Goma is popularly one of the spectacular destinations that boost with a lot to adventure while on visit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, it’s a very busy city in a way that it is the major trading route for goods exporting to Congo. More so, Goma acts as an umbrella to a large number of United Nationals plus other international humanitarian organizations and is a city that is surrounded by a lot of fabulous tourist attractions which can be visited during your visit to Goma. However, Goma is approximately a few minutes drive to access the most touristic safari destination on Congo tours –Virunga National Park a home that offers a bucket of incredible opportunities for those interested in nature and wildlife adventure.
Generally, Goma is quite a remarkable city in the Republic of Congo that sounds beautiful with its outstanding attractions which can easily be outreach on a visit to the city. Because, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the biggest countries on the African map with several great cities to visit on safari Goma is one of that cities, located near Gisenyi town of Rwanda at the northern shore of Lake Kivu and it takes only 13 kilometers.
Despite a beautiful city found in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More so, Goma sits approximately 20 kilometers south of the active Nyiragongo Volcano,97 kilometers from Kigali Airport in Rwanda’s Capital City, and acts as a stopping destination for the annual Amani Festival where millions of travelers come gather this amazing occasion.
Unfortunately, Goma was affected by the 2002 eruption of mount Nyiragongo that destroyed 40% of the city and left many homeless and this is because of is closest to the city Nyiragongo Volcano. Goma ranks as one of the great locations to access the worlds activate Volcanoes Nyiragongo which is part of the great East African Rift Valley and one of the eight Virunga volcanoes that bestride across Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda with their home that inhabits the endangered mountain gorillas.
Climate; Goma is a great town that boosts the number of attractions and a town that experiences a tropical savannah climate with an annual average temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius and an annual average rainfall of about 1192 mm. However, the town experience a conducive climate both for the ecological system and the life of travelers during their stay in the town. More then, Goma town is quite a tourist destination with a lot of attractions to visit note the town is a fun-filled safari destination with lot more safari activities such as; Virunga Community Walks, City Tour, Beach activities along the shores of Lake Kivu, Ubuntu Voyages, a Canoe ride on Lake Kivu, Hiking tour on mount Nyiragongo many more.
This article explains most of the exciting tourist attractions and things to do on a visit to Goma town which is also surrounded by natural scenery consisting of hills, forests, and mountains that rewards visitors’ sights on their visit here. Though the major key attraction around the city is the great Nyiragongo Volcano with much stunning history behind it. Goma is also a great location hosting spacious restaurants, museums, and theaters to visit during a City Tour. If you plan a visit to Goma expect a lot to do during your free time because the area is blessed with pristine wilderness, landscape, wildlife, and much more about a history of civil unrest and conflict. Below are the things to do and tourist attractions to see in Goma as explained;
On your visit to Goma, a traveler can go visit Virunga National Park once called Albert National Park, boosting with lots of remarkable activities to engage in. The park is the oldest and largest covers an area of about 7,800 square kilometers and was created in 1925. More so, Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with several mountains where you can enjoy hiking adventures like Mikeno, Nyiragongo, and Rwenzori Ranges within its boundaries.
Virunga National Park is a popular home for endangered mountain gorillas and over 200 mammal species including forest and savannah elephants, hippos, Okapis, lions, and Bongo. Furthermore, the park shares its border with the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, Rwenzori Mountain National Park in Uganda as well as Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Within the last few years, the Virunga authorities have faced a lot of challenges ranging from illegal settlers, poaching, and militias. Note, things have got back to normal and now tourists are once visiting the park ‘s amazing attractions- the endangered mountain gorillas through Gorilla trekking. If you’re in Goma, never leave the city without a visit to Virunga National Park –park offices and be able to take part in the park’s major activities that attract millions of visitors from all over the world; Such as Gorilla Trekking or Nyiragongo Volcano hike.
