Burundi

Burundi

Use High Level of Caution
Avoid Travel to the following provinces: Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, and Cibitoke
Avoid Travel to the following communes: Bweru, Butezi, Mwakiro, Buhinyuza, Mutumba, Nyabikere, Kigamba, and Cankuzo

The Republic of Burundi is located in Africa and bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and the southwest border on Lake Tanganyika. The population of about 10.3 million people is composed of mainly three Bantu tribes that date back to the 14th century: the Tutsis, the Hutus, and the Twa Pygmies. The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and head of government.

In early 1993, the first democratically elected president took office but was assassinated after serving only 100 days in office. Tribal warfare broke out between the Hutus and Tutsis and continued for about 12 years. About 200,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced or became refugees. In 2003, an agreement allowed for power sharing between the two groups, and in 2005, a new constitution was established.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burundi has been adversely affected by the war, government corruption, the impact of HIV/AIDS, and poor educational opportunities.

There are many nature reserves and national parks in Burundi, such as Kibira National Park, Rusizi Natural Reserve, or the Vyanda Natural Reserve. However, tourism is not well-developed in Burundi and the infrastructure for tourists is limited.

Currency (BIF): Burundian franc
Language Kirundi; French
Capital Bujumbura
Recent Alerts 4
Latest Alert March 23, 2017 - Malaria epidemic in Burundi continues

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Burundi. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Burundi through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Burundi.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Burundi, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of yellow fever. This country requires all persons 1 year of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination. It is recommended that all travellers 9 months of age and older have the yellow fever vaccination.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Burundi. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Burundi. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or visiting remote areas.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Burundi. Travellers to Burundi are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in Burundi and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Malaria

All areas of Burundi are at risk for malaria.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Burundi.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of yellow fever. This country requires all persons 1 year of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination. It is recommended that all travellers 9 months of age and older have the yellow fever vaccination.

Rabies Vaccine

Pre-travel vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) since they may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Persons with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Burundi.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Burundi

Emergency Numbers

112
117
118

Due to lack of resources, emergency assistance in this country may be limited.

Personal Safety

There is a high risk of petty crime such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, etc. in Burundi. Be particularly careful when withdrawing money from ATMs. There are high levels of serious crime in Burundi such as carjackings, robbery, muggings and burglaries. Armed groups are reported operating in Burundi, and violence and use of weapons is common.

Avoid public transportation and taxis. If hiring a taxi is necessary, attempt to get a “recommended” taxi.

Avoid travel at night due to the unpredictable security situation,the risk of robbery, and poor road conditions throughout Burundi. Some countries advise against all overland travel outside Bujumbura. The US Embassy and United Nations advise their staff not to walk after dark or use public transport at any time due to the lack of security. Avoid road travel outside Bujumbura between 5:30 pm and 8 am.

Areas To Avoid

Due to the unpredictable security situation, including risk of kidnapping, armed violence and robbery, and/or cross-border armed clashes between rebel groups and government forces, avoid the following areas:

  • Areas near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo

  • The Ruvubu and Kibiria forests and the area within 10 kilometres of these two forests.

  • The Rukoko National Park

  • Provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke

Extreme Violence

There are high levels of serious crime and threat of terrorist attack.

Political Unrest

To minimize safety risk, always avoid public gatherings or demonstrations in foreign countries.

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