Fly to Bujumbura, Burundi

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Located in the Great Lakes region of the continent, the East African nation of The Republic of Burundi is rich with diversified cultures. The country's capital can be reached via cheap flights to Bujumbura or “Buja”, as the locals have nicknamed the city near to the sea.

Requirements for Entry into Burundi

 A valid passport of at least six months beyond the visit is required for all Kenyans who enter into Burundi. A tourist visa is not required for those in possession of a Kenyan passport of staying under 30 days. This can change as there is talk of a special travel card in the works for African nations. It is always a good idea to be in possession of an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever.

It is also advisable to get an anti-malaria and Hepatitis B jab before travelling to not only Burundi, but also in other East African countries.

How to get to Bujumbura from Bujumbura International Airport (BJM)

Bujumbura International Airport is the only airport available with a paved road servicing the entire nation. As such, there aren’t that many different methods to get around from the airport.  The main language used is Kirundi, followed by French and very few speak English.

There are two main ways to get around from the airport; car rentals and taxis. The car rental service is located in the garage portion of the airport with a wide variety of companies and car types to choose from.

Taxis are located outside the airport. A taxi ride should take about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the traffic. There’s only one type of taxi available and there is plenty of space for your luggage if you need it. Depending on your accommodations, some hotels have pickup and drop-off shuttles from the airport. Arrangements can be secured in advance at time of booking.

Major Attractions

Burundi’s capital remains a place of unique appeal to historians of architecture but there’s a lot more than that.

See La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley, where the famed conversation between Livingstone and Stanley took place in 1871. This enormous stone easily stands out from the rest of the area and as it is away from the city, the stone won't be as crowded as you think. You can get to and from the area via a taxi.

The City Museum in Bujumbura, also known as Musée Vivant in French opened in 1977. Besides wide variety of animals at the Musée Vivant, the museum is a mix of a cultural centre, natural history museum and a zoo. See a rare chimpanzee fish as well as traditional animals such as crocodiles, birds and snakes. There are local cultural performances as well, often with traditional Burundian drums.

Things to Do

Feel as though you've stepped out of Burundi and into Paris when you visit the Institut Français Burundi. This French cultural institute holds a large amount of different events, of everything from screenings of art house films to food related expos. Details of what's going on at the time you're visiting can be found on their website.

Shop until you drop at the Central Market. The covered market is the largest in the country and is well known for its unique winding corridors and compact stalls. Virtually everything you can imagine is sold here, from fresh produce to second hand clothing to even fish (mukeke).

Catch a flock from art house classics to modern blockbusters at the Ciné Caméo. The only movie theatre in the city, tickets for popular films can go rather quickly so make sure that you purchase them as soon as possible. There are several screens available and the rotation of movie genres mean you’ll never have the same experience twice.

Spend the day exploring the city’s museum, seaside and monuments and then watch the streets of Bujumbura come alive at night with bright colours, flashing lights and neon lights. It's party time with a nightlife scene that features excellent live bands, diverse cultural entertainment containing traditional dances and music and great jazz clubs.

Burundi is a small country. You can leave the city and still be back by dark to see some other outstanding attractions.

The National Museum is located in the central city of Gitega. It houses a collection of cultural artefacts from the ancient times of the Burundian monarch along with other historical items collected by early settlers.

One of the richest bird habitats in Africa is found within the Albertine Rift eco-region at the Kibira National Park. Covering more than 1,000 km2, more than 200 bird species have been recorded in the park.

Further animal excitement can be found at the Rusizi Nature Reserve where visitors can have the chance to see both hippos and alligators swimming alongside the banks of the Rusizi River. The world’s largest Nile crocodile, Gustave resides here, so catch a glimpse of one with a guided boat tour.

Catch a city that has stood the test of time and is gaining popularity as a tourist destination. Board a direct flight departing from Kenya to Bujumbura International Airport (BJM).

Hotels and Accommodation

Nearly every variety of accommodations can be located in Bujumbura and its surrounding region. Most are in the mid-price range but you can find cheap and affordable alternatives too.  All Bujumbura hotels and guesthouses provide comfortable and attractive rooms, whether at the beach, in the city or in the countryside.  There are also self-catering apartments available.

Dining

Bujumbura has a number of restaurants along its waterfront and throughout the city centre.  Since many residents are from all parts of Africa and Europe many cater to their palates as well as to that of the Burundian.  Most locals tend to be quite adventurous and enjoy eating out with others. Meals are reasonably cheap in price whether in a basic or upscale venue.

The local’s favourite of fish, fried plantain and a fresh salad will be bold and flavourful and found in most restaurants. Not much meat is consumed in Burundi although chicken and beef can be found in many venues. The staples in Burundi cooking include plantains, sweet potatoes, red kidney beans, maize and lots of spices and a spicy, tart sauce with fresh lime juice, garlic and chilli peppers.

Food and meals are always prepared to order, so anticipate a longer wait up to an hour for being served your meal.

Transportation

Public buses (mini-buses) are one of the cheapest modes of transport throughout the country, especially within Bujumbura. The main stops that arrive to head to most areas is found in front and the back of the central market (marché central). Mini-buses run all day with the last one at around 22:00.

Outside of the city limits are small yellow tuk tuk trikes. Although great in pricing they are not allowed in the city. However, they can be used to visit other areas of Burundi.

Taxis are found all over the city and you can flag them down with a wave of the hand. Always negotiate the price before entering.

Renting an auto is another option but be forewarned, as there are basically no driving rules on the streets. Honking rules the road and drivers use every possible space from every possible direction. Always keep the petrol tank at least half full because the stations often run out of supplies.

Best Time To Visit Bujumbura

Bujumbura is known for having a milder climate, with the hottest areas of the country being near the equator such as Lake Tanganyika and near the Ruzizi River. It professes to have four seasons with an average of 23°C.  There are two rainy seasons during the year; from February to May, which is the wettest season and a smaller period of time from September to November. The best time to visit Burundi is during the dry season, which lasts throughout the entire summer. The hottest time of the year is in September, with temperatures of 35°C. Bringing lightweight clothes is advisable.

Your air booking is moments away through the number-one travel agencyTravelstart Nigeria.  You will be guaranteed a cheap flight to Bujumbura and arrive just in time to view stunning terrain, enjoy good eats and participate in a nightlife that never quits.

 


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