Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
The Republic of Burundi, a tiny country with both soaring mountains and lovely lakeside beaches, has been plagued for many years by a gruesome civil war. Though the country’s current peace is fragile, things are looking up for Burundians. Recent years have brought advances in health care, a spike in coffee and tea exports, and other important economic developments. For the first time in years, a visit to Burundi is a viable and alluring prospect for tourists. Whether you prefer lounging on the beaches of the enormous Lake Tanganyika or bird watching in one of the country's many national parks, Burundi just might be your ideal vacation spot.
The Top 10: What to Do in Burundi
1. Chutes de la Kagera:
Near Rutana, in the southeastern part of the country, you’ll find some spectacular waterfalls, which are especially breathtaking from October to January. There’s no public transportation to the area, so charter a private taxi for the day.
2. Saga Beach:
This remote beach along Lake Tanganyika boasts miles of powdery, white sand and clear, turquoise waters. It’s thought to be one of the best beaches in East Africa.
3. Source du Nil:
It may look unimpressive, but to Burundians this little spring, high on the slopes of Mount Kikizi, is known as the southernmost source of the Nile. (Ugandans dispute that claim, insisting that the source is on their land.) At Bujumbura hotels, ask about arranging a trip to the sight.
4. Musée Vivant:
One of the few still-operating museums in Burundi, the Musée Vivant, in Bujumbura, is both a reconstructed traditional Burundian village and a small zoo stocked with local fish, birds, and snakes.
5. Rusizi National Park:
Animals of all kinds, including hippos, antelope, and monkeys, roam this park near Bujumbura, but it’s probably best known as the place where Gustave, the world’s largest man-eating Nile crocodile, can often be found.
Burundi’s capital city, lined with palm trees and Art Déco buildings, has long been a place where Burundians could go to forget their troubles, and that tradition remains strong. Sample the French- and Belgian-inspired fare at the city’s many excellent restaurants, and boogie down at the famously late nightclubs.
7. Kibira National Park:
Just south of the Rwanda border, this idyllic park is home to chimpanzees, baboons, rare golden monkeys, and other animals.
8. La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley:
This large rock, about three miles south of Bujumbura, allegedly marks the spot where the New York reporter Henry Morton Stanley met the missionary and explorer David Livingstone and uttered the words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
9. Les Tambourinaires de Burundi:
Seek out a performance of the country’s most famous, high-energy drumming troupe, which has traveled to places as distant as New York and Berlin.
10. Rurubu National Park:
Stretching from the Tanzanian border, in northeastern Burundi, to the center of the country, Burundi’s largest park is an excellent place for bird watching. More than 200 species of birds, including many endangered breeds, have been spotted here.
When to Go
The climate in Burundi varies depending more on where you go in the country than on the particular season. Throughout the hot and humid lowlands, in the southwestern part of the country, temperatures average 86 degrees Fahrenheit; in the mountainous north, temperatures are lower, hovering at about 68 degrees. It’s useful to know, however, that the country has two wet seasons—February to May and September to November.