Bujumbura 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.
Buju, as the city is commonly referred to, has an array of tourist attractions and activities as well as an amazing nightlife. The stately colonial buildings, beautiful boulevards, expansive national parks and pristine beaches are hot spots for relaxation and adventure. Amazing Belgian and Asian cuisines are also dished out daily at the some of the restaurants lining the city streets. And not forgetting the beautiful leather, ceramic, ivory and woodcarvings 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.
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.
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.