Young Chimpanzee Climbing, Gombe National Park, Tanzania

Chimpanzees, colloquially called chimps, are two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River divides the native habitats of the two species:

Common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes (West and Central Africa)
Bonobo, Pan paniscus (forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Chimpanzees are members of the family Hominidae, along with humans, gorillas, and orangutans. They split from the human line about four to six million years ago, see Chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Chimpanzees (subtribe Panina) are the closest living relatives to humans (subtribe Hominina); both are members of the tribe Hominini. Chimpanzees are the only known members of the subtribe Panina.

The two Pan species, bonobo and common chimpanzee, split about one million years ago. This article uses the individual name when distinguishing one species or the other, and uses Pan or chimpanzee (or chimp) when both or either one is implied.

Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Kigoma Region, Tanzania, 10 miles (20 km) north of Kigoma, the capital of Kigoma Region.Established in 1968, Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania, with only 20 square miles (52 km2) of forest running along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest.Accessible only by boat, the park is most famous as the location where Jane Goodall pioneered her behavioral research conducted on the chimpanzee populations.The Kasakela chimpanzee community, featured in several books and documentaries, lives in Gombe Stream National Park.

Gombe Stream’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.Red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys have also been known to hybridize in the area.The park is also home to over 200 bird species and bushpigs.There are also 11 species of snakes, and occasional hippopotamus and leopards.Visitors to the park can trek into the forest to view the chimpanzees, as well as swim and snorkel in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish.

Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.

Tanzania’s population of 47.4 million (2014) is highly diverse, composed of numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital has been Dodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located.Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country’s largest city, principal port, and leading commercial center.

European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I. The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Young Chimpanzee Climbing, Gombe National Park, Tanzania

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