Burundi Travel Facts

By | March 27, 2022

Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world. It borders with Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. In terms of landscape, the national parks and Lake Tanganyika are particularly interesting.

Capital City Gitega
Size 27,834 km²
Resident 11,100,000
Official Language Kirundi, French
Currency Burundi Franc
Time Zone UTC+2
Telephone Area Code +257

Source: Destination Explorer

Fast facts to know

  • Extremely attractive and varied due to diverse vegetation zones.
  • Around 85% of the population depends on agriculture.
  • Visa is required for entry (must be applied for before entry).
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination required. Recommendation to carry out the usual standard vaccinations (diphtheria, polio, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, typhoid and hepatitis A).
  • Burundi is a malaria area.
  • The risk of diarrheal diseases is increased throughout the country, and cholera epidemics (locally limited) are also possible.
  • The security situation is problematic. Note the instructions from the Foreign Office!
  • Also known as the “Switzerland of Africa” because of its high plateaus and dreamy landscapes.
  • About two thirds of the population is Catholic, the rest: African religions, Muslims, Protestants.
  • More than half of the residents live below the poverty line of one US dollar a day.
  • Burundi’s population regularly suffers from famine and malnutrition.
  • Also referred to as the heart of Africa because of its location and originality.
  • Hospitality is very important.
  • The national sport of Burundi is football.
  • Culture is based on ancient customs passed on through fables and stories.
  • Drinking impeke together from a vessel is considered a sign of the special unity of those present.

Exciting cities in Burundi

  • Bujumbura
  • Gitega
  • Rutana

History of Burundi

  • Originally settled by the ancestors of the Twa.
  • The first Europeans known by name traveled to Burundi in 1858.
  • 1884 Assigned to the German sphere of influence by the Congo Conference.
  • In 1899 Burundi became part of the Rwanda-Urundi Protectorate with the capital Usumbura.
  • 1916 Occupation by Belgian troops during World War I.
  • 1924 Prohibition of slavery.
  • Governed from Congo from 1925.
  • Independence granted in 1962.
  • 1962-1966 Kingdom.
  • 1966-1976 Micombero era (First Republic).
  • 1976-1987 Bagaza era (Second Republic).
  • 1987-1993 First Era Buyoya.
  • 1993-2005 coup and civil war.
  • Since 2005 reign of Nkurunziza.

Climate & travel weather in Burundi

  • Tropical-warm, alternating humid climate.
  • Low temperature fluctuations all year round.
  • High rainfall in the two rainy seasons of March-May and Oct-Dec.
  • The climate is more pleasant at altitudes between 800 and 2,300 m.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Dry period from May to October.
    • Mountain regions better: Jan-Feb.

Ideas for trips in Burundi

  • Postmaster’s house in Bujumbura.
  • Livingstone-Stanley Monument at Mugere.
  • Visit the gorillas of Burundi in the tropical rainforest.
  • Bujumbura market.
  • Burundi Museum of Life at Gitega.
  • Burundi Geological Museum in Bujumbura.

Eating & drinking in Burundi

  • The staple food of Burundi is beans, especially red kidney beans.
  • Traditional cuisine is predominantly based on cassava, sweet potatoes, beans and plantains.
  • Outside the cities, tropical fruits (passion fruit, mangoes, bananas) are often and willingly processed.
  • Meat plays a minor role in Burundi.
  • There are hardly any dairy products.
  • Belgians brought french fries to Burundi.
  • Fish from Lake Tanganyika is one of the most important sources of protein.
  • Few sweets and hardly any desserts served.
  • Before the meal, a jug of warm water and soap is traditionally passed around to wash hands.
  • Urwarwa (banana wine) and the local beers “Primus” and “Impeke” are often drunk.
  • Meals in hotels in Bujumbura are often expensive and fairly basic.
  • There are hardly any restaurants outside of Bujumbura and Gitega.
  • In the country people typically eat with their fingers.
  • Typical dishes:
    • National specialty: Fairy Bass (“Princess of Burundi”).
    • Fried ndagara fish from Lake Tanganyika.
    • Mukeke (grilled fish).
    • Brochette (skewer of meat made from goat meat).

Particularly scenic

  • Kibira National Park.
  • Rusizi National Park.
  • Ruvubu National Park.
  • Lake Taganjika (sixth largest lake on earth).
  • Muhweza hot springs.
  • Lakes of Burundi.
  • Saga White Beach.

Burundi Travel Facts