Goma International Airport
Goma International Airport is one of the international airports found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and helps a lot the people getting in and out of the Country. Located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the city of Goma, Goma International Airport operates about 108 flights on 12 different routes from the airport connecting Goma International Airport to 10 different destinations in 5 different countries such as Kinshasa, Entebbe, Congo, and Beni. Goma Airport is a public airport that is operated by the government and stands on an elevation of about 5,046 ft/ 1,538. Additionally, the airlines that operate at Goma International Airport include Congo Airways and Ethiopian Airlines that facilitates direct freights once a week to and from Goma International Airport.
Goma International Airport has been operating for overtime and it was initially built with a paved 3 km runway and a large terminal and apron. In 2002, Goma International Airport faced one of its worst disasters where Mount Nyiragongo, a volcano erupted and destroyed part of the airport, 14 kilometers north of Goma International Airport. The airport could not handle any wide-bodied aircraft apart from the freight operations run by the United Nations’ relief agencies.
Since then Goma Airport has never recovered from the incident and up to now the trails of lava are still visible at the site. Aircraft operate from the south end of the airport’s runway which is about 2 kilometers clear of lava. Despite the lava disaster, Goma International Airport remains the main hub for the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Airport infrastructure Details
Goma International Airport has a number of offices such as the customs, immigration and passenger terminal. Other structures you will find include Control Tower, weather facilities, Base operation room, Single-point refueling, Ground Handling services, restrooms, air starter Units.
Attractions near Goma International Airport
Goma International Airport is located in Goma city which is located near the shores of Lake Kivu on the border with Rwanda. The airport is used to connect to Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Visit Virunga National Park: Virunga National Park covers an area of 7800 sq km and it is famously known for its endangered mountain gorillas that live in its dense tropic forests. Visitors that want to hike Mount Nyiragongo is available and other mountains you will find include Mount Mikeno, Nyamuringa and the Rwenzori ranges within its boundaries.
Gorilla trekking is the main activity done in Virunga National Park because of the presence of habituated mountain gorilla groups that are found within Virunga National Park. The gorilla permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo are cheap compared to other countries and they go for $400 USD.
Visit Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is one of the largest lakes in Africa and borders Rwanda with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lake empties its water via river Ruzizi that pours its water in Lake Tanganyika. The waters are calm and beautiful to see that makes tourists arrive in the area to carry out different activities such as swimming, fishing, boat rides around the lake are also available.
Visiting the art shops: The largest collection of local art pieces can be found in Village des Artistes. In this area, you can find wooden masks, drums, carved sculptures, and local musical instruments. Travelers can pass by the shops and purchase some of the items found in the shops.
Visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage: The only mountain gorilla orphanage center in the world can be visited when you make your way to Goma city. Visitors have the opportunity to visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla orphanage centre for free on condition that they book rooms at Mikeno lodge.
Visit Kahuzi Biega National Park
If you are interested in visiting the eastern lowland gorillas then Kahuzi Biega National Park is a fine destination. The national park has other wildlife such as buffaloes, antelopes, bush elephants among others and it is good for game drives and forest walks in the park. You can also visit chimpanzees in Kahuzi Biega National Park which will still give you a magical experience.
Accommodation near Goma International Airport
Goma International Airport does not have accommodation facilities but the people around the airport have made it possible to establish accommodation facilities such that the people around get where to stay during their time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of these facilities range from luxury, midrange and basic or budget hotels and some of these accommodation facilities include the following;
Mikeno Lodge: The lodge has about 12 rooms at the lodge each with a unique setting and nears the spot where those travelers are to start hiking Mount Nyiragongo. The lodge offers an excellent restaurant that offers indoor or outdoor dining, with complimentary breakfast and additional meals. The lodge is also surrounded with a forest and guests are able to listen to pleasant sounds of the different species of birds.
Ihusi Hotel Goma: Ihuzi hotel Goma is a luxury hotel situated at the center of Goma city in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ihuzi hotel features a spot that gives visitors the opportunity to have a panoramic view of lake Kivu. Amenities you will find at Ihuzi Hotel include; a cocktail bar, conference center, a restaurant and Satellite among others.
Lac Kivu Lodge: This lodge is located in the north of Kivu and features a family atmosphere for visitors with families. The lodge is established on tropical grounds giving you full access to the waters of Lake Kivu since it is located on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Hotel La Versailles: Versailles is located within two kilometers of Goma Harbour and Lake Kivu. The hotel offers accommodation with free WiFi access and private parking. Each room features a balcony with views and is equipped with a desk and a fan.
Other accommodation facilities you will find near Goma International Airport include Flamingo Lounge Restaurant, Café de Rome Guesthouse, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Kivu Peace View Hotel, Donate guest House, and Hakuna Matata Lodge among others.
In conclusion, Goma International Airport is the easiest passage to get to some of the best attractions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The airport may not offer much, but the places around it will make it a wonderful and magical experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo.