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About Burundi

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Discover the four corners of Burundi! Climb on top of our hills, walk through our rain forests, navigate our lakes and sunbathe on our beaches.

Burundi is the ideal place to spend an unforgettable vacation! Temperatures range from 28⁰C /82⁰ F along the clear, fresh waters of Lake Tanganyika in the lowlands of Bujumbura, but just an hour away in the central plateau region, temperatures average 20⁰C/68⁰ F. The highest mountain areas are cooler, averaging 16⁰C/60⁰ F.
 
The Burundian drummers known as Abatimbo in Kirundi play the sacred drums, which are an integral part of the rich Burundian cultural heritage.
You may also catch sight of our elegant female dancers who will leave you dreaming. Enjoy more the creativity of our craftsmen in age-old crafts such as  basketry, pottery, sculpture and painting continue to tell a tale on Burundian traditions and culture that has been handed down through generations
 
Moreover, you will enjoy the diversity of our cuisine, whose signature dish has been the unmistakable taste of the mukeke, a unique fish found only in the Lake Tanganyika. And since Bujumbura is a multi-cultural city that brings together people from not only rural Burundi, but also from neighbouring countries and others from further afield, the city prides itself in offering a culinary experience that is influenced by all these diverse peoples and cultures. There is much to see, do and enjoy during your stay in Burundi!


Geographic Brief

Burundi is centrally located in the heart of Africa. Its geographic position allows easy access in less than two hours flight time to many of Africa's most attractive tourist sites such as:

  •  volcanoes and gorillas at Kahuzi Biega in DRC
  • Tanzania's famous National Park in Gombe and Serengeti
  • Gorilla viewing in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park
  • the beaches of Zanzibar

The Republic of Burundi is a small country of 27,834 square kilometers located in Central Africa's Great Lakes area. It is bordered to the north by the Republic of Rwanda, to the south-east by the United Republic of Tanzania and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Burundi is a small state with a population over 9 million. 

The capital, Bujumbura, is located on the banks of Lake Tanganyika


Climate

The whole year in Burundi, we enjoy a tropical climate with temperatures varying according to the altitude. In the low areas (Bujumbura), the temperatures reach a maximum of 28 C /82 F degrees while in higher elevations they do not exceed 16 C /60 F degrees. Even during the rainy and dry seasons the temperatures remain relatively consistent.There are four seasons in Burundi: the small rainy season from October to December, the small dry season from December to mid February, the larger rainy season from mid-February to May, and the main dry season from June to September. Most of the year is moderately humid.


History and culture
Since the 15th century, Burundi was organized as a monarchy around a King known as the Mwami. Burundi has a strong oral tradition, inspiring historians with its legends and tales. The kingdom rejected all the incursions of the Zanzibar slave hunters before submitting to the Germans in 1897. Mwezi Gisabo surrendered on June 6, 1903, at Kiganda which eventually became an historical site.Successively a German then a Belgian colony, Burundi became independent in 1962. The assassinatin of the national hero, Prince Rwagasore, on October 13, 1961, marked the end of the monarchy. In 1966, Michel Micombero became the first president of the Republic of Burundi.

The Burundian population is composed of three main ethnic groups (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa). However, unlike what is very often the case in Africa, these groups did not form different cultures. 

The language Kirundi, as well as most of the social customs, anchors the majority of the population to a territory united since the eighteenth century. Although Burundii has faced challenges in the recent past, the strong base of culture shared by everyone provides the foundation for a people moving forward. The cultural and historical inheritance of the country is extensively rich, especially since there is no written historical record.

In an oral civilization, a whole unique cultural universe reveals itself to those who listen to tales circulating in Burundi as well as to those who are interested in visiting ancient locations full of memories.


Art and Crafts

Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are attractive gifts to many tourists. Basket weaving is a popular craft for Burundian artisans. Other crafts such as masks, shields, jewelry, painting, wood curving; metal work statues and pottery are made in Burundi.

Figurative art form is very commonly practiced in Burundi art. The European and Italian imprints is seen in the Burundi works of art like in mosaics. The themes of the designs mainly concentrate on Burundi life but the marks of the western art are also evident. There are many artisan centers in Burundi like Le Musee vivant and Le Musee national. Both of these art centers in Burundi mainly deals with modern art.


Dinning

For a taste of Burundian food, try the green amaranth 'Ilenga lenga' – a name borrowed from DRC – or the cassava leaves stew called 'Isombe'. Both are healthy vegetables that you might see in other parts of the world or indeed in neighboring countries but cooked differently. These vegetables can be eaten with any combination of side dishes (rice, green bananas either fried or cooked, fried/cooked potatoes, beans, etc).


Fashion

For fashion lovers, Burundi counts a large number of young fashion designers highly inspired by our ancestral bark tree clothing with light touch of modernity.