For a look into the very heart of Africa, it is great to experience the natural and culturally diverse country of Burundi. Here, you can experience adventures into lush rainforests, on the tops of hills, across lakes and beautiful beaches. There are so many sites to visit and things to do for those that are adventurous. Burundi is well known for their drumming, which is an integral part of their cultural heritage. Not only will you experience the ethnic sound of their drums, but also the grace of their dancers, and the ingenuity of their creative craftsmen. It is a place for cultural immersion, even with their unique variety of delicacies.
Important and Interesting Facts about Burundi
- Burundi, officially known as the ‘Republic of Burundi’ is a country located in the Great Lakes region in the continent of Africa. Burundi has for its neighbors the countries of Tanzania to the east and the south, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and the country of Rwanda in the north.
- Burundi, in terms of geographical area occupied, is only slightly smaller than the American state of Maryland.
- Soon after Burundi gained independence from Belgium, the mountainous country enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first black republics in the world.
- Burundi being a country that’s blessed with an abundance of tea and coffee plantations has for its single highest revenue earning economic activity the cultivation and sale of coffee.
- For natural resources Burundi is blessed with varying amounts of uranium, rare earth oxides, nickel, copper, vanadium, limestone, tungsten, gold, tin, niobium, and tantalum.
- Burundi is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and greenery too. Its countryside boasts of myriad plant and animal species that include crocodiles, antelopes, antelopes, and hippopotamuses.
- Burundi is one of the smallest countries in Africa.
- Lake Tanganyika in Burundi is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, in both cases, after only Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world’s longest freshwater lake.
- Livingstone–Stanley Monument. This huge stone with gold inscription is in commemoration of Dr. Livingstone and Stanley camping here outside Bujumbura. This was not were they first met, which was at Ujji quite some kilometeres farther south. This was probably when they were searching for the source of the Nile. They believed Lake Tanganyika could be the source, alas, the found the Ruzingi river in the northern end of the lake flowing into the lake.
- Perched on the top of Congo-Nile ranges, between 1550 and 2660m of altitude, Kibira Park is a majestic primeval rainy forest covering 40 000 hectares. Former sacred hunting reserve for the kings of Burundi, it is today instituted a protected area and is habitat to some 98 mammal species, a dozen of primates (numerous families of chimpanzees, baboons, tailed monkeys, black colobus), but also some 200 species of birdlife.
- The Chutes de la Kagera (Kagera Falls) are a series of waterfalls in Burundi made up of six branches divided on three landings which provide a spectacular vision. The Kagera Falls’ features are: “On a first level, is a main fall subdivided into two parallel branches of a length estimated at 80 m about which pours on a basin. This fall consists of several waterfalls of different sizes intersected with two platforms. Another smaller waterfall is located roughly 50 m to the west of this main fall. Waters of these two falls converge on a second landing to form the third waterfall which pours on the valley.”
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Burundi
- In 1996, Burundi’s runner Venuste Niyongabo led his country to earn an Olympian title in the 5000 meters. For the first time in Olympic history, Burundi won a gold medal, making it not only the poorest country ever to win an Olympic title but also one of the 49 best Olympian teams at the XXVI Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, ahead of Argentina, Taiwan, Mexico, and India. He had earned a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. He carried Burundi’s flag at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
- Against all odds, the Burundian squad won the right to compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Doha, Qatar, in the mid-1990s, where it finished 15th. Football (or soccer) is the national sport in the black republic, followed by track and field, basketball, boxing and aquatics.
- Gustave is the name of a Nile crocodile, a giant who lives in Burundi. It is estimated that Gustave is 7 meters long and his weight is around 1000 kilos. It is believed that he is the largest crocodile in Africa and even in the world.Despite having come close several times, Gustave has never fallen into the trap, which being so heavy, eventually sink into into the River bottom.
- Beni Bertrand Binobagira(born in Bujumbura) is a Burundian swimmer. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he competed in the Men’s 100 metre freestyle, finishing in 56th place overall in the heats.
- Thewalking catfish (Clarias batrachus) is a species of freshwater airbreathing catfish. It is named for its ability to “walk” across dry land, to find food or suitable environments. While it does not truly walk as most bipeds or quadrupeds do, it has the ability to use its pectoral fins to keep it upright as it makes a sort of wiggling motion with snakelike movements.
- Neolamprologus schreyeniis a species of cichlid endemic to Lake Tanganyikawhere it is only known from along the Burundi coast, inhabiting crevices. This species reaches a length of 5 centimetres (2.0 in).
- TheMosso screeching frog (Arthroleptis mossoensis) is a species of frog in theArthroleptidae family that is endemic to Burundi. It is only known from its type locality near Mosso in Rutana Province, at an elevation of 1,200 m.
- Polystachya maculatais a species of orchid endemic to Burundi.
- TheFischer’s lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) is a small parrot species of theAgapornis genus found in Burundi. They were originally discovered in the late 19th century, and were first bred in the United States in 1926. They are named after German explorerGustav Fischer.
- Theyellow-fronted canary (Serinus mozambicus) is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is known elsewhere and in aviculture as the green singing finch. This bird is a resident breeder in Africa south (Burundi) of the Sahara Desert. Its habitat is open woodland and cultivation. It nestsin trees, laying 3–4 eggs in a compact cup nest.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Burundi
- July 1, 1962 is an important day for the Burundians and that’s because this was the day when the country gained its independence from Belgium.
- The original inhabitants of Burundi were the Twa, a Pygmy people who now make up only 1% of the population. Today the population is divided between the Hutu (approximately 85%) and the Tutsi, approximately 14%. While the Hutu and Tutsi are considered to be two separate ethnic groups, scholars point out that they speak the same language, have a history of intermarriage, and share many cultural characteristics. Traditionally, the differences between the two groups were occupational rather than ethnic.
- European explorers and missionaries arrived in Burundi in the mid 1850s.
- The last Burundian monarchy is said to have begun in the late 17th century.
- In the 16th century, Burundi was a kingdom characterized by a hierarchial political authority and tributary exchange. A king (mwani) headed a princely aristocracy (ganwa) that owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from local farmers and herders.
- Drumming is an important part of the Burundian cultural heritage.
- Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are attractive gifts to many tourists.
- Basket weaving is a popular craft for Burundian artisans.
- The oral literature of Burundi is an integrated part of the culture of Burundi. The tales, provers, poetry and riddles reveal the life of the Burundi people.
- All the huts has got their own compound. The bee-hive style huts show that the rural life is quite organized. The instruments, weapons various other things that are kept in the museum offer a detail understanding of the Burundi Culture.