SHANGWE HOTEL BELAKOM: GOOD IN GOMA
This is a reasonable hotel in Goma. It is not cheap by local standards, but it does the job. Almost every room is $40. That’s per room, not per person. This being Africa, you could probably haggle the price down if you speak to them (in French). It is relatively clean, well organised, safe and I had no problems getting to sleep. It is on the outskirts of Goma, but that is one of the reasons it is safe and quiet. It is located in a nice residential neighbourhood and you have views over (very) nearby Lake Kivu from the upper floor.
The hotel is run by several polite men and they are on duty 24 hours a day. In addition the nice garden area out front has a very high fence. Inside you have a fairly open fronted dinning room and a full service bar. The menu is not vast and it’s not cheap, but your don’t have to take a platoon of Army troops with you into town at night. I enjoyed my fresh spaghetti and my cold beer. They do make it up from scratch so it does take a while. The bar is essentially open 24 hours a day. You keep buying and they keep serving. The bartender sleeps behind the bar and I accidentally woke him up once. He did ask if I wanted anything to drink.
My room was small and there wasn’t a lot of room once you accounted for the large bed. It was a reasonable mattress and I slept quietly and soundly. The room did have a closet, TV, table and mosquito net. I don’t remember the room having air-conditioning, but it did have a fan and it was cool.
The bathroom was ok. I had a big tub, shower attachment, modern flush toilet and a reasonable mirror. Worryingly I had a hair brush. I did not take advantage of its use. The water was hot although the water pressure was a little weak.
The remote control TV had some French TV channels including 24 hours news.
Breakfast (included) was a mini - feast. Toast, bread, jams, fruit and even a fried tomato with tea and coffee. They even asked if I wanted more.
If you do want to sit and sip beers on the lake – there is another hotel almost opposite. Best to ask the price of the beers there first. I didn’t and they charged me a lot.
All in all this is a very reasonable mid-price option in Goma. Budget options may involve some very real safety issues.
Welcome to Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.