AFRICA SAFARIS IN BURUNDI
Facts About Burundi – the heart of Africa
Burundi is a country in Africa, landlocked in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa. Like its immediate neighbor Rwanda, Burundi is equally small in size. It’s bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Burundi initially is also considered part of Central Africa. Burundi’s main capital is Bujumbura which is the central commercial centre.
THE HISTORY OF BURUNDI
Like Rwanda, before the 19th century, history has it that Burundi highlands east of Lake Kivu was the last part of Africa to be reached by Europeans during colonial times of expansion. Burundi before the white expansion was a land of cattle –rearing people called the Tutsi. The Tutsi were believed to have come from the upscale of the Nile and generally infiltrated and became the dominant people over the troubled Hutu, already in residence and living by agriculture. They believed and assumed that Hutus had to be their subordinates.
Tradition before played its course with history telling us of the earlier reigns of different leaders like Rwabugiri on feudal grounds in 1860s making Tutsis the adorable rulers and frontiers of leadership.
Burundi, a country more like Rwanda in size shared by the same ethnicity is such an adorable tourism destination with very beautiful and hospitable people. Speke discovered Burundi while making his movements on Africa’s biggest lake, Lake Victoria. He concluded about the class difference he saw between the earlier ethics on his exploration, Hutu being the lower class by then and Tutsi the upper class.
Germans moved in after the death of king Rwabugiri. Living Rwanda in total turmoil over the succession, the Germans move in 1897 to claim Rwanda for the Germany’s Kaiser ending up taking Rwanda and Burundi conclusive which was Ruanda-Urundi.
In 1914 during the European war, the German territory was also abruptly taken from them leading to a Belgium state from 1914-1962.
The Belgians continued using the Tutsi to rule on their behalf to establish their rule in Burundi; the Hutu were subjected to forced labor and to being squatters. The Belgium neglect of the other group became a start for future violence which led to massacre between the two groups eventually at the time of independence in 1950s.
The resulting nationwide campaign of Hutu violence against Tutsis becomes known as ‘the wind of destruction’. Over the coming months many Tutsis flee from Ruanda, including the 25-year-old hereditary ruler, the Mwami.
In 1960, elections were held and surprisingly the Hutu politicians scored an overwhelming victory with Grégoire Kayibanda, one of the authors of the Hutu Manifesto, who leads a provisional government for the interim period to independence.
On July 1962, the two states Rundi (Burundi) and Ruanda (Rwanda) had wanted to be a single nation but later disagreed and became separate independents and names changed.
Early in 1994 there were responsible attempts to heal these ethnic wounds. The national assembly elected a Hutu president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, who in turn appointed a Tutsi as his prime minister.
But again disaster striked in April 1994 when the aeroplane that carried Rwanda’s president Habyarimana was brought down, killing both presidents including Cyprien Ntaryamira. The ethnic misunderstanding lived till 1996 but much has been done to continue reducing these differences.
WHERE IS BURUNDI? FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
Burundi as a country is located in the African continent within the East African region of Africa the then East-Africa. Burundi covers 197,100 square kilometers of land and 43,938 square kilometers of water, making it the 81st largest nation in the world with a total area of 241,038 square kilometers.
Burundi is surrounded with neighbors of whose it is in good terms with. These are:-
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Burundi fact sheet
|Capital and largest City||Bujumbura|
|Area||27,834 km2 (10,745 sq mi)|
|Population||10,395,931 (2014 Est.)|
|Coordinates||3.2836° S, 29.8293° E.|
|Official Language||Kirundi French|
|Area Calling Code||+257|
|Time Zone||CAT (UTC+2)|
|Neighbor Countries||Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic|
|Currency||Burundian franc (FBu) (BIF)|
THE GEOGRAPHY OF BURUNDI: FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
Geographically, Burundi is a small landlocked country located on the northeastern shoreline of Lake Tanganyika, and a very mountainous beautiful country. The only land below 3,000 feet is a narrow strip of plain along the Ruzizi River in the west and it entices tourists to do safaris in this African country.
