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From the

Heart of Africa

e r a s r Travelle

e m o Welc




FOREWORD From the Minister

Aiming Higher

Dynamism of the tourism sector leads to product innovation Burundi is on a trajectory. We have witnessed a vibe in our economy that keeps humming and continues to provide new opportunities for investors. With the launch of this new publication of Beautiful Burundi, this marks a critical stage towards a sustained tourism marketing campaign that we intend on embarking on this year. Our aim is to ensure that Burundi remains on the global tourism radar and continues to grow its tourism product and improving on its service offering.

Events capital

We understand that tourism is a really dynamic service industry that calls for constant innovation. Burundi is taking product innovation seriously and is positioning itself to attracting a large number of local, regional and

international travellers into the country through a series of events. Blessed with a wonderful climate, we want to take advantage of this favourable all-year round weather to host annual events that will be mainly targeted at various demographics, from the young to the old, we want to make them feel at home through our renowned hospitality. The events will range from fashion shows and jazz festivals to beach parties where people can bring their friends and families. We are also placing a huge emphasis on training and capacity building so as to bring our service standards at par with the best in the region and the world. With high service standards, we will be in a better position to continue attracting more business and leisure travellers into Burundi.

Complimentary Tourism

Tourism is by far one of the biggest economic engines of major economies in Africa. The industry has a ripple effect on other economic sectors and is one of the biggest employers. Aside from enhancing its tourism product offering, Burundi is working towards playing a complimentary role to the regional tourism industry. As a constituent member of the East African Community, Burundi will seek out ways of better co-operation with its East African neighbours with a view to working towards a marketing program for East Africa as a single destination. On behalf of the people of Burundi, I personally invite you to come experience our Burundi. Hon. Marie Rose Nizigiyimana, Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts & Tourism REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI





FOREWORD From the Director General

What is your

Burundi experience? Come and make your unique experience in Burundi and share it. It is my pleasure to welcome you to this exciting new edition of Beautiful Burundi, a publication that offers an insight into our beautiful nation of Burundi. We have had an exciting past year in the tourism and investment spheres in Burundi and we seek to build on these strengths as we look towards another year through which we seek to fly the flag of Burundi even higher.

New tourism team

Carmen NIBIGIRA Director General, National Tourism Office



I am humbled by the new opportunity given to me and the new team at the National Tourism Office of Burundi, it is my belief that with sustained efforts towards achieving a common goal and working harmoniously as a team that we will be able to achieve more for Burundi; to attract more tourists, more investments and

change the image of the country locally, regionally and internationally. Our commitment is to work with both the public and private sector in Burundi to first and foremost help re-brand our country as a favorable tourism and investment destination that should be the pride of all Burundians.

Regional co-operation

We also seek to learn and work closely with our counterparts within the East African region and our message to them is simple; Burundi is part and parcel of the East African Community. We remain committed to working together with our counterparts in the region to ensure that tourism in East Africa is continually developing and


adding value to the regional economies and improving the lives of our people while at the same time giving visitors to this region a whole new experience. It is in this spirit of regional co-operation that saw Burundi take part in last year’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi, Kenya and we reiterate our commitment to continue working with regional tourism bodies to better our tourism offering across the region. We want to complement the existing tourism offerings from the region and in the process, develop a product that is unique to this destination.

East African tourist visa

We laud our Kenyan, Ugandan and Rwandan counterparts for the recently launched single tourism visa for East Africa. We think that this is a huge first step towards joint marketing campaigns for East Africa and will go a long way into helping market East Africa as a single tourism destination. Burundi is committed to making this happen and we will be


joining the single tourism regime as soon as we are able to meet some set guidelines and requirements. Looking ahead into 2014, we want this to be the year that Burundi fully embraces itself and walks out of the dark shadows of the past. We have seen an increased investment in the tourism sector in Burundi that has mainly been driven by local investors who have shown a strong sense of belief in the tourism prospects for Burundi. We do not take this for granted and that is why we are currently embarking on a tourism inventory process that will see us identify and develop our tourism product so that it first attracts the Burundian people and the expatriate community resident in Burundi and then going further to attract the regional and international community to Burundi. But that should not stop you from coming to Burundi; we welcome you with open arms and hope you get to share with your friends, family and the entire world your own unique Burundian experience. Welcome to our Burundi; Our Beautiful Burundi.







