Information about the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Goma


Goma is a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is located on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, next to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi. The lake and the two cities are in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift system. Goma lies only 13 to 18 km due south of the crater of the active Nyiragongo Volcano. The recent history of Goma has been dominated by the volcano and the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, which in turn fuelled the First and Second Congo Wars. The aftermath of these events was still having effects on the city and its surroundings in 2010. The city was captured by rebels during the M23 rebellion in late 2012, but has since been retaken by government forces.
Goma is the capital of the North Kivu province, which is ethnically similar and neighboring to South Kivu (with the capital Bukavu); together the two provinces are known as “the Kivus”.
This city of about one million inhabitants located in the conflict-prone eastern Congolese province of North Kivu has had few tributes written to it. From afar, its recent history is a saga of misfortune that makes it seem like Baghdad with a lakefront view, or Mogadishu without the white-sand beaches. Since 1996, it’s been besieged, ransacked, inundated with refugees, and leveled by a volcanic eruption. Around a million Rwandans showed up on the city’s doorstep after the country’s 1994 genocide. And just in the past year, more than 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been chased there by the M23 rebel movement, which marched on the city late last year.

Safety and Security
If you’re in North Kivu, you should keep your security situation under review. Attacks on the civilian population of Beni territory led to several hundred deaths in late 2014. These attacks were allegedly carried out against women and children and include reported mutilations and rape. During fighting in the region in 2012 and 2013, shells landed on Goma causing civilian deaths and injuries. There was also shelling around the border with Rwanda in late 2012 and explosions in the town of Gisenyi on the Rwandan side of the border.
In 2015 there has been a series of kidnappings in North Kivu in the area around Goma in addition to military operations against armed groups. You should be especially vigilant, consider travelling in convoy on trips outside Goma and Bukavu and avoid making any journeys that would involve travel after dark.
The border crossings between Rwanda and the DRC at Gisenyi/Goma and Cyangugu/Bukavu are currently open between 06:00 and 18:00. Both borders are liable to short notice closure and you should not rely on them as a point of exit from the DRC. If you are crossing regularly between Rwanda and the DRC you may encounter immigration difficulties if you have not regularised your residency status.

Travel
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. Take either a taxi or collective bus

Point of Interest

 

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Lake Kivu

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Goma Market

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Mont Nyiragongo

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Virunga Park

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Lake Kivu Lodge

 

 

 

Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58 percent of the lake’s waters lie within DRC borders. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world.
The world’s tenth-largest inland island, Idjwi, lies in Lake Kivu, as does the tiny island of Tshegera, which also lies within the boundaries of Virunga National Park

Mount Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3470 m (11382 ft) in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km (12 mi) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two kilometres wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls – one at about 3,175 metres (10,417 ft) and a lower one at about 2,975 m (9,760 ft). Nyiragongo’s lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft). A recent very low elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2,700 m (8,900 ft). Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamuragira are together responsible for 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruptions

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