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Info Bujumbura


Bujumbura, formerly Usumbura, is the capital, largest city, and main port of Burundi. It ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton and tin ore.

It is on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal.

POPULATION : City: 497,166 /  Metro: 800,000
FOUNDED :  1871
TIME ZONE : CAT (UTC+2)   Summer:   (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili
RELIGION : Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
AREA : 86.52 km2 (33.41 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 774 m (2,539 ft)
COORDINATES : 3°23′S 29°22′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 49.40% 
 Female: 50.60%
ETHNIC : Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000


Bujumbura's main attractions consist of its many beaches, parks and monuments. Some of the most popular attractions are:

The Musée Vivant (the city's main zoo)
Karera Beach and Saga Beach
The Monument de l'Unité (Unity Monument)
Hôtel Club du Lac Tanganyika
The Rusizi National Park

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. The city is home to the Bujumbura International Airport and the University of Burundi.


-Karera Beach, Uvira Roadway (on Lake Tanganyika about 20 min from the city). Nice beach resort.
-Saga Plage, Uvira Roadway (on Lake Tanganyika about 20 min of town). Beach with restaurant, entertainment complex and hotel. Nice place to pass some time. 
-Bora Bora Plage is just next to Saga.


Bujumbura grew from a small village after it became a military post in German East Africa in 1889. After World War I it was made the administrative center of the Belgian League of Nations mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. The name was changed from Usumbura to Bujumbura when Burundi became independent in 1962.

Since independence, Bujumbura has been the scene of frequent fighting between the country's two main ethnic groups, with Hutu militias opposing the Tutsi-dominated Burundi army. Bujumbura today stands as an undeveloped city but remains to develop with its country.


Bujumbura features a tropical savanna climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Its wet season is from October through April, while the dry season covers the remaining five months. 

Despite being located close to the equator, Bujumbura is not nearly as warm as one might expect, due to its altitude. Average temperatures are constant throughout the course of the year with the high temperature at around 29 °C (84 °F) and the low temperature at around 19 °C (66 °F).


It is on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal.


Bujumbura's central market is located in the City Centre, along Rwagasore Avenue. During the city's heavy periods of war in 1972 and 1993, as citizens had become less likely to travel far from the City Centre, markets in neighboring communities lost their business to the central market in Bujumbura.

Consequently, vendors moved their business to the central market, many settling outside the market due to lack of space. However, the central market houses the largest variety of merchandise in the city, with stores that sell everything from food and sweets, to new and used clothing, shoes and consumer goods such as soap, detergent, school supplies and household accessories.


Bujumbura is governed by a community council and community administrator. It is further divided into 13 communes:

  • Commune of Bujumbura Mairie
  • Commune of Buterere
  • Commune of Buyenzi
  • Commune of Bwiza
  • Commune of Gihosha
  • Commune of Ngagara
  • Commune of Kinindo
  • Commune of Nyakabiga
  • Commune of Musaga
  • Commune of Kanyosha
  • Commune of Kamenge
  • Commune of Kinama
  • Commune of Rohero

Internet, Comunication

Internet access is best at an expat restaurant with WiFi, especially Café Aroma on Boul. de l'Uprona. For those without their own device, Surf Internet Café (back of Rusca Plaza, Ave. de l'Amitié) has generally fast Internet on good quality computers during the day. In the evening, your best bet in the city centre is [email protected] near the Waterfront Hotel. 3G wireless sticks are available from Econet as of mid 2011, with other carriers planning to offer them soon.

Burundi - Travel guide