Burundi is it Safe Travel Tip

Burundi is it Safe Travel Tip
Is it safe to enter a country?

The question is always time sensitive. I have asked this question four times in my life, when I went to these three countries.

1. Iraq - 2003- Two months after heavy fighting ended, I sat at the border in the city of Silopi, Turkey trying to access whether to enter and go to Dohuk, Iraq.

2. Colombia 2001 - General problems with Narco Traffickers. I was in Quito, Ecuador, trying to learn whether to go into the country.

3. East Timor - I visited during an attempted military coup and riots. I sat in Bangkok, Thailand trying to learn if flights were going to Dili, East Timor and if they would allow me to board.

Butare, Rwanda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Is it safe to enter a country?

I am sitting in Butare, Rwanda and again I am asking myself a general question,
“Is it safe to enter Burundi?”

Why, because my Lonely Planet Guidebook published in 2006 says to ask, and in reality the Guidebook for information Burundi, East Africa is of little value. I will need to find all my own Hotels; there will be no assistance from the guidebook.

Is it safe to enter a country?

First, this is the wrong question, the question needs to be specific, is the road from Butare, Rwanda to Ngozi, Burundi safe?

When entering into what could be a dangerous place, a person needs to make decisions for each step of the journey.

Are there Bandits in Burundi, I am 100 percent sure there are, and I am 100 percent sure there are Bandits along the road in the USA. How many and what are my odds of being robbed going down the road is the assessments I need to make.

I am going to stop here, do not minimize this question and do not exaggerate the danger of countries, and do not trust a guidebook. The responsibility to make these decisions are 100 percent mine, I can ask questions, I can read a guidebook, however in the end I am 100 percent responsible for the decisions I make.

Example: I am reading a guidebook that is four years old.

The situation in Burundi could be great, the guidebook says Kenya is safe, and one year ago, it was not safe, there were widespread riots and killings in Kenya. My guidebook does not say anything about this because it is too old and before the problem.

No country on the planet is safe; some are safer than others are.

Burundi is it Safe Travel Tip


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No country on the planet is safe some are safer than others are.

Ahhh... Finally something I can agree with!

what do people say about travel in Burundi?


Burundi visa and travel information
Burundi visa :Tourist or Business


Types :

a one month visa,
single-entry visa,
a multiple-entry.
A transit visa is not required for passengers continuing their journey to a third country if staying up to 24 hours, provided holding valid onward documentation and not leaving the airport. If staying up to 72 hours, a visa is required.

Passengers arriving at Bujumbura airport from countries where Burundi does not have diplomatic representation can obtain visa on arrival providing they have previously informed their travel agency of their passport number, identity and flight details.

Some of Burundi Embassies are located in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and USA. Those who are continuing onto a third country within 72 hours may also obtain a visa upon arrival. It is better to obtain a visa in advance from the nearest Burundi embassy.

However, where possible it is advisable to obtain a visa before travel!



The official languages are French and Kirundi which is a local language. Swahili and English (not by many people) are also spoken.

Banking hours:


Monday-Friday : 0730-1200 and 1400-1730.
Banks close between 12:00-14:00 for lunch break .
But some of them offer a non-stop service at some places like markets.

Credit cards:


Visa and MasterCard are accepted there is limited use in some major hotels.
You can always draw cash in the bank with your credit cards.

Currency information:


Burundi Franc (BIF) = 100 centimes.
Notes are in denominations of BIF10, 000 5,000 2,000 1,000 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10.
Coins are in denominations of BIF10, 5 and 1 but unavailable on market.
Foreign currencies used are US Dollar and Euro.

Burundi business:



Lightweight suits are necessary.
April to October and December to January are the best times to visit.

Office hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1200 and 1400-1730.

Main exports

Coffee, tea, sugar, cotton and hides.

Main imports

Capital goods, petroleum products and foodstuffs.


Available in most of the hotels, many Internet cafes in Bujumbura, but few outside Bujumbura in other country provinces.
Internet provider companies : Ucom, Onamob,Spidernet

Mobile telephone

Totally covered, some of the mobile phones companies : Leo, Africell, Econet Wireless, Onamob,Smart mobile.
There is one landline companies Onatel which has a mobile branch Onamob (Onatel mobile)

Transport and Hotel

Airport transfers can be booked with your accommodation thru our agency.

Car hire with French/English speaking driver
is necessary during your stay to avoid some unexpected costs since there is no fixed cost for taxi, and most of them don’t speak French or English .This might be helpful either for your tourist visit or business one.
You will learn a lot with the driver since he will be driving and being your guide at same time without an extra cost.

Hotel booking can be made thru our travel company for free.
We get in touch with you and book a hotel according to your needs because we have a list of hotels to recommend !

We understand that traveler satisfaction is general country satisfaction and our dream is to help you travel and discover the beauty of Burundi .

This page will be regularly updated to enable you find accurate information with your travel plan .

For more information or suggestion, contact us.

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