Bujumbura

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Bujumbura is the largest city and capital of Burundi.

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Hotels

  • 5 star hotels 5 star hotel
  • 4 star hotels 4 star hotel
  • 3 star hotels 3 star hotel
  • 2 star hotels 2 star hotel
  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Bujumbura

  • Musee Vivant, rue du 13 Octobre (heading west, just before Lake Tanganyika). Small "zoo" and natural history museum. Exhibits include fish from Lake Tanganyika, crocodiles, birds, and snakes. There’s also a traditional Burundian village on the grounds. For about 2,000 BFU per person, a guide will show you around. Sometimes, local cultural events occur on the grounds, such as performances by the Burundian drummers.
  • Rusizi National Park, RN 4 (a few miles past Club du Lac, nearly at the Congo border). See hippos and crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks of the Rusizi River. The area is also where Gustave, the world's largest Nile crocodile, has been spotted. There are also some amazing birds to be seen. For about 3,000 BIF per person (plus tip), a guide and a guard will join you in the car and give you a tour of the park. You’ll stop at several points along the water to view hippos, crocodiles, and birds.
  • Livingstone-Stanley Monument (La Pierre du Livingstone et Stanley), village of Mugere, about 12km south of Bujumbura on RN3. It's not the spot where Stanley said "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," but it has a gorgeous view of the lake. Livingstone and Stanley passed through the area and carved their names on a large rock.
  • Go for scenic drives (security permitting!) for spectacular views from the hills of Bujumbura Rurale to the east of town or along Lake Tanganyika to the south of town. Find a place to enjoy banana beer or maybe a Fanta and chit-chat with store keepers.

Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium

Kibira National Park

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About Bujumbura

Activities

Beach

  • Karera Beach, Uvira Roadway (on Lake Tanganyika about 20 min of town). Nice beach resort.
  • Saga Plage, Uvira Roadway (on Lake Tanganyika about 20 min of town). Beach with restaurant, entertainment complex, and hotel. Nice place to pass some time.

Nature

  • Association Burundaise pour la protection des Oiseaux (ABO). A local conservation group that conducts birdwatching tours of Rusizi Park and other areas. Some of their guides speak English.

Culture

  • Check local flyers for information on Burundian drummer performances, or just be on the look out for a wedding reception taking place somewhere. With help from locals, you can also arrange to visit a drum troupe, get a lesson, and then see a private performance.
  • Many activities are organized by the Centre Culturel Francais (CCF), Chaussee Prince Louis Rwagasore, +257 222351 (City Center). Extensive monthly film, theater and music program available from their offices. CCF also offers courses in French and Kiswahili (individual and group).
  • Ciné Caméo (19 Avenue des Paysans),in the Asiatic quarter screens all the latest blockbusters for about 2000FBu. The only cinema in the country, and a place to enjoy some air conditioning on hot dry season nights.

Sports

Several swimming pools available for who wants to cool down from the hot days.

  • Federation Football (soccer) games at the Stade in Rohero are at 2PM and 4PM on Saturdays. Entrance as of late 2011 is 500 FBu regular and 2000 FBu first class.
  • Université de Burundi ("Collège") has a large swimming pool with high-dive and a spectacular view of Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika.
  • Entente Sportive, Av du Stade. Daily open from 07 - 19 hours, FBu 3500 (Aug. 2008). Old colonial entourage. Length of the pool 33 meters!
  • Hotel Club Lac du Tanganyika, Chaussee D'Uvira (Take route in the direction of the Border with the DRC - Gatumba), +257 250220/221, fax +257 250219, [1]. Daily open till 20 hours. FBu 4000 during the week and FBu 10000 during the weekend. Hotel pool, but in the weekends meeting point for the ex-pat community of Bujumbura. Breakfast and lunch served at the poolside. Beach nearby.

Viewpoints

  • War Memorial* at the top end of Ave Belvedere - for great sunset views. The Belvedere and Chez Vaya restaurants are nearby and offer equally good views - although during weekdays they only open at 6.30PM - after sunset.

Food

The people in Bujumbura love their food and enjoy eating out with friends or family. A beef or fish brochette, chips or fried plantain and a fresh salad is available in all restaurants. But take your time. All food is freshly prepared and the cooks take time. Waiting an hour before the food arrives is certainly not abnormal.

Restaurants are scattered all over town, but the best are located in Rohero and Kiriri.

Some restaurants that are worth a visit are:

Centre

  • Botanika Small, European style, funky dining. Expensive. Great outdoor eating area, good for brunch on weekends, has wireless. Popular with business, government and expats, often full.
  • Le Bouteille d'Or (near center of town, ask a taxi driver, or a local). Basic beer garden that serves a local specialty, beef "michopo", deliciously seasoned steamed beef served with little dough cubes.
  • Le Cayor, Chaussee Prince Louis Rwagasore (Opposite Centre Culturel Français). Busy for lunch. General Burundian dishes, but also Cameroonian food.
  • Le Plaisir Avenue de l'Amitié beside Radio Isanganiro. Popular restaurant serving Burundian dishes. Busy for lunch, especially if you want a table upstairs. Menu items are not always available, so it is best to ask the server what is available. The Sangala fish topped with onions is excellent, and the stewed beef (lunch only) is very reasonably priced.
  • Oasis Greek restaurant and pizza on the main drag in town - next to Havana. Excellent Greek mezze.
  • Pont Muha, (continue Bld de la Liberte till you reach the river Muha). Best Burundian brochettes in town. If you are hungry take the brochette Hôtelière.
  • Tropicana, Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore (Head East from Palace De L'Indépendance). Stylish and new (Dec 2010) restaurant and internet café. Very good burgers, omelettes, juices and coffee.
  • La Baguette Magique, Boulevard Lumumba Patrice. Not a café or restaurant, just a very good bakery. Worth stopping at to stock up on cakes/croissants.
  • Chez Michel, Next to Hotel le Tanganika. Excellent Belgian Bistro with Belgian beers. </eat>

