Often called “the heart of Africa,” Burundi covers an area of 27,834 square kilometers and lies between 2º30’ and 4º30’ latitude South and between 28º50’ and 30º53’30’ longitude East. Bounded to the North by Rwanda, to the West by Democratic Republic of Congo, and to the East and South by Tanzania, Burundi is part of East African Community.
Form of Government is Republic Head of State is the President Voting qualification universal is 18 yrs of age Highest Court is the Supreme Court Independence: July 1, 1962 (from Belgium).
Constitution: A transitional constitution was adopted October 18, 2001. The parliament adopted a post-transition constitution on September 17, 2004, which was approved in a nationwide referendum held February 28, 2005.
Currency: used in Burundi are the Francs.
Natural resources: Nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone.
Primary sector Coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca), beef, milk, hides. Arable land (2009 est.)–35.57%.
Secondary sector (2009 est.; 19% of GDP):
Types–beverage production, coffee and tea processing, cigarette production, sugar refining, pharmaceuticals, light food processing, chemicals (insecticides), public works construction, consumer goods, assembly of imported components, light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap.
CLIMATE AND TOPOGRAPHY
Burundi has four topographical zones: The Rusizi plain, where the climate is tropical The Congo-Nile Ridge, where the climate is mild and temperate; this area includes the great secondary forest of Kibira.
The central plateau, featuring rolling hills. The depressions of the East and North-East, featuring tree-dotted savanna Burundi has a “moderate” tropical climate with average temperatures between 23 and 24ºC.
This is a gift from nature to have such an average near the Equatorial area known for its heat and humidity.
In Bujumbura city where it is hotter, average temperatures are about 25ºC.
Burundi has two seasons namely the dry season from June to September and the rainy season from February to May. The remaining time is made up of middle seasons- half-dry and half-rainy-with a short rainy season between September and December and a short dry season between January and February.
The vegetation is lush and agriculture is one of the most important activities.
Burundi is divided into 16 provinces including Bujumbura City and 116 communes. Each province is administrated by a Governor and each commune by an Administrator. It should be noted that Bujumbura City is administrated by a Mayor.
The population of Burundi is currently estimated at around 8.1 million making it one of the countries with the highest population density in Africa.
The population is however spread very unevenly: the central plateau and the highlands are the most heavily populated.
The cultural and linguistic uniformity of the country is one of the most striking features.
Kirundi is the medium of expression of Burundi’s centuries-old cultural heritage. French is the first foreign language, which became an administrative language. English is progressively getting important because of the opening of the country to the business world and the international market. Swahili, a trade language above all, is spoken in the cities and along Tanganyika Lake.
POETRY AND POPULAR SONGS
The culture of Burundi is based mainly on song, poetry, the dance, stories and legends.
Poetry is recited at late-night social gatherings; it is centered mostly around pastoral themes.
Rich and varied popular songs are rendered at family and communal fêtes and festivals, and are sung during work in the fields.
The shepherds have their own pastoral songs which they sing at the end of the day when leading the animals back from the pastures; and in the home, the elders tell the young generation stories and legends relating the life of their ancestors.
ARTS AND HANDICRAFTS
The art of Burundi is extremely varied. It is characterized by decorative motifs and geometrical patterns in which the artist’s initial inspiration predominates.
This highly stylized art possesses a harmony derived from asymmetry and contrasts that do not clash. It finds expression in wrought iron, wickerwork, pottery, sculpture and bas-reliefs.
Primary education lasts for six years leading to the Certificat d’Etudes primaires (elementary education). Secondary education is divided into lower and upper secondary education.
Lower secondary education is available to those whopass the National Entrance Examination and lasts four years.
A national test is imposed on all those who complete lower secondary education. Their records are submitted to a National Orientation Commission.
Schooling at upper secondary level lasts three years after lower education and leads to the Diplôme d’Etat, which gives access to higher education.
Technical secondary education lasts seven years. Higher education: is mainly provided by the Université du Burundi which is largely financed by the State and enjoys administrative and management autonomy. New and privately owned universities have since been created.
PLACES TO VISIT
There are some unique features in Burundi that a visitor must see such as Karera Water Falls, German Crater-Nyakazu, the unexplored cave of Kayove, the Muhwezi hot springs and lake Tanganyika.
One can also visit the National Parks and reserves such as Kibira and Ruvubu National Parks. There are also bird watching activities at lake Rwihinda, diving and fishing activities on lake Tanganyika, cultural tourism in Gishora, Rubumba, Bugarama, Kirundo and Makamba.
While in Burundi find time to visit Gitega National Museum, Bujumbura live museum, the Livingstone rock and the Source du Nil, Kajara Beach Resorts.
SN Brussels, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Uganda, Rwandair, air Burundi and Fly 540 are some of the airline offering scheduled flights to Bujumbura.
Brussels Airlines, Tel:+257 22 256281,
Fax: +257 22 256280. Email: Burundi.brusselsairlines .com
Email: sales Bujumbura@rwandair.com
Air Burundi, Avenue du commerce,
Tel: +25777010000, Fax: +257223452.
Ethiopian Airlines, Avenue de la Victoire, Tel: +257
226820/038. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenya Airways, Avenue l’independence old East 2
EME Estage Burundi
BUJUMBURA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Brussels Airlines, Tel:+257 22 256281
Ethiopian Airlines, Tel: +257226820/038
Tel:+257 22 251850/+257 22 251849
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo
Kenya Airways Cargo
Silverback Cargo Freighters
Contacts: Tel: +257 223797.
Departure Tax: US$20
Facilities: Facilities at the airport include a small restaurant and duty free shop.
Getting to the city: There is a taxi rank outside of arrivals. Taxis to or from town cost around US$10 or BIF12,000.
Location: The airport is situated six miles (11km) from Bujumbura centre.
Time: GMT +2.
Association Des Motards Taxi Me Du Burundi (AMOTABU) Avenue Mugamba Rohero 2
Tel: +257 75 62150/+25775544569
Burundi Tobacco Company (BTC)
Tel:+257 22 226687/+25722222494
Representation Legale-Ecole Pastorale
Email:email@example.com. Tel: +257 242664
Church of the Rock
Eglise Adventiste Du September Jour
Avenue Prince Lui Rwagasore
Avenue Boulevard de l’urprona Bujumbura