Bujumbura is located in the country’s west. Moving east, visitors may visit Gitega, a huge market conducted directly in the center of town, as well as its Museum of Traditions (ancient utensils, pictures, commented visit). Travellers will need to make prior reservations to see an unusual and interesting performance that is unique in the world: “The Drummers of Giheta” performing in their traditional surroundings. Then you’ll be on your way to Rutana to view the magnificent vista of the Karea Falls and the Nykazu Break, also known as the “Break of the Germans,” which is an excellent vantage that overlooks the Kumoso plain. You will conclude your trip with a visit to Gihofi, a thriving town in the midst of sugar cane plantation region with a modern sugar refinery.
Don’t miss a visit to the Nile Sources at Rutovu if you’re in the country’s south-eastern corner. Remember to bring your swimming gear; otherwise, you may lose out on the benefits of the hot springs in beautiful and delicate settings. You will also be able to view the remaining historic enclosed villas on your route (round habitations surrounded by wooden fences strip in turn surrounded by grazing meadows and ploughed fields).
Further south, you will be able to pass through a series of settlements, one after the other, squeezed between the lake and steep mountains. Fortunately, you will be able to pause for a break, participate in nautical sports, eat at restaurants, or just stop for a drink on well-kept fine sand beaches. Nyanza Lake is located much farther south. Why not take a boat across the lake to Tanzania and explore the Gombe Natural Park?
An major market for high quality fresh goods may be found to the north, right before reaching Bugarama. You may stroll through Kibira’s primeval woodland, which is still tough to enter but is in the process of being beaconed. Continue on to Kayanza and Ngozi, two large agricultural production and trading communities. At Kirundo, near the Rwandan border, you will discover the little lakes of the north, as well as the calm and tranquility of their jagged boundaries. Take a boat and drift around Rwihinda Water to see many bird species that are completely free on the lake (crested cranes, wild ducks, fishing eagles, etc.).
On the route from Muyinga to Cankuzo, a stop at the Natural Park of the Ruvuvu Rivers, which now has lodging facilities, is a must; there, you can view Burundi’s protected remnant buffaloes and dorcas (gazelles). The surrounding primeval woodland will undoubtedly leave you with a lasting memory.
Landmarks and Monuments
Climb to the summit of the hill in Bujumbura to reach the “Belvedere,” the town’s dominant point. You will be able to visit the tomb of Prince Louis Rwagasore, the founder of the Uprona party and a hero of Burundi’s independence.
The Livingstone-Stanley Monument is located ten kilometers south of Bujumbura in Mugere. It is a stone that marks the location where the two famous explorers David Livingstone and H. M. Stanley spent two nights as guests of Chief Mukamba on November 25-27, 1871, during their joint exploration of the northern end of Lake Tanganyika, following their first meeting 15 days earlier in Ujiji, Tanzania.
Rutovu, 114 kilometers from Bujumbura, is located on the Bujumbura-Ijenda-Matana route, where a pyramid was built near the Nile’s southernmost source, at an elevation of 2,000 meters.
It is difficult to create a list of all the locations worth seeing, since Burundi is a true Garden of Eden, resisting the elements and exerting an irresistible allure on visitors. When you arrive in Bujumbura, head to the National Office of Tourism for all your circuits, itineraries, and tours, where you will find a wide range of options. Everything will be visible: the Nyakazu Break to the east, the Karera Falls, the Tanganyika Lake vistas at Vyanda and Kabonambo, and the tea estates of Teza or Rwegura. The reservoir constructed here is surrounded by magnificent scenery. In a nutshell, a synthesis of oddities worth spending a portion of your vacation budget to.
In Bujumbura and Gitega, there are two museums.
The National Museum in Gitega, the country’s second largest city, was founded in 1955 and houses an exhibition of a magnificent ethnographic collection of Crown-owned objects that could be seen at the Court in the early twentieth century, as well as an archaeological collection and historical photographs.
You will enjoy old photographs of our kings, princes, and queens from the nineteenth century, which are surrounded by a variety of objects owned by men and women of the time, such as jewelry, baskets from all over the world, earthenware for various purposes, calabashes to keep water or for churning, war and hunting spears, ploughing instruments, and iron-working and sculpting instruments.
The Musée Vivant near the lake in Bujumbura houses a large portion of the artifacts in a larger space surrounded by beautiful gardens. In charming tiny cottages, old and new crafts are shown. The museum’s crowning achievement, however, is a full-scale recreation of a royal residence. The main hut, topped by an interwoven dome covered by a thin thatched roof, and the whole surrounding courtyard may be explored.
The Musée Vivant also maintains a bird house with a few local species on exhibit, as well as a Herpetological Centre with snakes and reptiles on display. Since its collection was exposed to the public in 1988, this living museum has been recognized as one of Africa’s most famous.
Although not everyone will like it, the Musée Vivant allows visitors to feed the crocodiles, leopards, and certain snakes. You may purchase a (live) guinea pig for BIF2,000 and choose the fortunate diner.