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Burundian drummers

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Burundi Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq miles).

Population

8.7 million (2012).

Population density

312.8 per sq km.

Capital

Bujumbura.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from Belgium in 1962.

Head of state

President Pierre Nkurunziza since 2005.

Head of government

President Pierre Nkurunziza since 2005.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two rounded pins are usually used.

Burundi is a country of wonderful landscapes, from mountaintops to forests, huge lakes to tropical plateau. Yet this topographical patchwork mirrors Burundi's cultural patchwork, one which has interwoven both Hutu and Tutsi tribal strands, often with violent consequences.

Burundi's situation is improving. President Nkurunziza, democratically elected in 2005, is engaged in peace talks and has announced applauded measures, such as that of introducing free education. However, there is still a danger of indiscriminate attacks from rebel groups in Burundi. Until these incidents are fully quashed, many will miss out on seeing the beauty of Burundi for themselves.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 23 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • all areas within 1 km of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo

  • the Kibiria and Ruvubu forests, and all areas within 10km of these two forests

  • Rukoko National Park in Rusizi nature reserve, Bubanza

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to all remaining parts of Burundi, except for Bujumbura.

The FCO do not advise against travel to Bujumbura, but you should take extra precautions in the areas of Kanyosha and Kamenge, where the risk to foreign travellers – particularly of opportunistic crime – is judged to be higher.

There is an increased risk of spontaneous political demonstrations, particularly in Bujumbura, as Burundi moves towards elections in mid 2015. You should avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings as they may become violent.

There is a high risk of street crime, particularly whilst withdrawing money. There have been incidents of armed burglary.

Avoid travelling by road outside of Bujumbura between 5:30pm 8am. This is due to the security situation and road safety concerns; take extra precautions.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Al Shabaab has made public threats against Burundi because of its support to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

A long running cholera epidemic in Burundi (including Bujumbura) has caused several fatalities during 2013. You should take necessary precautions and seek urgent medical attention if you are unwell.

There is no British Embassy in Burundi, but there is a Liaison Office in Bujumbura, which can provide limited consular advice and assistance. The Belgian Embassy is able to provide consular assistance to British nationals.

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