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An excited whoop erupts from deep in the forest, boosted immediately by a dozen other voices, rising in volume and tempo and pitch to a frenzied shrieking crescendo. It is the famous ‘panthoot’ call: a bonding ritual that allows the participants to identify each other through their individual vocal stylizations. To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spine-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee
There are truly wild places in Tanzania, Gombe National Park is one of them. The nature value of Gombe was noticed in 1943 when it was designated as a game reserve. Gombe gained its popularity after the pioneering research activities of Dr. Jane Goodall in 1960 which is believed to be the longest-running study of primates in the world. Conservation status was upgraded to that of a National Park in 1968 and opened for tourism in 1978 after chimpanzees habituated to human visitors. It is located 16 km north of Kigoma town on the shores of the world’s second deepest Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania with an area of 56 square kilometers.