What To Take Into Account When Planning To Visit Burundi

The security situation in Burindu may have stabilized, but there is still political unrest in the east African country. Thus, governments of many countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas warn their citizens not to travel to Burundi. However, travelers still prefer to visit Burundi for one reason or another.

To that end, we have outlined a list of things you must know before you travel to Burundi this year. They will help you to avoid being in danger of losing your life while in the country.

Moreover, they will help you to know the local laws in Burundi. Plus, the areas to avoid while on holiday in Burundi.

Where is Burundi?

Burundi is an Eastern African state with its neighbors as Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. It is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley.

Burundi has been in perennial political and civil crises since its independence. Thus, it does not attract many visitors, though it has several tourist attractions, including Bujumbura and Gitega. Recently, security issues have become stable, but there’s persistent political unrest in the country.

Burundi still consists of a rural population, with only 13% of the residents living in urban centers. Subsequently, the economy is mainly agriculture. However, the tourist industry is still untapped and has a promising future for the economy of Burundi.

Since its independence, Burundi has joined some international organizations, including the African Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, United Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Things to consider before visiting Burundi this year

Of course, you now know Burundi, and probably, you want to travel to the country for some exciting experiences. Then, you will put a lot of things into consideration before you visit Burundi.

#1. Your life is at risk in Burundi

The first thing to consider while you plan to go on holiday or vacation in Burundi is the security situation in the country. For this reason, many countries have put Burundi in the red zone states. Thus, it is a no-travel region for many nations in EuropeAsia, and the Americas.

Generally, regions along the Republic of the Congo are on the red zone list because of the deteriorating security situations. Your life is in danger in this part of the world. Thus, your safety is not guaranteed if you travel to Burundi.

Furthermore, you should avoid traveling in the dark, especially in the Kanyosha, Musaga, Mutakura, Kamenge, Cibitoke, Bwiza, Ngagara, Nyakabiga, Gatumba, and Bujumbura-rural areas. Plus, you must avoid traveling to the Provinces of Bubanza, including Rukoko Natural Park and Cibitoke, by car, especially along the R5 from Bujumbura to Bukavu.

#2. Political instability is second to none in Burundi

Recently, Burundi has been in a political crisis leading to the loss of lives and property. Therefore, you must be careful when you travel to the country this year. The situation increases every day with regular violence and civil unrest.

#3. Beware of the crime rate when you visit Burundi

There is a high crime rate in Burundi, with terrorism and kidnapping at their peak. Al-Shabaab has continued to send threats to the country. Moreover, they have organized recent attacks in neighboring Kenya and Burundi. So, you must be careful while in Burundi.

On the other hand, you stand a chance of being kidnapped in Burundi, especially at night. Therefore, you should take note of the following while in Burundi to avoid being a victim of crime, kidnapping, and terrorism in Burundi. They include:

  1. Stay in homes and hotels with guards and security personnel
  2. Avoid traveling with your credit/debit cards, travel tickets, and money together
  3. Do not expose your travel documents, especially your passport
  4. Do not carry a large sum of money with you
  5. Do not use the ATM at night
  6. Do not move about in the dark

#4. Do not drive alone when you visit Burundi this year

Driving is risky in Burundi, especially at night. Moreover, do not drive alone outside the city of Bujumbura after dark. Plus, you must consider traveling in at least a convoy of two if you plan to leave Bujumbura.

Consider the following tips while driving in Burundi:

  1. Always hold your international driver’s license
  2. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol
  3. Always lock your doors

#5. Know the local laws when you visit Burundi

One thing you must consider when you plan to visit Burundi this year is the local law. The country has a lot of taboos, customs, and traditions which travelers must obey. Your behavior must not be improper, hostile, or illegal in Burundi.

Therefore, you should avoid illegal drugs, homosexuality, and photographs of military installations, airports, and government buildings.

#6. Take care of your health before and while you visit Burundi.

You will need travel health insurance for your stay in Burundi. Moreover, you will need vaccination for certain diseases at least eight weeks before you travel to the country.

#7. Seek consular protection when you visit Burundi

Definitely, you will need consular protection in Burundi. So, you need to locate the embassy of your country in Burundi. However, some countries do not have a diplomatic mission in Burundi. In such cases, you can contact the embassy or consulate close to Burundi or the Ministry of Foreign affairs in your country of origin.

Places and things to see when you visit Burundi this year

Despite the security situations and political unrest in Burundi, there are many fun things and events in the country. From the major cities to nature reserves, there is something for everyone in Burundi.

#1. Visit Bujumbura, the colonial capital of Burundi

Known for its French style of life, culture, and architecture, Bujumbura is a modern city with a history of French and Colonial settlements. You are sure to find the best french cuisines in this beautiful city. Plus, the foods, drinks, and nightlife are what keep Bujumbura alive.

#2. Visit the Ruvubu National Park in Burundi

Your experience will never be complete in Burundi without a tour of this park. It covers the largest area in the country. Many animals who call it home include Hippos, elephants, and tigers.

Moreover, you can travel along the part and will have access to many facilities in the park.

#3. Kigwena Natural Forest

With different trees and plants here, Kigwena Natural Forest is in the denser part of Burundi. Several animal species live in the forest, including baboons and monkeys. In addition, you will see different species of butterflies and several birds who take it as their home.

#4. Gitega

Do you want to learn the preserved history of colonial Burundi? Then, you will visit Gitega while in Burundi. You will see colonial artefacts in the Gitega national museum. Whatever your budget is, you have accommodation in this city.

#5. Gishora

The best memory of this town is the safaris and drum sanctuary. It depicts the history and tradition of Burundi, with the drum sanctuary playing an important role. Why not pay a visit to the palace of the kings in Gishora?

#6. Mount Heha

It is the highest mountain in Burundi, where people, including visitors, go mountain climbing and trekking. You will get the best views of Burundi from this high mountain.

#7. Saga Beach

Do you love to have a moment on the beaches? Then, visiting Saga beach is a must for you in Burundi. Though not the best beach in the world, the natural environment makes it more attractive than most beaches. Visit the beach on weekends, and you will have a lovely outing with locals and foreigners.

#8. Chutes De La Kerera

Chutes De La Kerera has four different waterfalls with varied heights where people can walk. However, you must be very careful in this place to avoid falling off the cliff.

#9. The Kibira National Park

Formally used for hunting, the Kibira National Park is the natural home to several animal and bird species. In addition, you can have a look at the plantation beside the park.

#10. Bururi National Reserve

Hoe to several animals and birds, especially migratory birds looking for the sun in the summer. Bururi National Reserve also offers relief to human beings in the summer because of its high altitude.

Also Read: Burundian Embassy in Canada – Top Consular Services

Frequently Asked Questions?

Is Burundi a good place for foreigners?

Traveling to Burundi this year is very risky because of the security situation in the country. However, the country still receives several visitors every year.

What is the best time to visit Burundi?

The best time to visit Burundi is between June and August. However, you can come to Burundi any time since the weather does not vary much.

What can I do in Burundi at the weekends?

Weekends in Burundi are always fun, with a lot of outdoor activities. You can visit the parks, go skiing, mountain climbing or visit the beaches.

Where can I get a visa to visit Burundi?

Burundian visas are available at the Burundian embassy in your country of origin. Sometimes, you can apply for an entry permit to Burundi online.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can visit Burundi to see some of the attractions in the country. However, you have to consider the situation in the country. Otherwise, you will become a victim of crime in the country. Plus, you may lose your life if you are not careful while in the country.

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