City Guide, Burundi (Bujumbura)
Burundi is a small landlocked country in east central Africa, bordering Rwanda,
Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its total area is 10,750 square
miles (27,830 square kilometers). The country is situated on a high plateau, with
the altitude ranging from 2,532 feet (772 meters) at Lake Tanganyika in the east,
to 8,760 feet (2,670 meters) at the highest point, Mount Heha. The country lies
along the East African rift and experiences occasional tremors and earthquakes.
French pronunciation: [buʒumbuʁa]) is the capital and largest city and main port
of Burundi and ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton,
skins, and tin ore. It is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
The city center is a colonial town with a large market, the national stadium, a
large mosque, and the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Bujumbura.
Museums in the city include the Burundi Museum of Life and the Burundi Geological
Museum. Other nearby attractions include the Rusizi National Park, the Livingstone-Stanley
Monument at Mugere (where David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley visited 14
days after their first historic meeting at Ujiji in Tanzania), the presidential
palace and the source of the southernmost tributary of the Nile, described locally
as the source of the Nile. Ferries sail from Bujumbura to Kigoma in Tanzania, while
the city is also home to the Bujumbura International Airport.
Culture and entertainment
The culture of Burundi is based on local tradition and the influence of its neighbors.
Most Burundians live in rural areas. Since the hilly landscape has hindered the
development of villages, small clans live as extended families in hilltop compounds
called rugos. These families usually farm the surrounding hills to avoid tsetse
flies in the valleys. Traditional dance often accompanies the drumming, which is
frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings. Some Burundian artisans have
special songs to accompany different stages of their work.
Food and drink
The Burundi food mainly constitutes plantains, beans, sweet potatoes, cabbage
and tubers. The people of Burundi enjoy having ugali. Ugali is prepared by boiling
cassava flour in water and making a paste of it. These are the staple food of Burundi
people. In the important cities of Burundi, French bread is a hot favorite of the
people. Drinking coffee and tea have become a common practice among the Burundians.
Red kidney beans are such a favorite food of the Burundians, that it is a must once
in a day.
Sorghum beer and urwarwa (banana beer) are the two traditional drinks of the
Burundi people. The drinks are produced by themselves. The snack foods of Burundi
include groundnut, sugarcane and fruits. Serving deserts along with the meal is
not a custom in Burundi food culture. The people are not in the favor of cooking
sweet foods. In rural areas, the Burundi foods are generally prepared over a wood
In the big cities of Burundi, the hotels serve various delectable French, Asian
, Greek cuisine. Spiced foods, chapattis and rice are also available in the restaurants.
Boiled foods are mostly preferred by the Burundians.
There are number of shopping centers and supermarkets .Some of the well known
places are Escale du Bien Alimentation is The first on the left after Librarie St
Paul around Ave Rwagasore. Good and Fresh Vegetables are stocked twice a week. The
staff is very friendly and it has almost what all other shops have. The products
include good quality local eggs, standard brown bread and cheese and sausages. Au
there are many things that are unique to only this place; a good selection of
hams and cheeses, a nice local goat cheese which is also soft, almost a chevre,
as well as a large selection of vegetables such as grapes, and little orange mushrooms
etc when they are in season and also very nice vegetables, strawberries and fruits,