Howdy my friends! 😀 Are you ready for our Jambojet in Goma experience? I am excited to share our adventures with you in this 2-part Goma series, plus insider tips of what to expect when you go…
About two weeks ago, we got to visit Goma thanks to Jambojet, and I must say this trip was an answered prayer! I was beyond thrilled to go, as it’s been a year in waiting! 😀
Jambojet in Goma: What To Expect When You Go!
If you’ve ever traveled to a new country or any unfamiliar place, you are bound to have experienced some anxiety about what to expect…
In part 1 of our Jambojet in Goma series, I am hoping to answer the potential questions you might have about traveling to this DRC destination. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Getting There: Convenience is everything with Jambojet!
Goma is a border town in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda in Gisenyi, along Lake Kivu.
Less than a year ago, Jambojet launched direct flights to Goma from Nairobi. The 2 hour flight is the only direct flight from Nairobi to Goma.
Before, the connection to Goma took over 10hours, through Kigali. The road network in Goma is underdeveloped, meaning that traveling by road was not always a reliable option…
Suffice to say, Jambojet has provided the most convenient way to travel to this Congo destination!
Today, Jambojet flies to Goma 3 times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. So, whether you are traveling for business or leisure, you’ll have a convenient option available.
- A Jambojet return flight to Goma from Nairobi, costs about 411 USD.
- To appreciate its clients, Jambojet has partnered with Cellulant to give away discount vouchers, that you can use, including for your flight to Goma.
- If you’ve signed up for the Jambojet loyalty program (JM Rewards), you are eligible to win a Kshs. 3,000/- discount off, on your next flight booking!
- Sign up for the JM Rewards loyalty program HERE.
- I would also suggest you check out their flying packages that include a hotel stay at Goma Serena on the Jambojet website.
P.S. I am giving away 3 Jambojet Discount Vouchers worth Kshs. 3,000/- each, to 3 of my readers; keep reading to the end! 😉
Travel Requirements to Visit Goma:
Can I just say that I loved your enthusiasm for Goma on my social media channels? 😀 One of the most common questions that came up, was on the travel requirements…
The DRC recently joined the East African Community. Hopefully, this means that in the near future, the travel requirements will change… In the meantime, this is what you’ll require to visit Goma…
- Kenyan citizens require a Visa to visit Goma, and can obtain a Visa-on-arrival at 50USD.
- For my non-Kenyan readers, check out the visa requirements at your local Congolese Embassy.
- You’ll need both valid Covid-19 Vaccination and Yellow Fever certificates. (Print out your Covid certificate in advance for ease of travel.)
- If you are unvaccinated, you’ll require a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before you travel.
- Furthermore, you’ll also be subject to a rapid antigen test on arrival, that costs 30USD.
- All visitors (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to take a PCR test before departing from Goma.
- Goma also charges an airport departure tax of 55USD to all departing visitors.
One of the things to note about the Goma airport, is that a lot of processes are yet to be fully automated… Hence, it helps to allocate a sufficient amount of time (and patience) for the airport procedures on arrival.
Quick Tip: Ensure you hold on to your boarding pass, as you’ll need it to claim your checked-in baggage.
How to Get Around Goma…
The heartbeat of Goma is very much like downtown Nairobi, where you always stay on high alert, and the energy is ever vibrant!
As you exit the airport into the streets of Goma, you’ll promptly notice two things: the flurry of activity caused by boda bodas (motorbikes), as well as the distinctly coloured taxis that paint the town a bright yellow. 🙂
In Goma, their taxis are referred to as: espirit des morts which loosely translates to- death wish or spirit of the dead.
I would suggest organising an airport transfer with the hotel in advance, where possible. And in terms of getting around, it helps to have a dedicated vehicle to help you get around. You can also talk to locals for inputs on the best mode of transportation, depending on where you are trying to go.
The main languages spoken in Goma are: Lingala, Swahili, French and a bit of English. For Kenyan visitors, language would not be a huge barrier thanks to Swahili. 🙂
All things Money in Goma…
In Kenya we are now quite used to making almost all our transactions via mobile money. Unfortunately, MPESA has not made its debut in Goma. Therefore, you’ll need to have cash or a Visa card for your transactions. You’ll find banks like Equity and Citibank, as well as other local banks.
The local currency in Goma is the Congolese Franc (CDF), however the US dollar is also widely accepted. You might want to convert your money into dollars before you leave Kenya. And if already in Goma, request your hotel or a trusted local to direct you to a credible exchange bureau.
>>1 Kenya shilling converts to 16.96 CDF.
If you are traveling for business, you will be able to transact easily in cash.
What to Pack For Goma….
Goma is about 1 hour behind Nairobi, and the weather in Goma is quite similar to ours.
The mornings and evenings get a bit chilly, however it gets hotter in the day. You’ll want to pack a mix of both lighter clothes and something to keep warm.
P.S. We noticed that the Goma women dress quite modestly, so it’s a good idea to dress modestly when going to the downtown and local markets. Moreover, when venturing out, it helps to be accompanied by a local and/or go in groups.
Is It Safe to Visit Goma?
One of the main questions raised by some of my social media audience members, is on whether it’s safe to visit Goma… This is understandable. However, Goma is safe for locals and visitors, thanks to the work of the United Nations’ Peace-keeping team.
And as part of our Jambojet in Goma experience, we got to visit the Kenyan Consulate, where we met the Consul General Mr. Moni.
He assured us that the Consulate works to ensure that Kenyans can visit and even conduct business safely in Goma. Thus, in case of any issues, you can always turn to the Kenyan Consulate for help.
P.S. As with traveling anywhere, it’s still wise to always keep your smarts about you and consult with the locals.
The land of A resilient people…
Goma is part of a beautiful country that has been through quite a lot… It is located in close proximity to Mount Nyiragongo, a volcanic mountain that recently erupted in 2021, and many times in the past. For the people of Goma, this natural occurrence means rebuilding their lives every few years…
Immediately you land in Goma, you’ll probably notice that its people are passionate by the way they speak… You’ll also see a look of true resilience in their eyes, and in the way their children innocently play around the ruins…
You’ll experience kindness in the ways they make an effort to understand, and most are eager to help…
And like with traveling anywhere in the world, you’ll find that there’s something to learn, something new or differences to experience… Try to keep an open mind, and lean in. 🙂
Quick tip: Look out for Part 2 of our Jambojet in Goma Series: 7 Fun Things To Do In Goma
Many many thanks to Jambojet for making this trip possible!
As promised, I am giving away 3 Jambojet * Cellular Discount Vouchers worth Kes. 3,000/- each, to 3 of my readers today….
STEP 1: Sign up for the Jambojet Rewards Loyalty Program HERE.
STEP 2: Take part in the GIVEAWAY by filling in this Google Form HERE.
NEXT: Look out for the blog post with part 2 of this Jambojet in Goma series, where I will announce the winners today Thursday, 14th July 2022. 🙂
UPDATE: This Giveaway is now Closed.
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of our Jambojet in Goma travel guide. 😀
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment down below, with your inputs and or questions! I’ll be certain to respond!!
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