and the planting of communal woodlots as well as income. Scholarships give girls a chance to achieve higher education. Cash crops for sustainable rural development and income generation include Environmental education programs specialty coffee and oil palm. through Roots & Shoots in schools teach children about the environment and the Fuel-efficient stoves save trees by importance of conservation. reducing firewood use.


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Melissa, matriarch of G family, dies.


A pneumonia epidemic kills 9 chimps. Jane writing “Through a Window”

TACARE success story: Kigalye Village and the “natural film star” How do you measure the success of a conservation effort? Just look at the two pictures to the right:

What happened? The answer illustrates

how JGI’s TACARE program works to help change the attitudes and behavior of the people around Gombe National Park.

B efore 2000, very little thought was

put into land management in villages south of the Park. High hills rise steeply from the lakeshore and there is a growing population. Firewood is a major issue. Women walk up to two hours to find suitable trees to cut. The slopes become bare and soil erodes, as shown in the first picture. After a mudslide due to deforestation destroyed several homes, JGI introduced the TACARE community-centered conservation program to Kigalye landowners, among them Mr. Kassim Omary. He and his neighbors began planning how to reforest the hillsides. Kassim explains that a village committee Kassim Omary, monitors wood Kigalye village harvesting on conservationist. these hillsides. It is now illegal just to walk up the hill and cut firewood. Cutting is very selective, one tree at a time rather than clear cutting. He is very happy with the progress that has been made over the past few years.


Roots & Shoots

Kigalye Village in 2001, ­several months after a mudslide destroyed several homes.

2001 Kigalye Village in 2007, some six years after TACARE became active here and encouraged local people to protect themselves by protecting the environment.

2007 JGI videographer Bill Wallauer and his wife, photographer Kristin Mosher, were filming TACARE projects when they met Kassim Omary. They describe him as charismatic, a “natural film star,” because he exudes such excitement and enthusiasm about forest and land conservation. After looking at the difference in pictures of Kigalye village, Bill noted, “If this is what can happen in just five or six years, imagine what this hillside will look like in 20 years! Kassim Omary is a wonderful ambassador for good management and sustainable living!” Trees bring bees too. TACARE village forest projects encourage beekeeping for two reasons: First, honey is a valuable, sustainable cash crop. Second, bee hives located within forests encourage people to protect forests. The bees need the The bee hives in Kigalye are especially fine, made entirely forests to ­survive. When of wood recycled from retired fishing boats. people learn that honey can supplement their income, they protect the forest from fire and wood poachers. Bees also help the forests, by pollinating trees. the Jane Goodall Institute


begins in Dar es Salaam


TACARE conservation initiative starts

The TACARE model for communitycentered conservation widened its range in 2006, when the Jane Goodall Institute launched the Greater Gombe Ecosystem Program (GGE), supported by the US Agency for International Development. The ecosystem approach requires the development of a Conservation Action Plan, which the Jane Goodall Institute is implementing in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and Tanzania National Parks. The plan involves a careful survey of the status of the chimps and their remaining habitats - areas of natural woodland and forest, so that the project can prioritize the key conservation needs. The GGE program also involves the use of high-resolution satellite images. These images are layered with GIS ground survey information on a digital map to reveal chimp ranging and feeding patterns as well as patterns of human activity and land use. Then TACARE, local villages and the Tanzanian government use these data to decide what portion of land should be set aside for

Jane’s Peak


conservation, and how other land might be used for environmentally friendly agriculture or other sustainable uses. The primary goal of the project is to achieve long-term conservation of wild chimpanzee populations. This will require a network of community forest reserves connecting forest patches with existing national parks and reserves. In 2007 the JGI program extended its conservation and development initiatives to the forests and hills of the Masito-Ugalla Ecosystem. This is a largely intact 2,223 square-mile area half-way between two major chimp National Parks, Gombe and Mahale Mountains. It is home to an estimated 540 chimpanzees, as well as other endangered species such as elephants. The region is facing increasing threats from human population pressures, both residents and refugees. The landscape scale approach, with careful planning and JGI’s methods of promoting community involvement, gives hope for the long-term future of chimpanzees in Western Tanzania.

Kakombe Waterfall

Historic Feeding Station

Jane’s House



Yo u r G u i d e t o G o m b e

JGI Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota

Research Offices

established Jane is awarded the status of CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by HM Queen Elizabeth II Jane receives the National Geographic

PROFILE: Emmanuel Mtiti – The “godfather” of TACARE

PROFILE: Mary Mavanza, TACARE manager

For nearly a decade Emmanuel Mtiti has been the primary coordinator of the comprehensive, highly regarded program known as TACARE (Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education). As Bill Johnston, JGI president, has said, “Although this successful project has many fathers and mothers, Mtiti has been its godfather. He is smart, experienced, knowledgeable and incredibly hard working. But what sets him apart is his gift for listening, understanding and persuading. He inspires respect, rather than commanding it.” In 1996 Emmanuel Mtiti joined JGI-Tanzania as Education Coordinator for the TACARE project and now is the program director for the Greater Gombe Ecosystem Program. Emmanuel has a tough job, namely coordinating TACARE’s many efforts to improve the health of people and the environment in 24 villages over 80 square miles. Mtiti’s good reputation and knowledge of the people in the area make him an excellent person to promote TACARE’s objectives of promoting forest conservation through helping local people lead more sustainable lives. When asked how young people today can best make a difference in conservation, Emmanuel’s reply is very clear:

“Plant trees and protect the forests!”

Mary Mavanza, manager of JGI’S TACARE Project, oversees projects in Kigoma Region that promote health of both forests and people. Mary has an insider’s perspective on the extraordinary challenges and opportunities facing the burgeoning populations in the Kigoma Region. She works in partnership with local communities to design and implement cost-effective, holistic and sustainable development projects. She is particularly adept and keen to help families by providing health, child care and birth spacing information using media, plays, traditional singing and dancing, videos, calendars and T-shirts with project messages. Ms. Mavanza holds an MSc in Development Policy Process and Practice from the University of Reading in the UK, a BSc in Human Nutrition from the Sokoine University of Agriculture, a Certificate in Micro Finance and Gender & Community Development from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands.



the Jane Goodall Institute


Society’s Hubbard Medal for distinction in exploration, discovery and research.


Pneumonia kills one-third of Mitumba community.



f you visit Gombe, climb with your guide to Jane’s Peak, her special place. Look around you and listen for the voices of chimps, as Jane did so many years ago. Enjoy a “peak experience.” Now imagine hiking east through open woods for two to three hours to the rift escarpment. Its open grassy crest, the Park’s eastern border, is a perfect place for an overview of Gombe’s landscape and history. To the west, Kakombe valley drops in folds of forest to the lake shore where we began. Here in the 1960s, Jane described the basic behavior of chimpanzees, how they use tools and eat meat, and their individual personalities.


Yo u r G u i d e t o G o m b e

The 1970s showed that these chimps were a community, centered around a quarrelsome band of males who ranged north and south. The 1980s gave more time to appreciate individual development and the strength of family ties. By the 1990s we could drill deep into the past records to examine individual life histories and demographics. We could also look outwards to survey the whole Park and see how communities and individuals compete for space. We could begin to measure ecological changes in the Park and their effects on the chimps and other species. But we were still only looking at 20 square miles of land. Though diligently protected by


epidemic of sarcoptic mange at Gombe. Frodo becomes alpha male.


Jane publishes “Reason for Hope,” her eighth book


Jane receives

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.” Jane Goodall

Tanzania National Parks, Gombe is also influenced by what happens outside its borders. From here you could fly west for 3,000 miles across the entire range of chimpanzees, to Senegal in West Africa. This sounds vast, yet in the few miles from here to Kigoma harbor and town live more people than all the chimps between here and Senegal. East of the Park, you might hear voices and axes and as far as you could see there are farms. To the north lie Burundi and Rwanda, two small countries, crowded and unstable, which periodically send waves of refugees into Kigoma region.

