What is there in Bujumbura
The drums of Burundi have been performed for centuries to celebrate the King, re-growth, fertility and family. The world-renowned vibrant sounds made by a group of athletic drummers are still one of the most genuine celebrations of the Burundian culture. Beside performing at major events, Burundian drummers can be found every Sunday at Saga Plage.
At the shores of Lake Tanganyika, you might get to see hippos if you are there at the right time. While eating out at Ubuntu, you could have a surprise appearance of hippos across the fence and road. If you head to Rusizi Park ]however, your chance of seeing hippos is greater.
Musée Vivant – the living museum
Avenue du 13 Octobre, Quartier Asiatique, Bujumbura
In Musée Vivant the King's hut and surroundings have been reproduced and objects used in traditional homes are put on display. The other main attractions of the museum are crocodiles and different types of snakes and reptiles.
Art & crafts
If you are interested in African art, the Craft Market on Rue Rwagasore across Librairie Saint-Paul will not disappoint you. Within the compound there are several small shops selling statues, masks, textile, masks etc., a greengrocer and a flower market. Similar items can also be found at the Congolese Market across Hotel Source du Nil.
The shop at the National Office of Tourism is worth a visit either for purchasing art objects or to get information about places of interest in Burundi. At Mutoyi – avenue de la Jeunesse, you will find several household items made by Burundians. For pots and artistically painted textile, visit the Centre Artisanal de Musaga.
Four countries share the Lake Tanganyika: Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and DRC. The best fish dishes consumed in Burundi originate from Lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika is the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume and second deepest after Lake Baikal. The lake allows beautiful views from restaurants' terraces such as Belvedere, Vaya, Sun Safari, Ubuntu, Eden du Lac, Restaurant du Lac Petanque or from the two monuments on the hills of Bujumbura; Rwagasore Mausoleum, and the Peace Monument. If you want to go to the beach, you have a choice of venues including Bora Bora – Chaussée d'Uvira Kajaga Plage, Saga Plage, Petit Bassam – Chaussée d'Uvira Kajaga-Plage, Karera Beach, and the beach near the port of Bujumbura
Coffee & tea
Burundi coffee and tea are the biggest earners of the country's exports. Although production is not high enough to compete with the world's biggest producers, the quality of Burundian coffee has warranted it a place at international markets. The Burundian coffee is sought as a rare specialty. In most places in Bujumbura you get a cup of Burundian tea or coffee, nevertheless do inquire and get a chance to taste it. At all supermarkets you can buy some and stock up for yourself, family and friends back home. Kapa, Trianon, former Hotel Novotel, Café Aroma, Face a Face, Odeon, Cappuccino are some of the cafés in the city where you can enjoy breakfast or an afternoon cup of coffee or tea with croissants, pastries or sandwiches. Eden du Lac is open for breakfast only till noon.
If you like running or cycling, you will find many enthusiasts in Bujumbura. Cycling is more a way of life for people who have to travel long distance everyday. The bicycle is a mean of transport for foods and other stuff heading to markets. At weekends but also during the week from 4pm, many people take part in group walks or runs. The Jardin Public is a popular meeting place for walking and running. Cycling, as a hobby can be best enjoyed during the weekend when there is less traffic.
For swimming, many hotels have their own swimming pools. Other pools where you can enjoy a swim – among other things – are Gymnase Club – Avenue Des Travailleurs, Rohero, Bora Bora and Entente Sportive.
Other sport possibilities include tennis (Entente Sportive, Karera Beach and Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, horse riding and golf (Cercle Hippique), petanque (Restaurant du Lac Petanque – avenue de la plage) etc.
A trip to Burundi is not complete until you have seen the countryside and its stunning sceneries and green landscapes. The lifestyle in the countryside is different from Bujumbura. Here agriculture is the dominant occupation and the few town centers do not really offer much in terms of urbanism. The majority of Burundian people live here. Discovering their lives, habitat and activities will give you a better idea of what Burundi is really about. Roads to the countryside are in a fairly good condition; you should be able to visit a couple of places in a day trip.
Some of the interesting places are:
- Hot springs at the Nile Source in Rutovu
- Karera falls in Rutana
- Kibira National Park
- Mount Teza tea plantations