Burundi is geographically at the center of Africa, but unfortunately it has also been the focus of negative African headlines in recent years. Burundi has wonderful landscapes: mountains, forests, huge lakes and tropical plateaus. This diversity is also reflected in Burundi’s ethnic composition, which often ends in violence between the dominant Hutu and Tutsi tribes. The country’s situation is gradually improving. President Nkurunziza, democratically elected in 2005, has pushed peace talks and won plaudits for other measures, such as free schooling. However, indiscriminate attacks by rebel groups remain a constant threat in Burundi. Until these stop, most international tourists will not be able to see the beauty of Burundi with their own eyes.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, Brussels Airlines (SN) flies non-stop from Brussels to Bujumbura; Feeder flights to Brussels and Amsterdam are offered by Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M., Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna and Swiss (LX) from Zurich, among others. Ethiopian Airlines (ET) connects Frankfurt/M. and Vienna via Addis Ababa with Bujumbura. Kenya Airways (KQ) flies from Amsterdam via Nairobi to Bujumbura.
Frankfurt/M. – Bujumbura: 11 hrs 15 mins; Vienna – Bujumbura: 11 hrs 35 mins; Zurich – Bujumbura: 11 hours 5 minutes
Arrival by car
Acceptable roads run from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and from Rwanda to Burundi. The road connection from Tanzania is bad. In the border area with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are repeated attacks by armed groups. Travel to this region is strongly discouraged. Before embarking on a journey, travelers should definitely inquire about the security situation and the passability of the border crossings. Areas near borders can be generally dangerous. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license must be carried.
Traveling by plane
There is no domestic air traffic.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network in Burundi is around 12,000 km long. From Bujumbura major roads lead east to Muramvya (former royal city) and Gitega. In the provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, there are frequent attacks, especially near the border, including on national roads. Due to the unstable political situation, staying outside of Bujumbura is not recommended at this time. Gas stations are rare to find. A sufficient supply of fuel is usually not guaranteed.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Approximately 1,000 km of the entire road network is paved; the rest are slopes. The paved roads are in poor condition and potholes and roadside debris are always to be expected. Many roads are impassable during the rainy season.
Burundi’s road network consists of national roads, marked with RN and a number, and provincial roads, marked with RP and a number.
Car hire is available in Bujumbura from local suppliers.
For safety reasons, taxis should always be booked in advance and not stopped on the street. Hotel transport services are also safe.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license must be carried.
Traveling in the city
Scheduled buses operate in and around Bujumbura and in larger towns. Minibuses are often cheaper and less crowded than shared taxis. Taxi: Tanus-tanus (truck taxis) tend to be crowded.
Traveling by ship
Ferries operate on the Tanganyika; there are no set timetables.