Feed all your wildlife fantasies in the wilderness of Burundi. One of the greenest and richest nations in East Africa, Burundi is more of an offbeat destination. Though the country is frequented on account of its rich greenery and diverse wildlife, it certainly has fragments of history and a complete world of different cultures to explore. Visit Burundi and come across dozens of beauties while exploring around. From highlands to streams and forests to grasslands, the country offers myriad space to satisfy the wanderlust.Useful Info About Burundi
Famous For: Wildlife | Extensive Landscapes | National Parks | Natural Beauty | African Culture
Time Zone: Burundi (GMT +2)
Driving Side: Right
Major Airports in Burundi: Bujumbura International Airport
The history of mankind in Burundi dates back to thousands of years before the Common Era. However, the development in the country could only be traced from the medieval period when Burundi was inhabited by many tribal groups.
However, the earliest traces of human development in the country belong to the medieval era when the Kingdom of Burundi flourished. It was between the 13th and 16th centuries when the country started witnessing a substantial rise in the fields of trade, economy, history, politics, and culture. That’s the reason most of the history of Burundi belongs to the Medieval Era.
Colonization in the country happened in the late 19th century after the German Empire conquered several regions and took them under its control. However, no new boundaries were created or destroyed by the colonial powers in the country during their rule. Later on, it became a part of the Belgian Colonial Empire. In 1962, after several decades of the foreign rule, Burundi gained independence and eventually, became a republic.
Today, Burundi boasts of great infrastructure across several cities and is home to many world tourist destinations. People visit it from around the world to savour its richness in the forests.
Rwanda is a landlocked nation in Africa with a few parts nestled on the shores of the great Lake Tanganyika. Due to its diverse topographical landscape, Burundi features an incredible mix of forests, streams, grasslands, hills, and more. That’s the reason it is home to rich wildlife and is frequented by nature lovers from around the world.
The country is surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the West, Rwanda on the north and is enclaved by Tanzania on the other sides. The total area of the country is approximately 27,830 sq km, out of which about 92.2% constitute the land region and the remaining 7.80% makes up the water area.
As the topography of the country is quite diverse, here one would find highlands as well as lowlands. The lowest point in the country is Lake Tanganyika at about 772 m and the highest point lies at Mount Heha at about 2684 m. Burundi doesn’t have any coastlines for being a landlocked nation.
Though the indigenous Burundian art and music have influences from the cavemen era, its present-day art and music have derived their values and elements from several cultures from across the world. The country has been colonized by numerous other powers in the past and that’s the reason one would find some foreign elements in the art and music of Burundi.
Today, people love traditional symphonies as well as rock and jazz music. Several regional and national level music festivals are celebrated in the country. The country also hosts some art festivals every year.Food and Drink
Burundi cuisine has a lot of similarities with South African food. Hence, it also has different styles of cookery and kitchen practices influenced by the east as well as the west. As the country has remained colonized for years by different powers in the past, its delicacies reflect those foreign elements.
However, the global taste has already reached the restaurants in Burundi and hence, you would delicacies from China, India and other nations on the menus. People love to eat locally-prepared traditional Ugali and also relish international dishes with great interest. Beer is the most popular beverage in the drinking culture of Burundi.Must-Try Delicacies
Ugali, Marahagwe, Matura and Mahu, Ibiharage and moreMust-Try Drinks
Impeke, Urwarwa, Kanyanga and moreHospitality
People in Burundi are helpful and kind. They wouldn't mind helping you whenever and wherever possible. They respect tourists and love to help them. Hence, a tourist does not find it difficult to explore the country.
The best time to visit Burundi is from April until the end of November as this is the time when you can relish the best in the country. This is the period when you can explore around in a comfortable environment (climate-wise) and witness the best of wildlife. The climatic conditions throughout the country are optimum from April to November.
Bujumbura has not seen much development over the past decades mainly due to years of conflict in the region. The city, commonly known as Buji, has retained other characteristics from its period as a French colony such as excellent food, drink and nightlife. Sights in the city include the university which is the only one in Burundi and the Independence Monument which remembers hard times of occupation by French, Belgian and German rulers.Kibira National Park
The Kibira National Park lies within a fascinating location between 1500m and 2600m in altitude. The park is largely occupied by the primaeval rainforest and was once used as a sacred hunting ground by the country’s former kings. Today however, it is another of Burundi’s protected areas that are home to a variety of wildlife including baboons, chimps and more than 200 kinds of bird species.Rusizi National Park
Located just on the outskirt of Bujumbura is the fascinating Rusizi River National Park. The plains surrounding the river are flooded periodically, bringing hundreds of animals to the area for his vital life source. Hippos are just one of the many animals to frequent the area and are one of the most sought after by tourists. The park, with its clear skies, is a true bird-watchers paradise. The migratory birds that visit the park include rare and beautiful species from both Asia and Europe such as sandpipers and plovers.Gitega
Gitega was the country’s capital during colonial times. The city has many worthwhile attractions including the remarkable Gitega National Museum which has a vast collection of artefacts and antiquities from Burundi’s past. The city is well equipped for tourists and has a decent range of accommodation options for most budgets. The city is commonly included on safari tours as an overnight stop.Saga Beach
Yes, a beach in a landlocked nation! Due to the presence of the great Lake Tanganyika, Burundi has a beautiful sandy beach where one can crash on a weekend and enjoy the delights of nature. Saga Beach is the most popular and frequented attraction as it serves as a great escape from city life. Visit it with your family or friends and have an amazing pastime.
