Nondik gertu Keshero, Nord Kivu (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
We stayed at Tchegera island as part of a 9-day stay in Virunga National Park, including Bukima camp, Mikeno Lodge, Mt Nyiragongo. It was a wonderful, awesome trip, with some challenging logistics which the Virunga National Park people handled without any issues. The trip to and from the island was a bit more challenging than we expected (just like the roads from Goma to Mikeno and Bukima were more challenging than we expected). We transferred from Mikeno Lodge to Tchegera, so it was about 2 hours into the center of Goma and then another 20 minutes or more all the way to the west end of the city where the port is located. At the port, you have to go to a little Interior Ministry office where a man writes down your passport and visa information. He seemed to have some trouble understanding our passports and what to write. Then it’s about 20 minutes on a small boat with an outboard motor to the island. Kivu is a big lake with choppy waves and we got quite wet going both ways. The boat crew covers up your luggage and will provide raincoats, which you should accept, and don’t expect to have your camera out too much for photos. Even our GoPro got continuously splashed so there were water drops blocking the lens. On the way out, you can go directly to your tent to change into dry clothes. Coming back, there is nowhere to change, so be sure to wear quick drying clothes. Take note: the port at Goma has a huge market on Monday and Thursday mornings (we came back on a Monday morning) with thousands of people crowding the waterfront. This sounds interesting, but it meant there was no place to tie up the boat except a broken pillar with spikes sticking up that no one else wanted, and this is where we had to scramble out with our luggage.