Burundi’s highest point is Mount Heha which rises to over 8,759 ft. (2,670 m); and the lowest point of the country is Lake Tanganyika at 2,532 ft. (772 m).
Tanganyika is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world (by volume); Lake Tanganyika is divided amongst four different African countries, including Burundi. Its waters flow into the Congo River, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean making Burundi one lucky country.
Burundi’s wooded Mitumba Mountains in the west, have land that drops gradually into an uneven plateau with some grassland savanna, up to its border with Tanzania. The average elevation of the central plateau is over 5,000 ft. The plateau provides settlement land.
Burundi also has some rivers which include the Kanyaru, Malagarasi, Ruzizi and Rurubu, and significant lakes include the Cohaha, Rwero and of course, Lake Tanganyika. Burundi is attractive and so is basically a notion to have you visit it for its friendly geography.
UNIQUE FEATURES: FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
Being strategically located, Burundi has so much fascinating features that you deserve to make a safari for you to witness.
Beautiful Burundi is a land of partially shimmering water bodies, mountains and the plateau.
Burundi is also gifted with Lakes, Rivers, equator, mountains, among others. The other biggest adorable part of Lake Tanganyika sits right in Burundi shared by Tanzania and DRC with endless tourism activities, such as fishing safaris, boat cruising tours, among others. Burundi is naturally gifted in its small nature.
These all-time features have attracted many tourists to make endless safaris to Burundi.
SUMMARY OF UNIQUE FEATURES IN BURUNDI
|Lake Tanganyika||Akanyaru River||Mount. Heha|
|Lake Rweru||River Kagera||Mount. Cendajuru|
|Lake Cohoha||River Rurubu||Mount. Batoza|
|Lake Rwihinda||River Malagarasi||Mount. Mukambu|
|River Ruzizi||Mount. Musenga|
|Ruvyironza River||Mount. Rurama|
THE PEOPLE/ CULTURAL FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
In Burundi- at your first meeting with someone, a conversation is easily sparked off with peace, ranging from the social, political and economic development though some topics need to be not considered in order to keep peaceful. Topics related to ethnicity, regionalism, sexuality, religion, or any criticism of government politics or authorities should be avoided.
The people of Burundi are classified under two groups, the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups who sometimes claim to be victims and vehemently accuse one another of being responsible for each other’s problems but are both friendly people if you meet one.
Burundians address people formally, which enables them do away with indiscreet language. Mr or Ms followed by their first names are usually used.
The people of Burundi love traditional drumming and is basically of Karyenda, a very important part of Burundian cultural heritage, as indicated by the world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi. The traditional dances are often accompanied by drumming, which is frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings, weddings, cultural ceremonies among others. Some Burundian artisans have special songs to accompany different stages of their work which have further been recorded into audio-visual formats.
THE VEGETATION FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
Burundi like Rwanda has some green nature. It’s predominately covered by the Savanna vegetation (grassland interspersed with trees). Trees like eucalyptus, acacia, and oil palm are the most common trees with other types.
Differently and not like other countries, Burundi forests once extensive, are now concentrated in national parks and nature reserves and so location varies .
Travellers come over so often to at least catch a glance of very elusive wildlife and to have walks and treks in the green parts of Burundi with more community engagement and other activites like cattle keeping experience and agriculture.
Therefore Burundi’s’ vegetation or Flora takes up the Burundi forests of which provide a cool unique sight of thrilling beauty. Due to too much plant harvest and deforestation, Burundi lifted a ban on people practicing deforestation which led to the extinction of Gorillas and some other animals in Burundi.
The green plant cover involves tall, thick, short shrubs which enable them to support birding tours among others. Today, afforestation is being encouraged in a bid to restore wildlife population.
A lot of activities have been supported within the savannah lands in Burundi including game viewing in national parks, birding tours, nature walks, and other tour activities.
FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI DIET AND FOODS
In Burundi, Food and Drinks are most legible. Burundi’s food is usually boiled, stewed or roasted over a wood fire. Staple ingredients include plantains, sweet potatoes, cassava, peas and maize. Stewed beans are traditionally eaten at least once a day, while meat (mainly chicken and goat) is only rarely consumed.
Milk is one of the other favorable on the menu among the people of Burundi. It is mixed with other foods to make value addition come to life.
Snacks and other western foods are prepared in Burundi which therefore makes it easier for any visit to have what to eat along during a safari / tour in Burundi.
Indeed when you make a Burundi Tour, expect to taste the best food at all times with the now western foods added on the menu.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE FACTS ABOUT BURUNDI
Burundi has a tropical wet and dry/ savanna climate with a pronounced dry season in the low-sun months, no cold season, wet season is experienced during the high-sun months.
Burundi being situated in or near the subtropical dry forest usually brings a lot to it with varying seasons.
Burundi’s mean annual temperature is usually 23.8 degrees Celsius (74.8 degrees Fahrenheit) while her average monthly temperatures vary by 2 °C (3.6°F).
Beautiful Burundi being not far from the equator, and mainly in Bujumbura and the other lower areas around the lake, it can be hot, humid and tense. Comfortable life comes along with generally the higher altitudes which rise up to around 70s F/22-27 C during the day and the 60s F/16-21 C at night.
Frost in Burundi is a must especially on mountainous areas. Burundi’s seasons are basically two just like Rwanda with dry season and two rainy seasons. Usually a short rainy season begins in early October and ends in December.
Long rainy season begins in February and continues through mid May and later the long dry season extends from May to early October. Rainy seasons come with heavy downpours that need not to be under looked by tourists or safari undertakers. Visitors ought to carry appropriate gears during different seasons as Burundi’s climate is highly unpredictable.
Variations in Burundi’s climate offer chances for different tour activities to be undertaken in this country, depending on a specific type of climate and season, making Burundi a friendly and highly adorable tourism destination.
Indeed Burundi gives you an excellent option to choose between your most convenient season and time to make things happen and enjoy your Burundi tours.
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS TO BURUNDI
Travelling to Burundi is one of the amazing decisions a traveler or any person can do because of the hospitable people that Burundi has. Even getting your way into Burundi is not has hard as you may expect. The travel process has been made so simple to the gallant people that desire to visit, tour and travel to Burundi.
To enter Burundi, the first noticeable requirements are:
Visa and Passport:
A passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry is required by all nationals from different countries offered by their own Governments.
A visa to Burundi can be acquired from The Burundian Embassies or High Commissions in the different countries and Visa has different types with different prices but costs are subject to change.
Types and cost:
Visa arrangements can either be made through a travel agent, Embassies or Tourist Offices located in the different countries.
Also when travelling to Burundi, these requirements are needed:-
Medical checkup and Permit for Yellow Fever are required for the safety and health of the travelers and tourists to Burundi. Vaccines for diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis, cholera among others are required.
Basing on the hot and dry seasons, visitors are required to either carry jackets especially those travelling in wet seasons and also at night its cold in some parts of Burundi.
Burundi’s currency is but Burundi Franc and other currencies most especially the Dollar and has limitations. When you come to Burundi, you can make an exchange of the Dollars or any other currency to Francs for convenience. Visa cards of different banks can be used in some places like hotels, shopping malls, supermarkets, coffee shops around the capital city and surrounding cities but not in remote areas where they require cash or in the local currency.
Travel and Transport Facts about Burundi
Nighttime travel should be avoided whenever possible, especially 6pm and beyond. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous, including on different roads. Burundi recommends caution on roads by using reliable taxi services to and from the airport.
Other public means of transport are buses, mini buses (Matatu), salon cars and Land cruisers, among others.
Burundi as a country is run on law and no one is above the law. Therefore any visitor to Burundi is subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, your visa may be terminated, arrested, or imprisoned.