Bujumbura city is Burundi’s largest city and capital. It has slowly evolved, over the years, into a welcoming cosmopolitan tourist hub despite the devastating effects of the civil war years. The foundation of Bujumbura is dated back in 1876. Initially, Bujumbura was only a port on the shore of the Lake Tanganyika. But, it soon developed into an important business city which will finally become the Capital of Burundi. Bujumbura is throning on the shore of the lake Tanganyika which is geographically the western border of the country.
This relatively small city has not seen much development over the past decades mainly due to years of conflict in the region. The city, commonly known as Buji, has retained other characteristics from its period as a French colony such as excellent food, drink and nightlife. Buju, as the city is commonly referred to, has an array of tourist attractions and activities as well as an amazing nightlife
French cuisine can be found at various restaurants in the city, occupying a wide range of prices and quality. Sights in the city include the university which is the only one in Burundi and the Independence Monument which remembers hard times of occupation by French, Belgian and German rulers. The Living Museum is also located in Bujumbura and is arguably one of the best museums of its kind in Africa. It shows ancient and modern crafts used in Burundi.
Bujumbura is known for the history of French and Colonial settlements that this city holds. This city has a greater impact of the French culture and you are sure to find the best of French cuisines here. The foods, drinks and the nightlife of the city make up entire Bujumbura. The Living Museum is a place to be in when in Bujumbura.
All year long, the lake Tanganyika remains attractive for all kind of fantastic fans: skiing water, sailing, fishing and many other activities which usually imply strolls along the lake. And beside the private swimming pools in some hotels or at the “Entente Sportive Restaurant'” there are many beautiful places along the lake which are convenient for swimming, especially the public beach of KAJAGA, near the Hotel “Club du Lac Tanganyika.”
But for the guests who are not fond of water, sometimes because of different interesting lubs for relaxation, Bujumbura offers you: golf, tennis, volley-ball, horse riding, bowling and even a flying-club. In addition to sports activities, Bujumbura may be considered as a select place for the gastronomy.
In fact, because of the big number of restaurants (“Entente Sportive”, “Monastère”, Cercle Hellenique”, “Cremaillère”…) Bujumbura has rather become a place of competition between the owners of restaurants. They are struggling to improve by all means the quality of their food in order to satisfy their guests.
Most of the hotels have international class restaurants. Bujumbura has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment. The tourist can dine beside the lake Tanganyika perhaps savoring a delicious local fish called the “Sangala,” and then spend the evening in a nightclub, relaxing in a friendly atmosphere. The lake Tanganyika, full of fish, is the deepest in the world just after Lake Baikal in the former USSR.
Must See In Bujumbura
Buj, as the capital of Burundi is fondly called by locals is a bustling port city with a couple of interesting attractions, some of which bears testimony to its German colonial past like the Postmaster’s House. A few of the ‘Must See’ in this growing city include: La Monument de l’Unité, Cathédrale Regina Mundi, Musée Vivant, La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley, Parc des Reptiles, Rusizi National Park, Ciné Caméo, as well as the beaches of Lake Tanganyika.
This covered market is the largest in Burundi and is an interesting place to poke around in, with its maze-like corridors and closet-sized stalls. The market is organised into sections, from the colourful fresh produce stores to shops selling nothing but secondhand clothing donated by western nations. The tiny fish, which smell so badly when fresh, are a local delicacy when dried (mukeke).
Food and Drinks in Bujumbura
The people in Bujumbura love the three ’Ds’ – that is dining, drinking and drumming. You may add the fourth D – dancing – since it is logical that it follows the energetic drumming. First, the city offers a rich diversity of culinary delights to the surprise of many visitors. Its menu is influenced by a blend of diverse cultures ranging from nearby neighbors to distant lands across oceans. One special feature of the menu is the unmistakable taste of the mukeke, a type of fish found only in Lake Tanganyika.
Foods are usually freshly prepared and you may be required to wait at least an hour after ordering to get served. But trust us – it is worth the wait, even if prices are a tad higher than in some other cities. Apart from the local restaurants, there are several others like Greek, French and Asian restaurants in the city. Did we mention that the people love to drink?
Of course, it is part of the three ‘Ds’ and one of the local draught is called urwarwa wine made from banana and usually served during celebrations. They have a local beer known as impeke brewed from sorghum. However, regular wines and spirits can be obtained from several restaurants at hotels, and in bars and pubs elsewhere.
And not forgetting the beautiful leather, ceramic, ivory and wood carvings which are cool souvenirs up for sale in the market. No one visits Bujumbura without checking out the majestic Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest lake. It is surrounded by rolling green hills and mountainous jungles. Great place to be.
For the city tour to experience the heartbeat of Bunjumbura, do not hesitate to write to us, we are more than ready to share with you, our experience in visiting this amazing city of Bujumbura. For bookings and inquiries, get in touch with our team!