Goma town is one of the cities of DR Congo located near Gisenyi town of Rwanda on the northern side of Lake Kivu. Goma town is the capital city of the North Kivu province of DR Congo covering 75.72 sq. km. Goma city is the fastest growing town in DR Congo because it’s located near a number of tourist attractions. The city is located near mount Nyiragongo an active volcano that destroys part of the city every time it erupts. Nyiragongo is park of Virunga mountains together with Mountains such as Mikeno, Gahinga, Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Nyamuragira, and bisoke
Goma city is also located near Virunga national park which is one of the national parks in the world harboring endangered mountain gorillas. Soo many people do live in Gom a city and some of them have been able to move to Rwanda during the times of eruption that normally occurs here. In times of eruption, lava moves up to Goma city in a few minutes and there are periods when the lava also reaches Goma international airport.
In Goma city, there are some places that still have big piles of lava and many people have decided to use them as building materials. Goma city is a home for a number of people among which include those of Virunga national park in the eastern part of DR Congo.
Goma city is located near Goma international airport and this is what most of the travelers visiting DR Congo do use. There are flights by Jambo jet under Kenya airlines to Goma international airport and these do take just 2 hours. Goma town being near the Congo-Rwanda border, it can be accessed from Kigali by road transport and the journey takes 4 hours. Goma city has a lot of security because the country is not safe at the moment so military people have to protect the local people and travelers.
Travelers that are having safaris to Virunga national park can have a tour in Goma city and interact with the local people, visit markets and art craft shops. A visit to Goma town will give you an opportunity to know how people live their day to day life, be part of cultural activities any, try a visit to art and craft shops where you can even support them.
Tourism activities in Goma town
Visit Virunga national park: Located about 1-hour drive from Goma town, Virunga national park is one of the attractions in Dr congo. The national park was gazetted in 1952 and is protecting 20 primates, 126 mammals, 706 birds, and hosts three of the Virunga volcanoes. Virunga national park hosts mountains like mikeno, Nyamuragira, nyiragongo and Rwenzori. Visiting Virunga national park from Goma town gives you an opportunity to do a number of activities and these include Hiking, mountain gorilla trekking, birding, nature walks, chimpanzee trekking, and visiting Senkwekwe orphanage.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo: Mountain Nyiragongo is located so close to Goma town in DR Congo, and this volcano is among the most active mountains in the world together with its neighbor Mountain Nyamuragira. Mountain Nyiragongo is 3,465 meters above sea level and it has a lava lake at the summit. To hike mountain Nyiragongo from Goma town, you need to first secure a hiking permit of $300 from a local tour operator or Virunga national park offices.
During the times of eruption, Goma city is one of the areas that is always affected mostly because lava always flows at a speed of 97km/hour hence reaching the town in a few minutes. Mountain Nyiragongo can be hiked by anyone as long as they are fit enough to make it to the summit in 5-6 hours. The hike gives travelers an opportunity to encounter some of the wild animals such as mountain gorillas, monkeys, olive baboons, duikers, giant forest hogs, birds, and vegetation.
Visit Lake Kivu: Travelers in Goma town can visit Lake Kivu located on the borders of Rwanda and DR Congo near Gisenyi town. Lake Kivu is one of the perfect places for travelers to relax and have a good time. Lake Kivu is 50km wide and 90m long and it’s bilharzia free with no dangerous animals like the crocodiles and hippos. Some of the activities you can do on Lake Kivu include boat cruises which give you an opportunity to explore the lake and its islands. At Lake Kivu, you can also do some small birding activities where you can spot birds such as African pied wagtail, common waxbill, bronze sunbirds, and cardinal woodpecker among others.
How to access Goma town
By road transport: Goma town can be accessed using road transport from Rwanda or Uganda. The town can be accessed from Uganda by driving to Kisoro in the southwestern part of the country where you cross using the Bunagana border. From Bunagana birder to Goma city it’s 101km and the whole journey takes 2-3hours. Bunagana border is an entry point to Dr congo and it can connect travelers to Goma town or Virunga national park. Travelers from Kigali can also access Goma town by driving to Gisenyi where they will cross to DR Congo at the Goma border. From the border to Goma town you are escorted by security due to instability in the country.
By air transport: There are flights from Kenya to DR Congo. Jambo jet which is under Kenya airlines does organize flights every week from Jomo Kenyatta international airport to Goma international airport. Flying from Kenya to Goma international airport is just 2 hours and from the airport, you can access Goma town in a few minutes.
Accommodation in Goma town
There are accommodation facilities of different options in Goma town which travelers can use while on a visit to the beautiful city. They do offer different services based on the price and some of them include Karibu Hotel, Hotel Cap Kivu, Lac Kivu Lodge, Vip Palace 1, Ihusi Hotel, Linda Hotel, and Rusina Hotel.