This Issue List of Hotels, Restaurants and Coffee Houses in Burundi - P36

Hospitality Club du Lac, Page 28

KPA Liaison Office, Page 52 API, Page 56

BujaCafe, Page 34

Fashion&Arts Kaz’O’zah art, Page 76 Bujumbura Fashion Week, Page 78

Music&Events Black&White events, Page 82 Buddy – Godfather of Music in Burundi , Page 83 Burundi Drummers, Page 84


Page 34


High-end Travellers, Page 48 Café Gourmand, Page 50



Burundi Trek, Page 62

Café Gourmand, Page 50

Things to do in Bujumbura Road Trip, Page 68 List of tour operators, Page 72



National Tourism Office of Burundi P.O. Box 902 Bujumbura, Burundi Tel: +257 22 22 20 23 Fax: +257 22 22 93 Email: info@burundi-tourism.com Website: burundi-tourism.com Published by: Published by:

Safari Communications

Kaz’O’zah Art- P76

P. O. Box 13510 Westlands 00800 Nairobi Kenya Email: media@safari-communications.com Website: www.safari-communications.com Safaricomm Safaricomm Photographs: Denis Gathanju National Tourism Office of Burundi Shutterstock

DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or any other organization associated with this publication. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein. All Rights Reserved. © Copyright 2014

Page 60





FOREWORD From the Chairperson

Sectoral Chamber for Hotel and Tourism Burundi

Awakening of the

Private Sector Enhancing service delivery and better policy formulation will drive tourism forward Burundi is taking giant strides towards a better and brighter future and the private sector of Burundi is at the core of all this. Over the last few years, we have seen a gradual increase of the private sector participation towards the advancement of the Burundian economy. And we want to build on this so that the private sector can readily work hand-in-hand with other government agencies to help spur economic development in Burundi. An expanded private sector

Lyse BIZINDAVYI Chairperson, Sectoral Chamber for Hotel & Tourism, Burundi



The tourism sector is one such industry that has witnessed a lot of excitement, especially from the local investors in Burundi. This is driven by the increased interest Burundi

has continued to witness from both business and leisure tourists visiting the country with a view to seeking out invest options and exploring the country respectively.


As the private sector, we welcome these gradual changes that are taking place in the country and it is our desire that we will forge a mutually beneficial working partnership with the government to ensure that the investors in this country are protected and recognized for their contribution to the development of the Burundian economy.

standards in the hotels.

The tourism and hospitality sector is gradually proving that it has what it takes to expand the Burundian economy. We are alive to this scenario and that is one of the main reasons as to why we are busy taking an inventory of our tourism assets in Burundi.

These are fundamentally important issues that we are addressing as the private sector in partnership with the Government of Burundi because we can now place a value to the development of the tourism sector in Burundi and we want to build the sector from the ground up.

For these reasons, the private sector of Burundi will actively engage with the government so as to ensure that the tourism industry is propelled further through favorable legislation and policy frameworks that will help spur the development of the sector, which will have a ripple effect onto other sectors of the economy and will generate higher revenues for the government, ensure a return on investment for the investors and open up new job opportunities for Burundians.

Improving standards in Burundi

We are readying ourselves for the future so that even when regional or international hotel brands come on board, they will find proper systems and mechanisms in place.

With open arms, we welcome all Burundians, the diaspora, East Africans and the international investment community to come to Burundi and invest for a better and brighter future.

And while we are doing that, we also want to ensure that we uphold high service standards across the board. We are now talking to stakeholders in the industry with a view to helping effect

We will also be engaging with the hotel owners and tour operators so as to increase capacity building through training programmes and workshops that will bring them to par with other service providers from other parts of the world.


business or leisure traveler coming to Burundi that will benefit the most with an improved package of product and service offering.

