If you have heard about the Democratic Republic of Congo, then you know Goma town. If not the only one, it’s absolutely one of the fastest growing tourist towns in this central African country, regardless of the security issues that hit eastern Congo occasionally. Goma town has stood the test of time and continuously grown swiftly into a busy boarder point serving both Rwanda and Uganda, as well as a fast growing town with luxurious accommodation facilities and other modern services.
On almost all trips to Rwanda and Uganda, whether a gorilla safari, wildlife trip or maybe a hiking tour, a city tour is always included in their itineraries. It’s so hard for a traveler to leave Rwanda or Uganda without going through Kigali or Kampala. Likewise to DR Congo when it gets to Goma.
Doubtlessly world trotters to DR Congo have only thought of the Nyiragongo hike, the Virunga mountain gorillas, or the low land gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega national park or even some travelers visit Congo just for the isolated Idjwi Island within Lake Kivu. Whichever your preferred activity is, if it’s in D.R. Congo, a traveler must surely go through Goma, it being positioned in one of the safest entries of the country.
Located in the North Kivu Province of DR Congo, Goma neighbors Rwanda’s Gisenyi along the Albertine rift and it is the capital of the eastern Congo province.
Goma is home to the popular Nyiragongo Mountain, the world’s most active Volcano located in the Virunga mountain ranges and many other attractions like part of the eastern arm of the Rift valley, mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, Lake Kivu in the neighborhood, Goma is ideally a one stop center for tourism in eastern D.R. Congo.
History has it that Goma was destroyed by flowing lava following eruption of mountain Nyiragongo in 2002 and it buried almost all the town’s streets, buildings and claimed a reasonable number of people lives. From then, the town has been under constant construction. Unlike other areas in DR Congo, Goma is relatively stable and safe, but visits outside this center need to first be researched about.
What to do while in Goma?
Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo
This is one of the best activities to do while in Congo. If not the most, then it’s among the top most attractions to tourists to this country. This involves walking through Virunga national park to the top of Nyiragongo Mountain to see the world’s largest active lava lake. Summiting the mountain presents stunning sights of the lave lake with separated rock plates, forming a spider web like pattern, and views of the other Virunga volcanoes. It’s a challenging activity but worth every step taken.
Gorilla Trekking in Virunga national park
There is mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park. Virunga national park is a world heritage site and Africa’s oldest and largest protected area. Tourists here engage in gorilla trekking to have outstanding encounters with the mighty apes of the forest.
You can also do nature walks in the park to have the closest sights of even the smallest insights of nature. The fact that Virunga national park is in the Virunga massif, where it got its name, hiking adventures are very rampant, especially to Nyiragongo, Visoke and even Rwenzori mountains. Visitors here can engage in birding tours to sport over 1000 bird species that call Virunga home.
Goma city walk
This exposes travelers to the local way of living of the native Congolese here. Have personal interactions with the locals, enjoy traditional performances organized at one of the hotels, dive into the local cuisines, visit local schools, plus an awesome time in the community.
Apart from Kahuzi-Biega national park and some other few attractions in DR Congo, most tourists to the country go through Goma. And about accommodation, it’s something travelers shouldn’t worry about; several hotels, lodges, cottages, guest houses and campsites have been set up to cater for the continuing number of tourists flocking the town. You cannot fail to get where to have excellent food and comfortable place for overnight stay. The top truth is that, Goma town as a travelers’ city in DR Congo, it’s an attraction of its own. Don’t miss it out any Congo Safari.