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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 17 Jan 2009
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Safety Goma, DRC (Rwanda & Burundi border areas)

Hi,

I plan to make a quick day trip into Goma, DRC from Rwanda, without staying overnight.

Does anyone have a recent experience to share? Regarding visa on arrival, border procedures, safety downtown during daylight, rebel activity, etc.?

Have there been any recent war/rebel - incidents across the border in Rwanda and Burundi?

Many thanks,
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Old 11 Feb 2009
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Drc

Im in Rwanda now. Aparently, Lauen Nkunda (Congolese warlord) has been captured and is being held in Gisenyi, Rwanda, next to Goma. If you want to spend a day in Goma, I would suggest working it out from Gisenyi by getting current info when you get here as the situation changes almost daily. You might be able to meet a congolese resident in Gisenyi and let them take you across the border. I was in Goma for a day years ago (2002) visiting the family of a doctor I met. My temporary visa was obtained at a tiny border crossing with the help of my friend and seemed to be an under-the-table situation.

Good luck-
Marcus
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Old 23 May 2009
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Thank you Marcus for your reply, which I only saw today.

Just back from my daytrip to Goma.

I parked my car and crossed the border by foot at Gisenyi (Corniche), Rwanda. Although officially impossible, you can get a Congolese visa on arrival if you build a friendly relationship with the guards. The cost is US$ 30 ++.

The guards were also helpful in organising a driver who took me through town. Many roads are full of lava streams, following the major volcano eruption ca. 5 years ago. The general atmosphere in Goma was tense, with lots of UN troops. As an added danger, there are gas bubbles emanating from the lake, having killed some people or the occasional cow.

If you want to play it safe: the Hotel Ihusi is only 100m from the border and provides the atmosphere of a safe haven. Prices are in the US$ 100-150 range per night for good quality 4* accomodation. Nice lunch or dinner on a terrace above Lake Kivu.

Safety seems to be ok now in the larger area, including Ugandan and Rwandan gorilla mountains. Current problem zone (rebel raids on villages) is Bukavu to Bujumbura road.
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