Burundi is found just south of Rwanda, Tanzania on the eastern side and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The mighty Lake Tanganyika is found bordering the southwest of the country. The eastern flank of the East African Rift, also known as the Great Rift Valley, borders the country. Because the country is so underdeveloped, it is said that it offers great wilderness and wildlife experiences. The capital recently changed Bujumbura to Gitega. Bujumbura International Airport is the only airport with a tarred runway and also has car rental facilities available. Burundi’s transport network is very underdeveloped. Bicycles are a popular mode of transport in the country.
The second largest lake on the African continent, Lake Tanganyika, boasts an incredible diversity of fauna and flora and is worth a visit. The lake is home to approximately 1,300 different animal and plant species. The country has three national parks. At 40,000 hectares, Kibira National Park contains the country’s largest rainforest. Ruvubu National Park is the largest in the country, with plenty of hiking trails and expansive views. The third park, Rusizi National Park is a wetland situated in the flood plains of the Rusizi River, and home to an aquatic antelope called the Sitatunga. Hippos also occur in the park.
Just 12km south of Bujumbura and overlooking Lake Tanganyika, the Livingstone-Stanley Monument marks the spot where explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone, along with Henry Stanley, a journalist and explorer, spent two nights in 1871.
Safari-goers to Africa need to make sure about visa requirements for the specific destination in their country of origin. Passports need to be valid for at least six months from the planned date of departure, and there should also be enough blank pages for the necessary visas and stamps to be applied.
The World Health Organisation recommends the following vaccinations for Burundi: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, and tetanus. It is recommended that visitors check with a reputable travel clinic before departure as requirements may change.
It is advisable to make getting travel insurance as part of the planning of any safari. That ensures travellers are covered for unforeseen circumstances leading to the cancellation of the trip as well as medical cover and repatriation should anything happen while on safari. If adventurous activities, such as hiking, mountain climbing, gorilla trekking, hot air ballooning or white water rafting, are part of the safari, comprehensive travel insurance is a must.