Burundi Travel Information
Travelers who have stayed in EU countries, China,
South Korea, Iran and Japan will be in quarantine for 14
days after arriving in Burundi. New measures and
restrictions may be implemented in the coming weeks. For
more information about coronavirus, see the section
The security situation in the country is unstable and
unpredictable. There have been a number of violent
episodes since April 2015 with around 1,000 killed and
an attempted military coup was turned down on May 15,
Norway has no embassy or consulate in Burundi.
Responsible Norwegian Embassy for Burundi is the Embassy
in Kampala, Uganda. The Norwegian authorities' ability
to provide consular assistance to Norwegian nationals is
Burundi turmoil started after the ruling party
CNDD-FDD in April 2015 decided that incumbent President
Pierre Nkurunziza would be the party's candidate in the
presidential elections held after postponements in July
2015. Opposition and civil society believe it
contravenes the constitution to allow Nkurunziza to
stand for a third period and the international community
do not consider the election as free and fair. There
have then been a number of episodes of violence in the
country. In May 2018, the Constitution was amended so
that it will be possible for the incumbent president to
be re-elected in 2020. This has further polarized the
political conflict and contributed to the violence
continuing. For more detailed information on the
security situation in Burundi, please refer to the US
and UK Foreign Ministry respective internet sites.
- Countryaah: Gitega is the capital
of Burundi. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
There is a risk that terrorist attacks may also
affect Western interests in Burundi. Burundi, with over
5,000 soldiers, is the second largest contributor of
troops to the African Union peacekeeping operation in
Somalia. The Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabab has
made unspecified threats against Burundi. No terrorist
attack has hit Burundi so far.
There is a significant risk of crime, including armed
robbery. One should avoid traveling out after dark, even
in the center of Bujumbura, and do not carry large
amounts of money or valuables. You should avoid
withdrawing money from ATMs at night. Hotel safes should
be used where they exist. Keep copies of important
documents, including passports and visas, separately.
The standard of both roads and driving is often poor
and serious accidents occur frequently. Roads can be
blocked by landslides, especially after heavy rain. Keep
car doors locked and windows closed when driving. Take
special care when traveling by public and public
transport, as well as motorcycle taxis.
Floods and droughts are recurring problems in
Burundi. Because of. population density is most of the
forest cut down. The topography is dominated by a large
number of hills, which are mainly cultivated. This
causes erosion and flooding during the rainy season.
Both floods and droughts that destroy crops and
agricultural land can create acute food crises for the
majority of the population.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegians need a visa to stay in Burundi. Passport
must be valid for at least six months after scheduled
A visa must be applied for in advance at the Burundi
Embassy in Berlin.
Foreign citizens who intend to settle or reside in
Burundi for more than one year are requested to contact
the Police de l'Air, the Frontieres et des Etrangers
(Pafe) in Bujumbura for possible registration.
It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure that
travel documents, or any visa, are valid.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Burundi
authorities have announced that travelers who have
stayed in EU countries, China, South Korea, Iran and
Japan will be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving
in Burundi. New measures and restrictions may be
implemented in the coming weeks.
Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the
development of the corona virus. Follow local
authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on how to
deal with the situation. For general updates, refer to
the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
The health service is poorly developed, especially
outside the capital, and it is recommended to bring a
well-equipped travel pharmacy. Malaria occurs across the
country. Vaccination against hepatitis, polio,
diphtheria and tetanus, as well as jaundice, is
recommended. There have been cases of cholera in the
country in recent years. Burundian authorities may
require vaccination cards upon entry.
Questions and advice regarding vaccines and
anti-malarial medicines should be addressed with a
health office or doctor before leaving Norway. Locally
purchased drugs may be counterfeit and may have a
different content from the listed active substances.
Medical equipment may be insufficiently sterilized.
Ambulance services and emergency care are virtually
Hospital treatment in Burundi should be considered
only in critical situations and when no alternatives are
available. For official health professional travel
advice and health professional guidance, see the website
of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
There is no time difference to Norway when it is
daylight saving time. When it is winter time, it is one
hour more in Burundi. The power supply in Burundi is 220
volts. The same type of plug is used as in Norway. The
power supply can be unreliable.
There are direct flights to Bujumbura from Nairobi
(Kenya Airways), Kigali (Rwandair, Kenya Airways,
Ethiopian Airlines), Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines)
and Brussels (Brussels Airlines). There are no domestic
flights. There are border crossings to/from Rwanda, DR
Congo and Tanzania. There are only few paved roads
outside Bujumbura and these can be in poor condition.
Infrastructure for tourism is little developed.
The area code for calls from Norway to Burundi is
+257. The telephone network may be unstable.
Non-Burundian sim cards may have limited coverage for
both incoming and outgoing calls. Procurement of a local
sim card should be considered.
Coin value: 1000 Burundian francs (BIF) = £ 4.46
(July 8, 2018). The economy is cash-based. Payment by
Visa/Mastercard/American Express is not common. Some
Bujumbura hotels and restaurants accept credit cards.
There are ATMs in Bujumbura where you can withdraw local
currency with Norwegian bank cards, but these can
sometimes be out of order. Burundian banks do not accept
US dollar bills until 2006.
National holidays are January 1st, February 5th,
April 6th, May 1st, July 1st, August 15th, October 13th,
October 21st, November 1st and December 25th.
The national language of Burundi is Kirundi, a bantu
language closely related to Kinyarwanda, the main
language of Rwanda. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda are mutually
understandable. French is the first foreign language,
and is widely used in the administration and the
judiciary, but it is far less prevalent in rural areas
where the level of education is low. However, in some
neighborhoods in Bujumbura, the everyday language is
Kiswahili. With Burundi's entry into the East African
Community (EAC) where the common language is English,
there is an increased need to do this. It is decided
that all four languages should be taught in primary
Burundi is a conservative country in terms of laws,
customs and regulations. As in many African countries,
women have no right to inheritance or to own land. The
proportion of girls who receive education is lower than
for boys and women are socially and culturally
discriminated against. According to the Constitution,
there should be 30 per cent women in government and
parliament, but this has little significance for women's
position elsewhere in society. Parliament decided in
2009 to criminalize homosexuality. However, the law
should hardly have been applied.
Religion stands strong. In Bujumbura, however, the
use is more liberal. The majority are Catholics, but
evangelical/charismatic movements continue to increase
their popularity. It is a small Muslim minority.
Religious conflicts hardly occur. There is a big
difference between city and country. In urban areas,
especially in Bujumbura, many are educated and
influenced by Belgian culture and not least by the
Catholic Church, while rural poor people are more
influenced by ancient African traditions, although they
are often Christian.