L'Archipel: L'Archipel on Friday nights
The place to be on Friday nights! The local upperclass and youths go dancing till the break of day to the tunes of an old DJ. The music's in fact nothing special and definitely not up-to-date, but the open-air atmosphere and moving crowds make it a wonderfull place to start the weekend.
On Saturdays, the place closes at midnight. On weekdays (closed on Monday), l'Archipel is a lovely place to have a drink and a small bite. It's also one of the few places in town to watch football on a big screen.
In short: l'Archipel is essential!!
Havana Club: Another monument in Buja's nightlife
Arguably the most famous nightclub in Buja, the Havana is the best place on Saturday nights. Fridays are nothing special since the crowds gather in l'Archipel. They also occasionally give concerts from local stars or even international reggae bands (recently I saw a band all the way from Jamaica!).
There's a good but expensive restaurant next door, the Balneo, which doubles after midnight as a VIP bar. Entrance is expensive, unless you're a regular or if you happen to know someone already there.
Another famous event is the after-beach lady's night on Sunday evenings. The place is booming from 6PM onwards, on the usual mix of happy tunes: Tanzanian swahili hiphop, Congolese musics, R&B and some techno.
Odéon Palace: "Karaoke"
Every Wednesday night, locals find themselves in the Odéon palace to enjoy the Karaoke. In fact this has nothing of a karaoke, but is a life band playing local classics and hot tunes. The band is really good and occasionally there are guest performances. Great atmosphere, especially during school holidays and when they're playing Burundian classics at the end of the evening. Although, after a few weeks you notice it's always the same thing...
In the same building is another concerthall, where the bigger names perform (Mr. Nice from Tanzania, local reggae veteran Natty Dread).
Consulat, Calvados, Entente,...: More nightlife
Despite the war and poverty, Burundians are a happy bunch and life can be fun. During July and August, when schools have closed and Burundians from the diaspora return home to spend money and visit friends and relatives, some other places keep moving all night long.
Le Consulat, which used to be hot on Thursday nights is a great open air club.
Le Calvados is open all around the year, but only fills up during summer holidays.Quite expensive, but some people like it.
During the summer months, even in L'Entente Sportive there can be parties.
Something completely different is the basement club in hotel les Sources du Nil, la Punta. This smelly and grubby club opens daily, is packed with prostitutes and has a rather bad reputation. Caters mainly for peacekeeping troops and frustrated expats.
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