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1 Safaris & Tours
available in Burundi
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7 Partners
offering Safaris
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0 Premier Parks,
Reserves and Wildlife
Areas

Overview

Burundi is a small, French-speaking country in East Africa. Although landlocked, much of the south-western border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika, one of the deepest and longest freshwater lakes in the world. This tiny country, with a troubled and tragic past, is rather off the beaten track for most travellers, yet those adventurous enough to explore it will be richly rewarded. Bujumbura, Burundi’s largest city, appears frozen in time, with its colonial boulevards and grand public buildings. Despite its small size, this city has garnered a reputation for having some of the best places to eat out in all of East Africa. Being the small country that it is, Burundi has just three beautiful national parks to choose from. The upside of having just three parks? You can visit them all in one trip!

Rusizi National Park, situated along the Rusizi River, is the most widely visited park in Burundi. The park boasts incredibly unique flora and fauna such as the wallowing hippo, graceful swamp antelope (sitatunga), a variety of monkeys and numerous colourful bird species including the flamingo. According to a famous myth, a giant, man-eating crocodile named Gustave lives within lake Rusizi, measuring over 40 meters in length! Be sure to keep an eye out for this mystical monster. There are many ways to explore this beautiful park; from boat safaris and traditional 4×4 tours to walking and bird-watching adventures. 

Overlapping four provinces and covering 400 square kilometers, Kibira National Park lies atop the mountains of the Congo-Nile divide in north-western Burundi. The area is covered in lush, primeval rain forest and is the home of over 98 mammal species, a dozen primates (including chimpanzees, baboons, rare golden monkeys and the black colobus) and over 200 bird species. Pass tea plantations on your way to discover the magical undergrowth of ancient forest, visit the Pygmies village of Busekera and picnic at the Rwegura Hydroelectric Dam with its breathtaking views. A walking tour of the forest and a chance to hear the exquisite medley of birds in song is also a must in Kibira National Park.

Ruvubu National Park is the largest park in Burundi (508 square kilometers) and covers a significant amount of land on either side of the Ruvubu River. As the park is located within the river valley, it is made up primarily of swamp vegetation, riparian forest and savanna woodlands. This park has an impressive range of magnificent wildlife, so be on the lookout for lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys and antelope during your safari drives. The park is also perfect for bird-watching with an incredible 425 bird species to be spotted. Camping facilities are available for those wanting a truly immersive nature experience.  

Travel Seasons

In general Burundi has a tropical highland climate, with temperature variations between regions, mainly due to altitude. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year. The central plateau enjoys pleasantly cool weather while the area around Lake Tanganyika is warmer and the highest mountain areas are cooler. Rain is irregular, heaviest in the northwest, while dry seasons vary in length and there can be long periods of drought. However, four seasons can be highlighted:

  • June – August is the long dry season
  • September – November is the short wet season (September and October are also the hottest months)
  • December – January is the short dry season
  • February – May is the long wet season

Overall, the ideal time to travel to Burundi is June and July.

General Information

  • Capitals – Bujumbura and Gitega
  • Currency – Burundian franc
  • Languages – Kirundi, French, English
  • Size – 27,834 km2 (10,747 sq mi)
  • Population – 11,745,876 (2019 estimate)

Travel Insurance

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:

Travel Health

  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Burundi: measles, hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
  • Malaria is present in Burundi – get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take.
  • There are some areas of active cholera transmission, take the necessary precautions, make sure you avoid unsafe food and water and wash your hands regularly.
  • Yellow fever is required if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever virus transmission.

Pros

  • Lake Tanganyika setting of Bujumbura
  • Beautiful inland beaches
  • Abundant chimps and gorillas
  • Acrobatic dances, the most famous being Les Tambourinaires du Burundi

Cons

  • Turbulent history of ethnic conflict and civil war
  • Poverty, corruption, weak infrastructure, poor access to health and education

Arriving in Burundi

  • Bujumbura International Airport is the arrival point for international visitors. Kigali in Rwanda is the city with the most connections to Bujumbura.

Getting Around

  • The transport network is limited and underdeveloped. There are no internal flights.
  • Your travel arrangements will be handled by your tour operator.

Visas

  • A visa is required to enter Burundi and must be obtained before travel from the Burundi Embassy, either in person or by post.
  • Check the Burundi Embassy for more details.
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