Other important places to visit in Burundi
On 1st July 1962, Burundi gained complete freedom from Belgian forces and to commemorate the historic moment, the country celebrates Independence Day on the same day every year. It is one of the major public holidays in the country. On this occasion, people showcase their patriotism towards their country by partaking in traditional performances and other events. Public speeches are also made.
Time : 1 July
Place : Across Burundi
Nothing can be bigger than Christmas when it comes to national festivals in Burundi. Christmas is the most awaited celebration in the country and is observed insanely every year. All the traditions are followed with utmost love and kindness. People attend mass prayers at churches and Christmas delicacies are prepared at home. The entire day is spent with family and friends celebrating happiness and affection.
Time : 25 December
Place : Across Burundi
Rejoice in the festivities of the New Year in Burundi. The people here welcome the New Year with all the passion and enthusiasm and hence, traditional drumming, dancing and colourful feats are an important part of the celebrations. People clean their houses and decorate them with beautiful lights. No wonder on this day the sky in Burundi looks like a canvas filled with sparkling stars.
Time : 1 Jan
Place : Across Burundi
One can visit Burundi as the country allows foreign nationals to obtain a visa on arrival. As per the visa policy of Burundi, only six countries have the privilege of entering the nation without carrying any kind of visa. Nationals of these countries have the freedom of movement to and from Burundi for a maximum period of three months a year. The list of these nationalities includes:
Citizens of the remaining nationalities are eligible to get a Burundi visa on arrival for a maximum of 30 days.
Buses in Burundi make for the most used form of transport. It is used by locals as well as tourists to a large extent for being the cheapest mode of commutation. Buses are available at all the major locations in all the cities and towns of the country, thereby, making travelling easy and comfortable.Taxis/Cabs
Taxis are great for travelling in comfort. These are available at all the tourist destinations in the country. However, make sure you decide on the final fare before getting into the vehicle to avoid arguments later on.
Located in Bujumbura, Melchior Ndadaye International Airport is the only airport in the country serving foreign nations. However, only a few flights from South African countries land here as the airport isn't well connected to other parts of the world. The best way to reach Burundi via air route is by taking a direct flight to South Africa and then from there, another flight to Burundi. From the airport, you can use public transport to reach your destination in the country.Via Road Route
Though the road network of Burundi is quite limited, it is never hard to reach any city or town in the country via the road route. You can either drive on your own or hire a cab to reach it. The neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are greatly connected to Burundi via road.Via Water Route
If you are coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Tanzania, then you can also use the water route. The great Lake Tanganyika serves regular ferry rides.
Tanzania is a great place for weekend escapes as it has beaches, islands, blue waters and all the other tropical beauties along with African delights. That's why it deserves to be explored while you are on an excursion to Burundi. Watch the greatest Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, explore the wildlife and richness of national parks and go hiking and trekking in hidden hills. Enjoy boating in the seawaters and have leisure time by beautiful shores.Democratic Republic of Congo
Like other South African countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is equally rich in wildlife and other natural beauties. Hence, exploring it would be a nice idea. Spot gorillas at Virunga National Park, watch lava lakes of Mount Nyiragongo, explore the rich greenery of Congo Rainforest and a lot more. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to a large number of apes.Rwanda
Another country that deserves to be on your bucket list while visiting the northern parts of Burundi. Rwanda is a landlocked nation and is generally recognised for its beautiful green landscapes and national parks and sanctuaries. The country is home to some natural wonders and hosts a variety of tourist attractions. The major places to visit here include Volcanoes National Park, Mount Karisimbi, Nyungwe Forest and Lake Ruhondo.
Country calling code: +257
Burundian franc is the legal tender in Burundi and has been in use in the market for exchanging goods and services for more than 60 years. Burundian Franc was introduced in the country in the year 1960 and since then, it has been its official currency. Earlier, the Belgian Congo franc was its currency when Burundi was under the administration of Belgium.
1 Burundian franc = 100 centimes
Symbol – FBu
Code – BIF
A few Burundi money exchange rates for your reference (As of March 2021)
USD into Burundi currency
1 USD = 1946.83 BIF
Dirham into Burundi currency
1 AED = 530 BIF
Burundian franc banknotes are generally found in the denomination of 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000
Burundian franc bank coins are generally found in the denomination of 1, 5, 10 and 50
Why book your travel with us?