Gombe is a special little island, in a sea of people hungry for land. If any chimpanzees are to survive in our crowded future, it will only be because we understand enough and care enough to leave a space for them. That is why Jane Goodall has torn herself away from the forest and the chimpanzees she loves, to spend 300 days a year traveling the world. Her mission, through her lectures and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, is to raise support and consciousness for chimpanzees, Gombe, and for the future of all living things.

With this perspective you can appreciate the alarming contrast between the remaining natural woodlands and the areas that have been totally destroyed by expanding villages. Chimpanzees are not the only ones impacted. Population growth and unsustainable farming methods destroy human habitat too, making the work of the Jane Goodall Institute even more vital.


the Jane Goodall Institute


the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appoints Jane as a United Nations Messenger of Peace

Figan soon learned he wouldn’t get any bananas when older males were waiting in camp. So he came up with a ploy: stride purposefully away from camp, and wait for Flo and then the others to follow, which they generally did. When the group was far enough from camp, Figan would “lose” them and return to camp alone to claim his reward. Flo

Flo and the F family Jane called her “the most hideous old bag in Chimpland….She has spindly legs, a large piece torn out of one ear and a beak of a nose that makes her look like some prehistoric stone age woman.” Yet Flo’s estrus swelling in July 1963 created a sensation. Many eager males followed her to camp. Eight months later, Flo gave birth to Flint — a new brother for Fifi, Figan and Faben. Flo was a devoted mother and her family has been the most successful dynasty in Gombe’s history.

Smart kid Chimps often waited for hours at camp for bananas. Once, adolescent Figan wanted to leave, but Flo did not. So he began playing with baby brother Flint, then quietly kidnapped him and walked out of camp. Flo soon followed.


Yo u r G u i d e t o G o m b e

Like all chimps, Figan screamed with excitement when he saw bananas. But this attracted bigger males, who would take the bananas for themselves. So Figan learned to choke back his screams. If he saw a banana that a bigger male hadn’t noticed, he moved away so that he would not be tempted to reveal the fruit by looking at it. Then he returned when the other male had left.

Battling brothers When Faben completely lost the use of his right arm from polio, younger brother Figan seized the opportunity to intimidate and dominate him. For two or three years, they had little to do with each other. Faben adapted well to his disability. His left arm became immensely strong, and he learned to climb with ease and to walk bipedally. Perhaps Figan began to see him as an asset, for in 1969 they began to associate and groom together again, and in 1970 Faben helped Figan defeat his two rivals, Humphrey and Evered. Thereafter, Faben supported Figan closely in his rise to power, while Figan shared food and even females with Faben. Figan ultimately defeated alpha Humphrey by attacking him in bed, and ruled the Kasekela community until he died in 1982.


Gombe reunion at U of Minnesota brings together Jane Goodall and more than 70 past and present Gombe researchers

Fifi and Flint In 1968 Flo became pregnant again. Flint, only four and a half years old, resisted being weaned, throwing violent tantrums when Flo prevented him suckling. He continued to ride on Flo’s back even when the next baby was born. When Flo’s new baby died after six months, there was even less impetus for her to push Flint to Fifi independence. At 8, Flint still slept in Flo’s nest and rode on her back. But in August 1972, Flo died. Flint sank into depression, showed little interest in his siblings and lost his appetite. He died a month later. Meanwhile his sister Fifi was very sexually active, at first with large groups of local males but then increasingly drawn to the Kahama males. In 1971 she gave birth to her first son, Freud. Experienced from handling her own baby siblings, she became an excellent mother who would raise seven children to independence.

Rise of the next generation In 1992 Freud, eldest son of Fifi, became a laid-back alpha who groomed others generously. In 1997 he fell ill, and younger brother Frodo took this chance to dominate him. Frodo was a violent alpha, a true bully and the largest chimp ever recorded at Gombe (120 lbs). He also was a highly successful hunter.


Jane is invested as a

In 1996, his younger sister Flossi emigrated to the Mitumba community in the north, and next year she produced her first son, Forest. It is quite common for young females to transfer to a new community and thus avoid inbreeding. In 2002 Frodo, along with several other males, became mysteriously ill and emaciated. For many months he was a loner – a typical response of alphas to illness. By 2004 he was almost back to normal, but he had lost his alpha status. In 2004 the “F” family matriarch, Fifi, died, along with her last baby. She was about 46.