Rohero

  • BBQ, Avenue Muyinga. Interesting menu and cosy ambiance.
  • Chez Andre, Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore. Super fancy restaurant in a large, decked-out mansion. Service can be slow and disappointing.
  • Le safran, Av Kukiko 38 (Rohero II),  +257 22 213 999. 8-1430 / 18-22:30. Le Safran, Av. Kukiko 38 (Rohero II), ☎ +257 22 213 999, [new]. 8-1430 / 18-2230. At Av. Kukiko in quartier Rohero II you'll find this quality restaurant with a buffet rocking every Friday evening with live music. The cosy bar with pool-table has a happy hour between 18:00 and 19:00 hours. medium. medium.
  • Shanghai, Avenue Muyinga (coming from the central market, take the Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore and turn left just before the Alimentation Escale du Bien - it's about 600 m up the Av. Muyinga, opposite a kindergarten). Best Chinese in town. Very fast service (in and out in less than an hour), also open for lunch.
  • Tandoor, BV Uprona (Between Bv Uprona and Bv 28 September). Good Indian food

Kiriri

  • Belvedere, Avenue de Belvedere. Dining with a superb view over the city. Also open for lunch. Expensive.
  • Restaurant "Chez Vaya"Traditional Greek Kitchen old from 1989 with panoramic view Tel (257) 22228231 Mob (257) 79921191 E-mail: vayaburundi@yahoo.fr[2]

Lake Tanganyika

  • Cercle Nautique de Bujumbura, Avenue de la Plage. The food is nothing to impressed with, but the views (on a clear day) on Lake Tanganyika and the mountains of Congo (DRC) are unforgettable. (closed since February 2010). As of late 2011, new owners have maintained the prices but brought with them miniscule selection of food that in no way reflects the menu and shoddy service.
  • Ubuntu, Avenue de la Plage. Nice garden setting in deluxe hotel with rather overpriced food. The garden also houses several turtles, peacocks, and has some resident Uganda Cranes.
  • Eden Great lake views. Best pizza's in Bujumbura, owned and managed by well-known Belgian restauranteur who flies the mozzarella in from Italy. Ave de la Plage (along lake, past Ubuntu)
  • Restaurant Tanganyika, 1 Avenue de la Plage. Set in a glorious 1930s art deco building and run by a professional Belgian chef Restaurant Tanganyika serves up some of the best food in the city. Mains from 18,000.
  • Restaurant Hotel La Palmeraie, Nice new hotel with garden/pool side restaurant serving excellent french and international cuisine. Nice wine list, but meals can an be expensive (30-40$).

Kinindo

  • Habesha, Avenue Rukonwe (near the PSG Office). Good Ethiopian food.
  • La Cervoise du Gaulois, Rue Mutaho. (Ave du Large direction Kinindo, cross Pont Muha, left after the green fence of Quartier OUA, first right. The Heineken sign on the left.). Closed Mondays.. Owned by a Quebecer-Burundian couple. Price range is between Havana Club and Botanika. Gourmet hamburgers, steak, ribs, etc. Beer on tap in frosted glasses. WiFi. Ask about film screenings and NHL hockey game nights.

Drinks

  • Le Safran, Av. Kunkiko 38 (Rohero II),  +257 22 213 999. 8-1430 / 18-2230. At Av. Kunkiko in quartier Rohero II you'll find this quality restaurant with a buffet every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and evening. The cozy bar with a colourfull dans-night on Friday has a happy hour between 18:00 and 19:00 hours. medium.

Several bars are located on Av de l'Universite (between Bld de l'Independence and Blv Mao Tse Tung).

The best known places for a transnight dance are l'Archipel and Havana. L'Archipel can be found at Blv de la Liberté and Havana is on Blv de Uprona (around the corner of the Novotel).

  • Coeur d'Afrique (Quartier Asiatique, near Ciné Caméo.). Outdoor 'cabaret' features live singing on weekend nights, popular with the college-aged crowd. Probably not wise during the raining season as there is no roof. They usually run out of cold beer early in the evening. (Many Burundians actually prefer their beer warm.) Food is available from the calmer place across the street.


Shopping

Interbank has several ATMs in Bujumbura that accept international VISA debit cards but they charge 5000 FBu for each transaction.

Groceries

Most of the things that one needs can be found in one of the stalls in the Central Market. Stiff bargaining is needed to get it for the right price.

Small supermarkets can be found all over town. They normally stock luxury items at a luxury price.

The largest supermarket in town is Dimitri on the little roundabout of Chaussee Prince Louis Rwagazore and Av du Congo. Do not expect too much, but Dimitri has shopping carts!

The Greek owned 'Boucherie Nouvelle' on Av du Congo is worth is worth a visit. Always busy, but then it offers a wide variety of meat, cheese and charcuterie. Opposite the butcher you find vendors with exclusive and rare vegetables and in the rainy season wild mushrooms of all kinds. Be prepared for a real hassle and 'persusive' sales techniques.

Souvenirs

  • The best place to buy souvenirs is the small curio market on Av de Stade.
  • Another small curio market is found on Chaussee Prince Louis Rwagazore, opposite Library St. Paul.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Bujumbura on Wikivoyage.

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