The University of Bujumbura offers splendid views across the capital city and Lake Tanganyika. It is the only university in the poverty stricken tiny central African country. Its facilities are deteriorating and significantly damaged due to an ongoing civil war. In its infancy, it was owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Church. Its current...more
An ocean in the middle of Africa, with white sandy beaches and sun chairs? Okay you have not had too much local Rum - but you have arrived at the biggest fresh water reserve on the continent of Africa, right in the heart of Africa - Lake Tanganyika. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water. It extends for 673 km...more
One thing that amazed me was the friendliness that greeted us when we decided to hop across to the DRC for a few hours. The myth African border crossings are unfriendly and rude took a complete different shape when even the Station Commader decided to pose for a picture, after he ensured that we crossed the border in less then 5 minutes.more
Bujumbura's favourite Sunday afternoon activity is lazing around at the beach on the north shore of Lake Tanganyika. There are three places, all slightly different.Petit Bassam has a nice pool and is popular with families with children. It has a replica of a traditional hut of Burundian kings. The owner, a retired Burundian UN-official who has...more
Very good menu, local ingredients with a Belgian touch on the shores of the lake. Arguably the best restaurant in town.The building is very nice and it has even some history. It was on its grounds that, days before independence on 15 October 1961, the future head of state, prince Louis Rwagasore was assassinated.more
63 Reviews and Opinions
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...more
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...more
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,...more
If Burundians have a big garden and too much money, hey open a small bar in their garden. If they have a little bit of money and lots of time to spare, they tend to feel slightly thirsty and start drinking beer.
The local brews, Amstel and Primus, are nothing special but are widely popular.
As a consequence, there are hundreds of small and not so small places to have a drink. Some are very famous, others are hidden in a leafy garden.
Some of my favourites, ahttered over town: Safari Gate, (on the lake) Le Nouveau Millénaire, Le Rithmique, Le Pique-Nique (with hundreds of vinyl LPs), Kwa Candida, Le Maquis, La Luna, Hard Rock Bar,...
As Burundi is still struggling to come to terms with itself, the country is awash with poverty and illegal arms, a dangerous combination. Everywhere in town, armed robberies are happening, very often with victims. This does not only happen in the poorer more poplar neighbourhoods and at night, but also downtown in broad daylight.Some advise: always...more
Bujumbura is a wonderful place to live, people like nightlife, but officially there's a curfew after midnight! If you stay downtown, you can get away with it, but because of this most clubs and bars close at 11pm or otherwise keep going until the early morning.Police has checkpoints ooutside of downtown. A small bribe can let you pass but it's...more
10 to 15km north of Bujumbura on the road to the Congo is the Rusizi National Park, where you can see some hippos and crocodiles. There is debate whether there are still some antilopes and the last elephant has been shot and eaten years ago by one of the rebel movements. He was alone anyway. You need your own 4x4 car and then the guide will show you around.
Important: check the security situation before you go, since lawless Congo is just next door and Burundian rebels used to hide in the park. For the moment, I would actually advice against visiting it, but it makes for a nice change out of town when safe.
It's debatable whether it's really sport, but the locals are convinced it is. Especially on Sunday mornings, people go walking up the hill in town to the university, discussing politics and other gossip, after which they end up having a beer in one of Buja's five hundred small bars.