Melissa and the G family Melissa’s first surviving infant, Goblin, was just a couple of hours old when Jane first saw him in 1964. Success would not come as easily to Melissa and her descendants as it did to Flo’s, but they would surprise and enchant Jane and her team throughout the study. In 1966 Melissa lost partial use of her shoulders during a polio epidemic. In 1970 she had a daughter, Gremlin, and seven years later she produced the first twins ever seen in the wild. Even though she had difficulty handling them, she would not let Gremlin help. One twin died after a year, but Melissa successfully raised the other, Gimble. Melissa

the Jane Goodall Institute


Dame of the British Empire (DBE) Goblin and Fifi die


Jane is awarded French Legion of Honor and an Honorary Degree of Science by the Open

Goblin the go-getter

Gremlin the supermom

Adolescent Goblin seemed to hero-worship alpha male Figan and studied his tactics. At 12 he dominated all adult females, and he started to take on the adult males. Figan almost always supported him against them. By 1979, through the sheer persistence of his displays, Goblin was dominant to all but Figan – and at this time he turned on his hero and ally. Figan had to seek support from the other males against his young challenger. Goblin did not become undisputed alpha until Figan’s death in 1982. Melissa lived to see her son’s success, but died in 1986. Goblin reigned until 1989 when the other adult males ganged up and beat him viciously. He only survived because of medical care from researchers, and hid away until fully recovered. During the last 14 years of his life, he showed his political skill by cultivating friendships with whoever was alpha male. This tactic assured him protection and respect until he died at age 40 in 2004.

In 1988 Gremlin had a son, Galahad, after losing two previous sons in infancy. Her daughter Gaia was born in 1993. Five years later she had twin daughters, Golden and Glitter. Gaia actively helped Gremlin care for the twins, and, amazingly, both survived – the only known twin chimpanzees to have reached maturity in the wild. In 2006 Gaia produced a son, Godot, and Gremlin took him away from her! She may have wanted to protect her grandchild from infanticide by a higherranking female. Gremlin was still nursing a 2-year-old son, Gimli, and could feed Godot too. However, five months later, Godot weakened and died. Sadly, Gaia‘s next infant was stillborn. Playful and curious, Gaia became familiar to thousands worldwide as the “star” of an Animal Planet film, “Almost Human.”

F and G families – differing legacies

F family: Founded by high ranking Flo Surviving descendants of F females in 2007: 14 (6 adults) Infants born 1960-2007: 19 Died in childhood: 5 Sons who became alpha, and length of tenure: 3 for 17 years

G family: Founded by disabled Melissa Surviving descendants of G females in 2007: 4 (1 adult) Infants born 1960-2007: 17 Died in childhood: 9 Sons who became alpha, and length of tenure: 1 for 9 years 22

Yo u r G u i d e t o G o m b e

University of Tanzania


Jane Goodall Institute expands conservation work in Western Tanzania

How can you help? There are many ways to support the work of the Jane Goodall Institute in Gombe and beyond.

Join Jane’s Peak Society This unique giving option starts with an investment of $1,000 or more and includes extraordinary opportunities to participate in JGI safaris to East Africa Dr. Goodall’s lectures and events, and Jane’s Peak Society program briefings, receptions and dinners In addition, you’ll receive JGI’s quarterly membership newsletter, annual report and personal communications from Dr. Goodall, JGI president Bill Johnston, and other key staff members. All of these events and communications are our way of keeping you up-to-date on JGI program activities, connecting you with other committed individuals, and involving you in the important work you help make possible.

Sign up as a Chimpanzee Guardian Become a Chimpanzee Guardian yourself or give the gift of a guardianship to someone you know who cares about the welfare of these amazing animals. In so doing, you will be helping JGI provide food, medical care and a supportive environment for the orphaned chimpanzees at our Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Republic of Congo.

