31 Oct 2018 - DRC (Goma)

James Whitmee

I am in Goma which is the capital of North Kivu province in DRC, and right on the border with Rwanda. It is in a spectacular setting as it is on Lake Kivu, surrounded by mountains and with a large volcano just to the north of the city (Mount Nyiragongo).

The city is split into zones with Zone A being closest to the country border, moving westwards through Zones B-D. The main real estate drivers are 1) access to mains power and water and 2) security and routes for evacuation (the city was evacuated across the border to Gisenyi in the early 2000s when Mount Nyiragongo last erupted). Zone A is the best in terms of these criteria.

The top end of the market is dominated by diplomatic missions, MONUSCO and aid agencies. There is very limited stock and practically zero availability. I am finding rents not much different from Kinshasa. Small "transit" apartments are a minimum of USD 1,000 /month and houses USD 3,000-4,000 /month. Large houses suitable for diplomatic use or as compounds for businesses can be USD 10,000+ /month.

There is a form of transport here which I have never heard of before and which I understand is unique to this region. It is called a "chukudu" and it is essentially a cross between a bike and a skateboard and is made entirely of wood, including the wheels. It apparently takes some skill to ride and a lot of strength.

Goma Chukudus

Chukudus on the Rond Point des Banques

Tags: Democratic Republic of the Congo