But at the end of the day, it is the





FOREWORD From the Publisher Beautiful Burundi


Redefining their country Time for the global traveler to move on and discover Burundi’s raw beauty

Burundi is a stunningly beautiful country. But the bitter truth is that many travelers cannot see and appreciate its raw beauty because they still harbor misconceptions about the country; misconceptions that, in most instances, border on total ignorance on one part or reliance on old, stereotypical advice that has been overtaken by time on the other part or both. A case in point was when recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine from Istanbul, Turkey the other day and when I mentioned Burundi, he was alarmed. Words cannot express the look in his eyes and the expression on his face.



Is it safe to travel to Burundi?

Once he was over whatever was going on in his head, he composed himself and calmly asked me: “Is it safe to travel to Burundi? I mean, with all the history and such?” It is sad when people still see this wound and attach the war tag to Burundi while in actual sense, Burundi has recovered from its troubled past and moved on. For heaven’s sake Burundi has seen close of a decade of peace and reconciliation; why drag out the skeletons of yester-years? I do not wish to drop names here, but we all know of many other dangerous places in this world that most people would term as peaceful, but hardly five minutes elapse before someone has been gunned down; a tourist mugged or a car broken into. I think the world now needs to move on and see Burundi for what it is today – Beautiful!


It is only by visiting Burundi that the false perceptions that people have harbored for many years and the negative myths that people tend to believe and spread about Burundi would change – forever.


drummers that have awed the world and captured the hearts and minds of anyone that has had the privilege of seeing them perform is deeply rooted in the traditional Kirundi culture.

This is the reason why this experience needs to be explored further; but to do this, one needs to come to Burundi to experience it all for themselves. The geographical position of this country makes it easier to move in and out. Its relative small size also makes it very easy for one to travel from one region to another. The road network in Burundi is surprisingly good as all regions are linked to Bujumbura with a tarmac road.

Our Beautiful Burundi

The views of the Burundian countryside are mindsketching. The flora and fauna found within this country is also amazingly diverse as most of the countryside and the national parks have remained virtually untouched for many years.

Guests from God

While the country is not teeming with the diversity of wildlife found in Kenya’s Maasai Mara or have towering mountain peaks like the Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, this beautiful country has a secret treasure that is yet to be fully discovered and appreciated by the outside world – its people. The Burundian people are such a warm and hospitable people. To them, they consider visitors as guests from God and because of this attitude, they value visitors. They are open-minded and are not afraid to speak their mind. And when they smile and laugh, you know it comes from the bowels of their hearts.

Traveling to Burundi, whether for business, leisure or just to feed a curiosity would, in my honest opinion, be one of the most eye-opening travels one would ever make. I promise you, a visit to this destination will most definitely change the perception of one’s view of not only Burundi and Burundians, but the world too. It is only by visiting Burundi that the false perceptions that people have harbored for many years and the negative myths that people tend to believe and spread about Burundi would change – forever. And once you visit, it is upon you and every other traveler who has experienced the beauty of this Burundi and its people to inform the world of what Burundi has to offer so that the world can also get to experience our Burundi; our Beautiful Burundi.

Aside from this, the people of Burundi boast an amazing cultural heritage that is begging to be experienced.

Come on a journey of discovery, and tell the world of your Burundi experience.

It is now an open secret that the famous Burundi royal

Denis GATHANJU, Publisher






Burundi is Back; Open for Business;

Come & Discover Burundi has made strides over the last three years in highlighting and showcasing its tourism potential both internally and externally. The country has over the last few years been on a charm offensive with a view to letting the world know of its tourism potential.





