Border crossing from Gisenyi to Goma

First off, thanks for putting the Bradt Guide together – it is by far the most detailed and, most importantly, accurate guide out there.  I’m in Rwanda right now and just wanted to update info on the border crossing from Gisenyi (Rubavu) to Goma.  With two others (they were German, myself American), we crossed over by road into Goma from Gisenyi, but not without much hassle.

According to the border police chief (and verified by locals afterward), the visa now costs $285 per person unless arranged in advance at the DRC Embassy in Kigali.  The woman in our group (a savvy negotiator) spent 20 minutes in a back office with the chief and negotiated him down to $100 per person, with the caveat that he keeps our passports to ensure our return and that we hire a Congolese guide (whom the chief conveniently provided) for and extra $50.  We took the deal, reluctantly.  The police chief subsequently called the guide while we were in town to tell us to ‘watch our camera,’ as apparently we were taking a few too many photos and were reported by local authorities.

All in all, it was still worth making the trip – the situation in the refugee villages out on the lava fields is dismal to say the least and I think it’s important to see this first hand, as it’s fallen well off the media radar.

Thanks and hope this helps,

Nick R


2 thoughts on “Border crossing from Gisenyi to Goma

    • philipbriggs says:

      Poul, so far as I understand it, depending on your nationality, which you don’t specify, and assuming that you are a tourist, which again you don’t specify, then you would need a standard single-entry tourist visa if you are entering Rwanda once. If you are entering more then once, for instance crossing into DRC or Uganda, which again you don’t specify, then you may need a multiple-entry visa. Some countries also apply a limit to single-entry visas, for instance if you are staying longer than one month, then you need a multiple-entry visa, but offhand I am not sure whether this is the case with Rwanda. However, visa rules are subject to change, so if in doubt it is really best to check this with the relevent authorities as their answer will be final…!

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