Top Places to Visit in Burundi
People who travel to Africa look for adventure, challenge and fun rolled into one. Now, if you are one of those tourists who don’t mind getting their hands and feet dirty, go to Burundi. It is an exotic place with culturally-inclined people that is so very different from what you are accustomed to. Here is a Burundi travel guide with ten of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. These are mostly nature destinations because that’s what Burundi can offer – gifts of nature.
10. Bururi Nature Reserve
When in Burundi, you have to go to Bururi Nature Reserve. It is one of the places to visit in Burundi. It was recognized as a nature reserve back in 1951 and it has an IUCN category IV which is a habitat and species management area. The Institute National pour l’ Environment et la Conservation de la nature or INECN manages this nature reserve which has an area of 15.35 square kilometers. This destination is very peaceful and if you like nature trips, this will be a delight for you.
9. Musee Vivant
Musee Vivant is among of the tourist destinations in Burundi of Africa. It is not a museum but it is a zoo which they call a museum – it is a bit confusing. Still, the residents in this museum are not art works. The residents here are African animals. If you visit Musee Vivant, which is located in Bujumbura, you will see a chimpanzee, a leopard, African crocodiles and different kinds of snakes. The “museum” also holds antelopes. It is not exactly your first class zoo but if you are keen on seeing Burundi animals, this is where you can go.
8. Chutes de la Karera
Chutes de la Karera is a name for a group of waterfalls in Burundi, Africa and it is one of the places to visit in Burundi. All of these four waterfalls are situated near a town in Burundi called Rutana. The most beautiful of the four waterfalls is named Nyakai I. This is the first part of your tour and you can park your vehicle in the area. Next on, you will see the Nyakai II which is the shortest or smallest waterfalls among the four. After that, you will be seeing the Mwaro Falls and then lastly, the highest waterfalls of all, the Karera Falls.
7. National Museum of Gitega
The National Museum of Gitega is one of the national museums in the country. It is situated in Gitega which was established back in 1955 during the time of the Belgians colony. It is the biggest national museum in all of Burundi and everything within the museum is displayed in one single hall. As per their records, the national museum receives at least 50 visitors each week. Within the walls of the national museum are relics regarding Burundi ancient culture. If you want to understand their folk traditions, visit this place.
6. Mount Heha
One of the places to visit in Burundi is Mount Heha. It is a mountain in Burundi which is conveniently located at the province of Bujumbra Rural. This peak is among of the mountains in the Burundi Highlands. In fact, it is the tallest peak in the range and measures at 8,806 feet or 2,684 meters. There are many things to do in Mount Heha but the most exciting challenge for tourists, residents and foreigners alike, is the mountain trekking. Check with a local guide first before you go to Mount Heha.
5. Livingstone–Stanley Monument
A very important monument in this small African country is the Livingstone–Stanley Monument. This historical structure is located at the capital city of Bujumbra and it is actually a big rock formation. Why is the place significant to the Burundi people? Well, as the story goes, this is where Dr David Livingstone, a missionary and voyager, met with Henry Morton Stanley, another surveyor and journalist. They spent two days in the area and marked it as such. This happened sometime in 1871.
4. Ruvubu National Park
And because you want to visit an African country, you will be filled with national parks and nature destinations. One of the places to visit in Burundi is the Ruvubu National Park. It is the biggest national park in all of Burundi and it has an area of 196 square miles or 508 square kilometers. The nearest city to Ruvubu National Park is Muyinga and if you want to visit the park, you need a tour guide. You will see exotic plants, enormous trees and wild animals like hippopotamus, lions and crocodiles.
3. Kagera Waterfalls
Being the tallest waterfalls in Burundi, Kagera Waterfalls is a top tourist attraction in the country. The falls is truly breathtaking. You can view it from below or you can take the challenge and climb the hill this waterfall is cascading on. The site is so beautiful that it is now under the review of UNESCO for a possible World Heritage Site recognition. Kagera Waterfalls is on its tentative list and is still awaiting the review and decision of UNESCO.
2. Kibira National Park
When in Burundi, it is a must to pass by Kibira National Park. It wouldn’t be a notable landmark, the second most famous tourist attraction and places to visit in Burundi if it is not worth the travel. The park has an IUCN category II designation with focus on National Park status. It is near Bujumbra city and is being governed by INECN. The park has 16% montane rainforest while the trees growing within are Entandrophragma excelsum and Symphonia globulifera, among others.
1. Rusizi National Park
The top tourist destination in Burundi is the Rusizi National Park. This park is actually a nature reserve and it was given a status of IUCN Category IV – habitat and species management area. It means that there is an animal or plant species in the locality of the national park which needs to be preserved and protected. There are families of hippopotamus living by the river banks and some sitatungas, as well. A Nile crocodile named Gustave also lives in the area but he is infamous – killed 300 people already.