BURUNDI

Burundi  " Eden in Africa "                                        
The River Nile starts it's long journey from a place called Kasumo in Burundi, beside this fact, Burundi is not well known to the international tourists market. The ethnic conflict between Hutu ( majority ) and Tutsi ( minority ) tribes became, and still are, a dark side of the country's history. The country will be remembered for it's violent history, and the word - ethnic cleansing -  got an ugly face in Burundi. It will take generations to fade away. The two ethnic groups are going well together in their daily life, as long as the politic stays outside. Travelers are therefore advised to follow up the latest political development before going to Burundi.

Famous for
The Source of river Nile, Source de Nile.



More Information

General Information 

Time
Local time is GMT +2.

 

Electricity
Electrical current is 220-230 Volts, 50Hz. Round two pin attachment plugs and round pin plugs with receptacle or male grounding pin are standard.

 

Language
French and Kirundi are the official languages and Swahili is widely spoken along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area.

 

Climate    ( Best time for a visit, is June to September.)

The hot and steamy lowland around the Lake Tanganyika, has an average temperature of 30 °C. While the mountainous areas in the north is a bit cooler with an average of 20 °C. The rain season beginns in October and continues to May. 

 

Emergency  ( Police tel. 17 , due to transport problem they are not much of help )

Kenya is the best country for emergeny and medical services.

 

Health Certificate

Chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistant malaria is a major concern in Burundi and travellers should take the necessary prophylactics containing lariam, malarone or doxycycline. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required if coming from an infected area or visiting any area outside of the main cities. Travellers should be wary of kiosk foods and drink only bottled or boiled water. Burundi's medical facilities are very basic. Travellers should ensure they have health insurance covering evacuation by air ambulance.

 

Tipping
A 10% tip at restaurants is customary. Porters should also be tipped a few dollars.

 

Safety
Travellers should consult the nearest Burundi embassy regarding the security situation before embarking on travel to Burundi. Since democratic elections and a ceasefire agreement in 2005, Burundi has returned for the most part, to a normal state of affairs and is enjoying an increasing influx of tourists. Travel to the rural border areas with the Democratic Republic of Congo should be avoided as cross border fighting by armed guerrillas from both sides occurs sporadically. Travellers should be aware of the still-active rebel group, the Forces Nationales de la Liberation (FNL), who attack government forces and civilians intermittently, but mostly travellers to Burundi tend to gravitate toward Bujumbura and therefore should be more concerned with threats such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, armed robbery and petty crime. Locals should be consulted about the presence of crocodiles and hippopotamus along the border of the lake. Travellers should also exercise caution after dark, avoid walking alone and be aware of curfew laws.

 

Customs
Respect for elders is practiced with conviction in Burundi and travellers should adopt a similar philosophy when interacting with locals. Do not take pictures of Government institutions.

 

Business
The business world in Burundi is relatively undeveloped. Lightweight suits should be worn to formal meetings, which are usually conducted in French. An interpreter should be organised beforehand. Handshakes are important in Burundi and formal meetings often include food and drink, which is considered rude to turn down. Office hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 5:30pm. During the hotter months, a longer lunch break is taken.

 

Communications  ( Country Code +257 )
The international dialling code for Burundi is +257. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). There is good mobile phone coverage in the western area of the county and a handful of Internet cafés can be found in Bujumbura.

 

Tourist Information    ( tel.  + 257 222 202 , no area code )
Office National du Tourism ( Frensch speaking )

 

Getting there

By air;    to / from Kigoma ( Rwanda) , Nairobi ( Kenya ) and Addis Abeba ( Ethiopia).

By sea;  to / from Kigoma ( Tanzania )  and Mpulungu ( Zambia )

By land; the only recommended road is between Bujumbura and Kigoma.

 

Getting around

No scheduled domestic flights in the country. Travelling outside Bujumbura should be considered very risky, with rebel groups ambushing travellers.

More Country Information from Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Attractions