"Where the earth spills fire..." Goma by Maggus

Goma Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 21 photos

This was a bustling city...

Until the recent eruption in 2002 Goma was a comparably wealthy town on the north-eastern shore of Lake Kivu at the border to Gisenyi/Rwanda. Former President Mobutu had his residence in this neighbourhood.
Most sheds which resemble scandinavian/canadian style in the background have been set up by the UNHCR. This impression is quite striking.

The former main cathedral of Goma

The lava flood increased the ground level by approx. 2-3 Metres. Most basements were destroyed leaving whole blocks in the city centre defunct.

Mobutu's mansion

Near the shore of Lake Kivu where the lava entered the water one can see the remnants of the fromer presidents estate. Only the walls of the gate (also made of volcanic stones) were spared.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing contrast between nature and city. One can feel that this is a geophysical hotspot.
  • Cons:Misery and poverty of the locals, police hassle and rip-off
  • In a nutshell:Come with one of the NGO, which have a laisser-passer at each checkpoints or have a local friend to accompany you
  • Last visit to Goma: Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated Jun 15, 2004
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