Gorilla Trekking Experience
Gorilla trekking is quite an exceptional safari activity done in only three countries Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. In Congo, gorillas can trek in Virunga National Park. The activity starts in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters, after you’re grouped into 8 individuals to your assigned gorilla family. You will be led by the park range into the forest trails in search of them. The activity can take about 30 to 6 hours depending on their movements. The moment you find them, you will be given an hour to spend with them as you learn about their behavior, feed, and play as well as video capturing and photography. However, Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park can be combined with a hiking adventure to Mount Nyiragongo one of the finest experiences on safari in Goma.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most popular attractions that have been in existence for decades and it is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 meters found in Virunga Mountain associated with the Albertine Rift. Hiking Mount Nyiragongo is the major tourist attraction in Virunga National Park that starts after a briefing at 9 am and the hiking is a bit challenging but rewarding. You can choose to hire a porter who is available at the starting point in the Kibati Ranger post, who can be hired at a small fee to help you carry heavy luggage.
Remember to put proper items for mountain hire such as hiking boots, warm clothes, enough mineral water bottles, energy eating snacks among others. Its main crater raises 2-kilometer-wide with a lava lake at the center. This world’s famous volcano last erupted in 2002 and lava flowed up to Goma town thus leading to the loss of lives, many properties being damaged, and half a million people having to be evacuated Goma airport was also destroyed. More then, ever since its eruption, the volcano has calmed down and there are low chances of it erupting any time soon.
Take note; The scientists have created a base in Goma to monitor the mountain and any volcanic activity. However, by taking part in the Nyiragongo Volcano hiking you will never regret a visit to Goma.
This Centre sounds like the only mountain gorilla orphanage in the world, where you can experience the lifestyle of gorillas in close view. However, the Centre was named after a great Silverback Gorilla named Senkwekwe, who was killed in 2007 by militias as they were taking refuge within the park at that time. This Centre caters to young gorillas who were rescued from poachers, and animal traffickers after the death of their parents and are cared for by the park authorities. So you can visit the Centre and donate as you learn more about Gorilla Conservation in Congo. Even you can request to volunteer and work with the dedicated caretakers in the Centre.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is one of the major touristic destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is located in Bukavu town which is next to Goma city. The park started as a gazetted area in 1970 and was named after the two dormant volcanoes. Kahuzi Biega National Park is known as a popular home to a high number of small primates, chimpanzees, Eastern lowland gorillas, and other animals like bush elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, and several antelopes among other creatures. Though its major attractions are the unique Eastern lowland gorillas which are believed to be larger than mountain gorillas and about 3,800 individuals still exist in the park. In general, Goma city is not only a tourist base to visit Mountain gorillas but also the lowland gorillas.
This lake remarks as one of the largest lakes in Africa and lies on the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu empties its waters in River Ruzizi which flows its waters to Lake Tanganyika. The Lake ranks as one of the major attractions because it contains methane gas underneath its floors and it is a safe, calm, and beautiful place for the couple to sit around the stunning lake relax their minds as well as enjoy beautiful scenery and views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Activities done around include; fishing, swimming, and Island hopping, kayaking is also permitted among others.
As we already explained earlier that Goma city is home to a great number of the international expatriate community working with several governmental and non-governmental organizations. The United Nations has one of the peacekeeping forces in the country. Their largest number in Goma lead to the development of the town by creating more quality restaurants which sprung up the city to cater to the high demands of these expatriates. They are good at serving tasty sand wishes, salads, coffee, and pastries. Besides that, they are good at preparing Pizza and Meat dishes, and most of their location offers gardens and dining areas that overlook the beautiful Lake Kivu. They have got skilled chefs who prepare perfect food and several options for vegetarians. Other options to choose from meals are; Le Chalet and Au Bon Pain Nyumbani Lounge.
You can go visit the National Museum which offers a great opportunity to tourist learn about the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo –cultural and national heritage. On your visit don’t miss marveling around the amazing collection of photographs and paper that shed light on the life of this educated man and the creator of Congo thus worth a visit in Congo’s Goma city.
On your next visit to East African countries! Take a visit to Goma town, a city under development but boosted with a lot of classic and comfortable accommodation facilities with perfect amenities you might prefer to stay on your safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo ranging between Luxury, Mid-range, and Budget accommodations. Some of these accommodations you can choose to stay on a visit to Goma town include; Linda hotel, Karibu, Lac Kivu Lodge, Hotel la Versailles Goma, and Café De Rome Goma Serena Hotel. Other, Tchegera Island Tented Camp
Lac Kivu Lodge
This is a perfect luxurious accommodation facility located in Goma –Democratic Republic of Congo. The lodge offers comfortable rooms overlooking the lake and the sunset gives a spectacular view around as well as a beautiful swimming pool. Lac Kivu Lodge contains 20 comfortable en suite rooms that were designed in traditional African modern style with modern comfort. The rooms were furnished with private en suites such as flushing toilets, mosquito nets, hair driers, private wooden balconies, cold bathtubs, and a sitting area. Rooms are categorized as double, single, twin, and triple-family rooms.
Lac Kivu Lodge –Amenities
Airport pick–ups and drop-offs
Big conference hall
Healthy and fitness center
Cap Kivu Hotel
Cap Kivu Hotel is a beautiful accommodation good for your holiday safari in Goma town which is just 7 kilometers from Gisenyi. The lodge boosts perfect amenities that suit clients’ wants such as; a spacious restaurant that serves both local and international dishes, a fitness center, and a shared lounge. Cap Kivu Hotel offers a clean garden where you can sit in your free and enjoy beautiful sights around, and a nice swimming pool among others. It has a nice sitting area with a gainful view of lake Kivu and around here the sunrise and sunset are fabulous.
Goma Serena Hotel
Goma Serena Hotel is an excellent styled Pan-African themed accommodation located in Goma town, that consists of over 109 rooms in a variety of room type each room offers magnificent sweeping views of Lake Kivu and are inspired by authentic African art and with the design of local Congolese artifacts that invite travelers to discover and connect with the culture of the region.
Goma Serena Hotel –Amenities
Fitness Center with Gym
Tchegera Tented Camp
Tchegera tented Camp is located on the beautiful turquoise water of Lake Kivu in Virunga National Park, popularly known for its distinct shape which is a top crater rim of a long extinct volcano. It offers a beautiful view of Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira as their glowing red lava pierces a star. Tchegera consists of 6 tents for visitors of which 2 are twin rooms and 4 double rooms that are equipped with outstanding amenities.
Tchegera Tented Camp –Amenities
Free high-speed internet
Special diet menus
Outdoor dining area
On a visit to Goma city, it is very important to stay cautious about the security updates especially if you’re planning to visit the rural areas. You need to know that many of the local people in Goma have gone through suffering, war, and the recent Ebola crisis which is now under control. The result of all these incidents is tighter border controls and an unusually large number of armed security personnel to protect civilians and tourists. However, the ‘’UN’’ United Nations has got a large peacekeeping team around the Goma area purposely to protect their staff and help the government as well to attain normality.
Although Goma –Congo is a beautiful country, there are still more serious security threats in the country for tourists thus it is highly advisable to rather go with a tour company that follows government rules and regulations to keep you as safe as possible. Always avoid demonstrations at all costs as even peaceful ones can breakout into fault amount of violence. Use extreme caution whenever you are walking. You never know any calm circumstances can happen. So it’s advisable to stay off the streets after dark.
Make a reservation with a reputable tour company that provides an armed escort to their clients, if they need to go around on their own. Always carry your personnel documents; passport and DRC Visa when crossing the provincial border or flying domestically for safety. Make sure you visit the CDC Traveler’s Health page for the country. However, it’s a good idea to prepare a contingency plan for an emergency when visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Goma town hub with a lot of magical attractions in Congo, however, can be accessed by both road and air transport. You can fly to Rwanda at Kigali International Airport and then drive to Gisenyi town which is just a few drives from Rwanda’s border and connect to Goma. Alternatively, you can choose to fly direct to Goma at the Airport by Ethiopians Airlines which operates direct flights to this destination daily. Before you set off on a visit to Goma town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Make sure you have personal requirements like a valid passport whose expiry date must not be below 6 months from the date of travel as well as a valid yellow fever card that does not exceed more than ten years.
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