General tips for housing
- Housing prices range from $350 to $4,000. Most people live in shared houses and apartments. They come mostly furnished.
- If you are looking for long-term housing, post your search in the Facebook groups North Kivu Life and UNV in DRC.
- In 2018, we had over 50 members in Goma on Couchsurfing, the worldwide hospitality exchange and social network site. Take a look if you’re searching for short-term housing. You should also visit the local group “Couchsurfing in Goma” to meet new faces in the city. Alternatively, Airbnb has a few apartments available.
- Be careful that your landlord isn’t on a UN sanctions list. It does happen as reported by RFI in February 2016.
- I’d advise not to stay near the main avenue in the city center (see map below) or near the plague du peuple in Himbi. A number of residents have complained about how noisy it has become. Be careful not to live too closely to churches either as they can be very loud on Sunday mornings.
- Be careful negotiating your deposit. Not every landlord will give it back to you.
- Most tenants have a cleaner to help with clothes (houses don’t have washing machines), washing dishes, buying and/or cooking food, and other regular maintenance. To avoid frustration, have a discussion what you expect. To find somebody, play it by ear and ask for recommendations on North Kivu Life. If s/he comes five days a week for a few hours/day, you should spend at least around $250/month. Benefits such as health care or support for children’s education are often negotiated on an ad-hoc basis. Most people don’t sign contracts with their staff and nobody I know pays taxes. Please discuss vacation time with your employee and consider leaving a recommendation for your cleaner on North Kivu Life once you leave.
- Most houses with access to the lake are in the Himbi neighborhood. Electricity is a little patchy there, however.
- Karibu, Chalet and Grands Lacs are the only hotels that offer long-term stays.
Upscale hotels: $60-150
- Ihusi Hotel: 4 Stars. Popular top-end hotel in the centre. Nice swimming pool with views onto the Kivu Lake. Restaurant, tennis court (15USD); trainer Lupe: 099 544 6232 and massage (25 USD). $70-200; breakfast included. 300m from Rwandan border and MONUSCO. 099 377 3396, 081 312 9560, 081 353 2300, email@example.com. Reviews available on Trip Advisor.
- Lake Kivu Lodge: Located right at the lake just 10 minutes away from the city center of Goma, the hotel offers family and deluxe accommodations for $80-200 (see breakdown of prices here), breakfast included. 081 151 0706. 097 186 8749, Lacfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. For references, see Trip Advisor and Facebook.
- Karibu Hotel: Located in Himbi district, Karibu Hotel is a tranquil refuge from the hustle and bustle in downtown Goma. If you want time to relax, this is your hotel. Its vast garden is unique among the hotels in town. Karibu has immediate access to the lake and a good tennis court and pool. The service is poor, however, and electricity only goes until 9 p.m. Long-term stays are overpriced. For more call Nyota at 081 537 6777 or email her at email@example.com. The hotel also has a Facebook page.
- Linda Hotel: 3 Stars with views of the lake. $50-70; breakfast included. 099 548 7783, 099 332 9321, 099 862 4964, 080 851 8491. 100m. from the MONUSCO. Trip Advisor.
- Cap Kivu Hotel: $60-150/night. 099 776 5676, 081 337 2299, 081 337 2266, 099 76 5646. firstname.lastname@example.org. Across from the Campus of the Université du Lac. Trip Advisor.
- VIP Palace Hotel: 55$-225$. +243 (0)99 773 6797. Trip Advisor.
Midrange hotels: $40-60
- Centre d’Accueil Caritas. Located right at the lake, Caritas offers rooms for $40, $50, and $60/night. It’s definitely one of the best mid-range hotels in Goma. They have very good internet connection and a solid breakfast for $5. Avenues des Ecoles. 099 539 5303, 081 067 9199, Guesthousecaritas@yahoo.fr. Facebook.
- Jerryson Hotel: 099 310 7575, 082 211 2425, 082 125 6790, 099 455 7982, email@example.com.
- Hotel des Grands Lacs: Rooms for $50, $100, and $200 per night incl. breakfast.
- Risina Hotel. Trip Advisor.
- La Brise
- Mbiza Hotel: $50-100. Swimming pool 8 USD per day. Gym: 5 USD per day. +243 (0)99 171 5300. www.mbizahotel.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Trip Advisor.
- Planet Hotel: Single room $65; double room $75, $80, $100; apartment $150. 099 986 9903, email@example.com.
- Bungwe Guest House
- Hotel La Joie Piazza
Budget hotels: $20-40
- Shu Shu Guest house. Rooms $20. 7 rooms available. 099 914 9766.