WARNING: Although Goma is relatively safe. Travelers should not venture outside of the city proper for any reason, except to visit Virunga National Park. Those visiting the region on official business (UN, aid organizations, charities) should carefully follow the guidance of your organization concerning security when leaving Goma.
In mid July 2012, the M23 rebel faction threatened to enter Goma to "protect" Tutsis from "harassment". The UN peacekeeping mission replied that they will reposition 19 000 soldiers to protect the city. On 20 November 2012, M23 gained control over Goma. Keep abreast of the latest news on this before travel to Goma.
Goma is the touristic capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, located in the extreme east near the Rwanda.
By plane: There are several flights from many towns of Congo to Goma. There is a daily flight from Kinshasa to Goma which is operated by CAA and Wimbi Dira Airways. Alternatively, it is possible to fly to Kigali -in neighboring Rwanda- by direct flights from Europe (France, Belgium, Germany), then by road to Goma (taxi (70- 100 USD) or collective bus (6 USD).
By bus: From Kisoro, Uganda, you can take a minibus in Bunagana at the Uganda border. From Rwanda there are hourly minibuses from Kigali to Goma, such as Atraco Express and Okapi Car. These will take approximately three and a half hours.From Butembo you can fund a bus from Butembo bus station. They may leave early in the morning.
By boat: There are daily ferries from Bukavu via Idjwi Island. There are several companies that offer the 2-5 hour trip. Prices vary from 10$ to 40$.
By foot: From Gisenyi both towns are on the border and walking between the two city centers takes no more than half an hour.
Goma is the base to climb the Nyiragongo volcano along with some of the cheapest mountain gorilla tracking in Africa. It is a starting point to Kinshasa via Beni and Kisangani.
Climb Nyiragongo Volcano: This volcano, famous for its lava lake, is a technically easy climb from the direction of Goma. A trip to the top should take ~6-8 hours, so most climbers spend the night at the top. Entrance permits cost US$200. The park was closed in May 2009 due to the rebel occupation but was reopened in March 2010.
Hakuna Matata Tours, . Offers a 2-day climb and tour of Goma. Owner is a native of the region and very friendly, but it can take time to track him down. It's better to bring your own equipment when trekking the volcano. Hakunamatata tours has equipment and tents in very much used condition.~$320. edit
Green Hills Eco-Tours: Local specialists tour guide organizing all kinds of tours in East D.R.Congo. Climb Nyiragongo live volcano, mountain gorillas and lowland gorilla tracking, Goma sightseeing tour, Ijwi Island tours. www.greenhillsecotours.com, +250 788 219 495, RwandaCongoTours@gmail.com. 4-5hrs for US$200.
Climbing: Hotel Ihusi has a climbing wall. It's $5 for a session and $30 for a month-long subscription.
Football: There are several football clubs in Goma. Call Charles from the Goma Football Club (00243 817 107 544).
Hash: Call Hicham at 00243 811 974 094.
Kayaking: For information how to rent a kayak, call John (00243 (0)99 062 2714; 00243 (0)81 365 1131) or Mike (00243 (0)99 300 0851; 00243 (0)81 231 7198; email@example.com). Alternatively, visit the Facebook pages Go Kayak[] and Kayak Kivu[].
Swimming: Hotel Ihusi and Hotel Mbiza have public pools.
Tango: Every Tuesday at 7pm, Justin gives Argentinian Tango lessons at his house in downtown Goma. Pay what you want. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennis: You can play tennis at Hotel Karibu in Goma's Himbi II district.
Lunanga Stewart offers lessons in English, French or Swahili at the Amani Language Center (ALC)[]. You can contact Stewart at: 00243 813 650 630; 00243 995 959 576; Alc.email@example.com. Alternatively, you can take lessons with Hubert Kilakano (00243 991 017 031; 00243 859 747 919; 00250 788 452 176; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
Coco Jambo[]: The popular expats night club, serves the best brochettes in town. Service is often slow and the place gets loud and crowded on weekends.
Deo's Cafe[]: Call Deo's Cafe at 00243 994 452 437.
Salt & Pepper. Good restaurant with Indian, Bengali, Chinese, and African food from 3$ to 10$. Known for their quality of customer service. edit
VIP Restaurant. Specializing in grilled fish & chicken, dishes 4$-10$.edit
Le chalet. On the edge of the lake, a brand new restaurant, food is excellent and affordable. Considering the quality of the roads, is is quite far from the city center.edit. Call Chalet at 00243 819 450 284.
Lake Kivu Lodge:
Colibri Hotel. Quiet restaurant with friendly staff.edit
Hawaii. Quiet outdoor restaurant with a pool table in the backstreets of Ave. Kanyabahunga, serves decent Lebanese food and good grilled meat dishes and sandwiches. The fresh strawberry smoothies are a rare treat. edit
Al Matar Hotel. This hotel has a pleasant restaurant. The menu also includes hamburgers and a delicious pizza. Pita sandwiches from 3$ to 7$.edit
Albacha Restaurant. Serves Mediterranean foods, kebabs, fatush, falafel, and good hummus.3$-15$. edit
There are many cheap restaurants which serve rice, meat, chips and beans. In addition, most also serve one of the the traditional African staples ugali, which is made primarily from flour and water. Natural yoghurt (called maziwa) is popular, often sweetened with sugar. It's available at many small shops around town for about $0.5
Lac Kivu Lodge Hotel, 162 Ave. Alindi, Quartier Himbi, Goma, ☎ +14086639073, . Lac Kivu Lodge is a hotel located in Lake Kivu just 10 minutes away from the city center of Goma. The hotel offers Budget, Family and Deluxe accommodations.75$. edit
Colibri Hotel, ☎ +250782160547. A good budget option with spacious rooms in addition to gardens for campers and backpackers. Is also the location of the Goma branch of the "Go Congo" tourism office.5$-10$. edit
Shu Shu Guest house, (signposted off the main road to/from Gisenyi). Rooms $15, camping $3. edit
Al matar Hotel, Ave. la Corniche (50m from Rwanda border), ☎ +243997734710. Quiet family motel is a good value. Pleasant garden, TV and hot water.30$-45$. edit
Le Nyira Hotel, Blvd Kanyamuhanga, ☎ 0994000443. Pleasant, well maintained hotel.40$. edit
Internet: The fastest and usually most reliable wifi is at Lake Kivu Lodge, Deo's Cafe, and Ihusi.
Cell phones: Providers include Vodacom (081..., 082...), Airtel (09...), Orange (084...,085 ...), Tigo (089...), Super cell, and MTN. You can buy credit from street vendors. Each provider also offers daily, weekly or monthly internet programs for your phone.
There are several banks in Goma, including Rawbank, EcoBank, Access Bank, BIAC, BIC, Standard, and TMB. You find five ATMs in Goma, namely at Ihusi Hotel, Planet Hotel, EcoBank, Rawbank and its second branch opposite of Orange.
Check out Mapendo's boutique kivu hand craft et couture[] in downtown Goma. She sells clothes for man, women, children, post cards, bags for women, scarves, shoes, paintings, pictures, sculptures, and jewelry. 00243 995 502 550; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congolese wood crafts and canvas drawings. These are available at Ihusi and VIP palace hotels, albeit costly. For cheaper items, see the art street near the BEDGL roundabout in downtown Goma.