Well here’s a wonderful situation: Goma airport in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not a very large space, but it has the distinction of having fully two airport lounges for the discerning traveler to choose between. The first one is slightly nicer, and offers you a bespoke service for checking you in, getting you your seats, and clearing you through immigration. That is not this lounge. The Salon Rouge is a slightly more down at heel space for you to relax immediately next to your boarding gate. If you don’t want to pay a higher fee for handling, you can opt for the Salon Rouge VIP. To decide which lounge is right for you, check out our Salon Rouge VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM).
Our Trip – Salon Rouge VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
This flight was a dream of ours. We’d wanted to visit the DRC for ages, but some sort of personal commitment or armed uprising always got in the way. Finally, our schedules aligned with the rebels’, and we were able to safely enter Kivu province via the border with Burundi. We got a gorilla visa at the frontier, and then drove up to Goma for a few days before heading to the great city of Kinshasa. This was a domestic flight, but it still required immigration checks on both ends.
The Facts – Salon Rouge VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
To get to this particular lounge, you’ll need to clear all check in and immigration formalities first. This is chaotic, so make sure that you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Once you’re past immigration (even for domestic flights), you will need find yourself in the terminal area. Don’t worry about getting lost, becuase there is only one gate. This lounge appears on the left hand side of the hallway just before the gate. To enter, you need to pay a fee. I don’t exactly remember how much it was, but it wasn’t huge, maybe $10. And given how crazy crowded the one get gets, you may relish the opportunity to escape the crowds.
The Space – Salon Rouge VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
The lounge is very, very small. As seen in the picture above, they have just a few seats, grouped around just two tables. This lounge is basically a place to have a drink and wait for your flight. It has two very lovely staff members who are smiley and friendly, and will make sure that you are as comfortable possible.
The Food – Salon Rouge VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
For a tip, the staff can arrange for food to be brought to you from an airport restaurant. This is definitely worth doing if you’re hungry. They won’t ask you for a fee, but you should definitely compensate them for their work.
There is beer, soda, and liquors. Your entry fee entitles you to a drink, after that, you should pay your bill. This is basically a bar with nicer seating than the plastic chairs in the lounge.
In the terminal.
We like it! This is basically a Congolese nightclub/bar in the airport. They have music and they have drinks. The staff is super friendly and fun, and there aren’t tons of people using the space. We definitely think that you should stop by if you have the extra time and a few extra dollars to spend on a pre-flight drink. The lounge isn’t quite as nice as some of the continent’s swankier options, but its not bad either, all things considered.