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World > Africa > Burundi

Burundi Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation

A country in the Great Lakes region of Africa, Burundi has been occupied by the Twa, Tutsi and Hutu tribes since its formation five centuries ago. It was the internal conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu, brought to a head during Burundi’s struggle for independence from its German and Belgian occupation in the 1950s, which led to some early demonstrations of violence. After some decades of instability and renewed and bitter conflict the appointment in 2005 of a democratically elected president and approval of a new constitution has led to a period since 2006 of reconstruction and a general search for lasting peace. Although tourists have tentatively begun to trickle into the country once again, it is recommended that any visit should be carefully planned and researched before undertaken.

A pretty woman from Burundi carries her baby in the traditional African way. Beautiful simplicity.
African woman and child

The country lies on an undulating plateau in the heart of Africa, with its capital Bujumbura beautifully situated in the west on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, which extends along the southwestern border of the country, otherwise surrounded by Tanzania, Rwanda and the Congo. It has an equatorial climate and stunning landscapes, seen at their best in some of the country’s nature reserves and national parks, such as Kibira National Park with its tropical rain forest and Ruburu National Park in the north-east. So with its soaring mountains and sleepy lakeside communities, Burundi offers the traveller a warm welcome and a whole range of experiences.

Bujumbura has some sights dating back to its 19 th century colonization by Germany, such as the Postmaster’s House, as well as a number of fine museums, the Islamic Cultural Centre and a typical bustling city market. Around 10km south of the city is a stone marking the historic meeting place of Stanley and Livingstone in 1871, with those immortal words ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’ The city of Gitega is best seen from the mountaintops of the Congo Nile range, a former royal city with a charming ambience and Burundi’s National Museum as well as the picturesque Chutes de la Kagera waterfall. For wildlife enthusiasts, Kirundo in the far north is located near three lakes which form a natural habitat for vast colonies of many species of birds. If you prefer a more active holiday, Lake Tanganyika is lined by cafes and restaurants, has some of the best island beaches on the continent, and offers great opportunities to enjoy sailing, waterskiing and fishing.

Drumming, using the amashako, ibishikiso and ikiranya drums, is an important part of Burundian cultural heritage while a visit to a local market will have you perusing a good range of locally crafted baskets, masks, shields and various items of pottery. Visitors are welcome at the Craftwares Village in Giheta, and can see the process of the making of many items of sculpture, wickerware and paintings in the town’s Art School and the Museum of Traditions.

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