You will also be supporting the local people and the economy; most of the caregivers are from the surrounding villages, and we buy all of our food from local farmers. Finally, you will be investing in exciting, non-invasive primate research, including reintroduction research, as well as outreach and education programs providing critical conservation information.

Become a Partner in Conservation By committing to a monthly gift of $10 or more, you become part of our sustainer program and a vital JGI team member. This gift option allows the JGI staff to plan ahead and use your donations in the most strategic way possible.

Join Jane Goodall’s Circle of Hope One of the simplest ways to make a significant and lasting investment in the work of JGI is by including the Institute in your estate plans. Whether you wish to include the Institute in your will or trust, make us a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement account, set up a Charitable Gift Annuity or Charitable Remainder Trust, or make a gift of property, your legacy gift will provide a vital source of revenue to further JGI’s work in Africa and around the world.

Contact us for more information To learn more about these and other ways to help, please visit Thank you for your interest and willingness to be part of the solution. For phone inquires, please call 1-800-592-JANE (5263).

Gremlin and twins

the Jane Goodall Institute


Sources for further information WEBSITES This is the major site to visit for information about Gombe, chimps, Jane, research and conservation. The site has many subsections where you can find out what is going on with Jane and the Jane Goodall Institute’s many projects. Check out Chimpanzee Central, which has lots of news, pictures and links. This is the Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate Studies based at the University of Minnesota. It offers a wealth of attractive, interactive components dealing with Gombe and chimpanzees. Get to know individual chimps and the people who are studying them. Find maps, assess ranging patterns, listen to chimp hoots. This site is a treasure trove of gleanings from decades of research at Gombe. gombe-chimp-blog The Gombe Chimpanzee Blog opens a virtual window over Gombe. This geoblog uses Google Earth’s “canvas” and high-resolution satellite images to locate you at special sites in the Park. You can find most of the places mentioned in this guidebook as you zoom over the landscape. If you take the flyover tour you will wing your way over the lake, valleys and ridges of this striking landscape. You also can read updates about the chimps and what the researchers are doing.


Yo u r G u i d e t o G o m b e Roots & Shoots is JGI’s powerful, youthdriven, global network of more than 8,000 groups in almost 100 countries. This website provides not only information and news but also a place for groups to find one another and collaborate on projects. Together youth of all ages are taking action through projects that promote care and concern for animals, the environment and the human community. The Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) is committed to the conservation and care of African primates through the unique alliance of African sanctuaries.

BOOKS These are just of the few that we consulted to write this booklet. Check the JGI website for a complete list of Jane’s publications and links to other websites/references. Bygott, David. 1992 Gombe Stream National Park. Arusha: Tanzania National Parks Goodall, Jane. 1967 My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society Goodall, Jane. 1971 In the Shadow of Man. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; London: Collins. Published in 48 languages. Goodall, Jane. 1986 The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Boston: Bellknap Press of the Harvard University Press. Peterson, Dale. 2006 Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

About Tanzania National Parks By choosing to visit Tanzania you are supporting a developing country’s extraordinary investment in the future. In spite of population pressures, Tanzania has dedicated more than 42,000 square kilometers to national parks and has accorded some form of formal protection to more than one-third of its territory. The national parks are managed by the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA). The support of research projects such as the Gombe Stream Research Center is an important facet of TANAPA’s commitment to the future. TANAPA is committed to low impact, sustainable visitation to protect the environment while creating a first class ecotourism destination. The national parks are a lifeline for animals that would otherwise face extinction by human hands. They offer refuge to many endangered and vulnerable species, safeguard shrinking habitats, and provide protected breeding sanctuaries in which threatened species can recover. With everyone’s support, these vital ecosystems will be preserved for the benefit of future generations. For more information, contact: The Director General Tanzania National Parks Mwalimu Nyerere Conservation Center Building P. O. Box 3134 Arusha, TANZANIA Tel + 255 (27) 250 3471, 250 4082 Fax + 255 (27) 250 8216 Email:


Š2008 the jane goodall Institute

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Your Guide to Gombe  

Guide to those travelling through Gombe National Park

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