Burundi Travel Guide

TRAVEL WARNING

Overview Burundi

Current information

From travel to Burundi is strongly discouraged. German citizens living in Burundi are recommended to leave the country.

There is a risk of terrorist attacks in Burundi. The threats of retaliation by the Somali Al-Shabab militia in response to the involvement of the Burundian military in the AMISOM mission in Somalia should be taken seriously. Particular caution and vigilance is therefore required when visiting public facilities with a potentially symbolic character (e.g. the airport in Bujumbura). It is recommended to avoid crowds (restaurants and beach hotels on Lake Tanganyika, markets, bus stations and street bars) and to limit evening outings to what is necessary. Due to increased security measures, travelers are asked to be at Bujumbura International Airport at least three hours before departure. Intrusions into the privacy of foreign travelers by security forces cannot be ruled out.

It is strongly advised to stay away from public demonstrations such as party meetings and political rallies and to refrain from making public political statements. Crowds, markets and bus stations should be avoided. It is also recommended that you avoid driving after 6:00 p.m. anywhere in the country. It is particularly advisable not to visit the following districts of Bujumbura after 6:00 p.m.: Kanyosha, Bwiza, Jabe, Buyenzi, Nyakabiga, Musaga, Kamenge, Cibitoke, Ngagara and Mutakura.

The security situation in Burundi, a country located in Africa according to topmbadirectory, is confusing and very tense. In the capital Bujumbura, violent, politically motivated clashes can occur at any time. Targeted attacks on politicians and activists as well as security forces, exchanges of fire and attacks with hand grenades can occur at any time without warning, especially in the districts mentioned above. In the spring of 2016, there were several attacks with hand grenades in busy locations in central Bujumbura. In addition, violent crime (robbery by heavily armed criminals) has risen sharply.

Tensions are also reported from other parts of the country, in particular from Ngozi, Kirundo, Ijenda / Mwaro and Matana. Internet and cell phone networks are partially interrupted. The presence of security forces across the country has increased significantly.

Temporary arrests of foreigners (e.g. to establish their identity) occur occasionally. Stricter surveillance measures have been introduced in recent months. This repeatedly led to undifferentiated intrusions into privacy by Burundian security forces, which also affected foreigners (surveillance of guests in private homes by a so-called ‘cahier de ménage’, house searches). Failure to comply or resistance may result in temporary arrest by security forces.

If you intend to travel, it is strongly recommended that you contact the German Embassy in Bujumbura in advance. Germans who are staying – even temporarily – in Burundi are strongly advised to register online in the External Link, opens in new window Crisis preparedness list of the German Embassy in Bujumbura.

Country-specific safety information

Crime

Due to the violent conflicts that have been going on for many years since 1993, the willingness to use violence in the population is high, despite noticeable improvements since 2005. Violent crime and widespread impunity are central problems in view of high unemployment and many weapons in the country. The economic decline associated with the current crisis is further driving general poverty and hopelessness. Foreigners are less likely to be affected, but they too are occasionally victims of crime. Police and justice do not meet European standards. In the capital Bujumbura, too, there has been an increase in poverty crime in recent years, in some cases with the use of violence. The usual precautionary rules, e.g. use of guarded and / or illuminated parking spaces,

Burundi Travel Guide

MONEY

Currency

1 Burundi Franc = 100 Centimes. Currency abbreviation: BuFr, BIF (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation to the value of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10 BuFr; Coins with a nominal value of 5 and 1 BuFr.

Credit cards

Visa and MasterCard in particular are accepted in larger hotels and banks (inquire when booking). Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.
ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

There are no ATMs available where you can withdraw the local currency with your EC card.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and sometimes also 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is limited to 2,000 BuFr. Unrestricted import and export of foreign currencies.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the airport, in the banks in Bujumbura and in large hotels.