For the tourists
Is there anything valuable that this tiny central African country can offer an adventure-seeking tourist?
The answer is plenty.
Burundi provides a range of exciting holiday opportunities for both the adventurous and the lazy sun-bathing tourists.
Because of its geographical position, the country has a combination of flora and fauna which can be found in the east African region, the Zambezi region and central Africa.
Its variations in altitude, which ranges from 780 to 2,666 metres above sea level, allows the forming of a variety of different environments. Burundi is naturally a very rich country, richer than its northern neighbour, Rwanda.
The National Park of Rusizi River
The park is located at the gates of Bujumbura city. This park protects the most important milieus of the low plain of Rusizi, a semi-arid plain that is periodically flooded by the Rusizi waters. The park teems with hippos, antelopes and sitatungas. Most importantly, though, the park is located on one of the migratory highways which cross Africa from north to south. The majority of species of birds originate from eastern and southern Africa, but you will also find a good number of bird species of Asian and European origin. Among the species from eastern Asia are the lesser golden plovers. the buff- breasted sand piper and white-rumped sand pipe from North America can also be found in the park . The park is a paradise for the bird-watcher; it can seduce lovers of nature and unpolluted air.
The Rwihinda Birds Lake
This one is located in the far north of Burundi near the border with Rwanda. The park is part of the immense swamps which surround the Kanyaru River. Every year colonies of birds settle on the ‘islands’, found on the river which can be accessed by canoes. The ardent bird-watcher will get the chance to see the very rare papyrus gonolek, the white-winged warbler and the papyrus yellow warbler.
A fisherman on Lake Tanganyika watches the sun setting
The Ruvubu National Park
What to see: Savannahs, swamps, gallery forests of the Ruvubu low valley which teems with buffaloes, a number of antelope species, red colobes, over 425 species of birds, hippos and crocodiles.
Rusizi National Park
The park is located approximately 15 to 25km from Bujumbura in the Rusizi low plain along the Congo border.
What to see:
The Rusizi delta and its sand bank, the languna, which is home to hippos, crocodiles, rigged out quibs, sitatungas, antelopes, many species of water birds, which migrated from Europe and Asia.
The Kibira National Park
The national park, which is located on the Zaare-Nile crest between Bujumbura and the Rwandese border, tourists will see the tropical mountain forest with dense primary formations, dense bamboo thickets and trees, breath-taking scenic views of the plateaus in the central part of the country and the Rusizi plain. The park is also home to 10 primate species, among them the chimpanzees.
Kigwena Natural Forest
Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, one will see a periguinean forest with abundant flora and fauna. Bururi Rumonge –Vyanda Natural Forest and the Nyakazu Rift offer scenic beauty. Here, you will see the breath-taking rocky cliff and have a scenic view of Kumoso depression, which is located below the Nkoma mountain chain. The Karera River Falls are other attractions that are surrounded by natural vegetation.
Any visitor cannot leave this richly-traditional country without visiting the museums of Bujumbura and Gitega. Gitega, is not only the second largest town of the country, but it has also been home to the National Museum since 1955. It houses a magnificent ethnographic collection of treasured objects that were owned by the kingdom and could be seen in courts in the beginning of the 20th Century.
The Living Museum
Located in Bujumbura near Lake Tanganyika, the museum houses a greater part of the treasures in a wider place surrounded by magnificent gardens. Ancient and modern crafts are presented in small, but beautiful cabins. However, the masterpiece of this museum is the reconstruction in the exact dimensions of the royal habitation as it was.
The Living Museum is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Africa. Other tourist attractions are the Chutes de la Kagera (waterfalls) which are found in Gitega, Cankuzo Gisagara Nature Reserve Bujumbura and Kibabi Hot Springs, Kilemba.
The many sand beaches on Lake Tanganyika, the second-deepest fresh water lake in the world, are just the ideal place to go to for sun-bathing.
While in Burundi, do not worry about the food and where to stay. Upon arrival, you will soon discover there are literally hundreds of places to stay and eat, ranging from luxurious hotels and game lodges to tiny bed and breakfast establishments.
For accommodation one can choose from: Albatros, Amitie, Burundi palace, Club des Vacances, Hotel Residence, Le Doyen, Le Lac Tanganyika, Novotel Bujumbura, Remhotel, Source Du Nil and Hotel Iteka among many others.
Status and Trends of Biodiversity in Burundi Overview
Burundi is located in Central Africa and 90% of its population works in agriculture. Forests, wetlands, savannas, and steppes are among the ecosystems that can be found in this country. Burundi created 13 protected areas that can be divided into four categories: National Parks, Natural Forest Reserves, Natural Monuments, and protected landscapes. The vascular flora comprises 2,909 species with a high endemism rate for species found at higher altitudes. Burundi’s fauna include 716 bird, 215 fish, 163 mammal, 56 amphibian, and 52 reptile species. Around 100 animal species are threatened with extinction.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
Burundi has 14 protected areas divided into four categories: national parks, natural reserves, 2 natural monuments and protected landscapes. Together, they comprise a total surface area of 157,700 ha or 5.6% of the country.
Kibira National Park = 40, 600 ha
Bururi Natural Forest Reserve = 3,300 ha
Mongue Natural Forest Reserve = 5,000 ha
Rusizi Natural Reserve = 5,280 ha
Ruvubu National Park = 50,900 ha
Gisagara Protected Landscape = 6,126 ha
Lake Mabanda/Nyanza Protected Landscape = 3,500 ha
Mukungu-Rukambasi Protected Landscape = 5,000 ha
Kinoso Protected Landscape = 1,971 ha
Rumonge Natural Forest Reserve = 600 ha
Vyanda Natural Forest Reserve = 4,500 ha
Kigwena Natural Forest Reserve = 500 ha
Northern Burundi Protected Aquatic Landscape = 30,000 ha
Natural Monuments of Karera Falls and Nyakazu Break = 450 ha
Percentage of Forest Cover 127,000 ha = 4,5 %