Beautiful Burundi publisher Denis GATHANJU sat down for an interview with two women leaders who have a passion for driving Burundi’s tourism sector to the next level. They are Carmen NIBIGIRA, the new Director General at the National Tourism Office of Burundi and Ms. Lyse BIZINDAVYI, the President of the Hotel Association of Burundi. The two agree on a number of issues key amongst them being the re-branding of Burundi and working on a new lobby group within the Burundian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to bring about positive changes and influence policy shapers to help spur the growth and development of tourism in Burundi. Excerpts: Denis GATHANJU (DG): First and foremost, congratulations on your new appointment as the Director General at the National Tourism Office of Burundi. What can we expect from you and your team? Carmen NIBIGIRA (CN): Thank you very much. My goal and that of my team is to work closely towards achieving our common goal which is to enhance the image of Burundi first and then going further to helping the tourism industry in Burundi get on its feet. We plan on doing this in a number of ways. First, we want to work closely with the private sector players in Burundi. They have invested heavily in the industry and we need to play an interface role as the public sector to ensure that tourism in Burundi takes off. We are also looking at helping implementing the tourism strategy plan that was first formulated in 2011 and adopted in 2012. We are now at the implementation stage of this tourism strategy and we want to concentrate our efforts,





have believed in themselves and in their country again and they have been the biggest investors in the hospitality industry to date. It means that the Burundian investors can see not only the value of helping grow tourism in the country, but are also alive to the potentials of tourism development in the country. Over the last five years, we have seen a remarkable increase in investments in this sector so much so that the bed capacity in Bujumbura has more than tripled in under five years, yet the demand is still there. Currently we have a total capacity of about 2,500 beds across Burundi of which 1,500 beds are in Bujumbura alone. And we are looking at growing this capacity in the near future. DG: I guess the other critical thing that you will also have to address is the standards of not only the facilities coming up, but also the service standards and the skill levels of the personnel working in the industry. CN: That is absolutely true and this is an area that we are taking very seriously. while working hand-in-hand with the private sector, towards achieving a common cause; getting Burundi’s tourism on its feet. DG: As the private sector of Burundi what does this mean for you? Lyse BIZINDAVYI (LB): It means a lot and we embrace this opportunity. For a long time in Burundi, the private sector has been relegated to the sidelines, but now it is being appreciated as a key economic driver of the Burundian economy. We welcome the initiative from the National Tourism Office of Burundi towards a close working partnership that will allow us to work harmoniously for the sake of opening up not only tourism in Burundi, but other sectors of the economy as well. DG: What is the current state of private sector participation and/or investment in the tourism sector in Burundi? LB: I would say it is immense. I mean the hospitality sector in Burundi was virtually non-existent for many years because of our troubled past, but the beauty of it all is that Burundians



As we speak, we are looking at having a grading mechanism for the existing hotels in Burundi. The fact that we are still a young industry makes it easy for us to come up with these guidelines and enforce them. We will be working closely with existing investors and help new investors in the sector abide by the set standards. This, we believe, will go a long way into raising the standards and quality of the establishments in Burundi. But we all know that the hardware (the hotel building and all its amenities) cannot function without the software (the personnel). That is why are also placing an emphasis on training and capacity-building for the personnel that will be working in the hospitality industry. They need to match best practices elsewhere in the world and be guided by a professional code of conduct. LB: Service standards in Burundi are still very raw and we are looking at improving on them by roping in the investors so that they can attach the value of proper, professional training for their staff. This, we believe, will go a long way into improving service standards across the board. We will also be working closely with the tour operators in Burundi to ensure that they go for training workshops that will equip them with the necessary skills to provide superior



services to tourists. We need to make sure that they are knowledgeable about the destination they are selling and what it has to offer so that tourists can get to experience the best of Burundi. For us to do this, we will also be partnering with the government of Burundi and other stakeholders both in Burundi and from elsewhere in the region. DG: Burundi, for the first time, participated at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo with the sole message of playing a complimentary role in regional tourism. With the new drive for the tourism industry in Burundi, how do you expect to go about this? CN: Our tourism sector is still at the nascent stages of development. Burundi is one destination amongst others in East Africa, but let me make it clear that we are not seeking at competing with Kenya or Tanzania or any other destination within East Africa, no. Ours, will be a path that will be slightly different, but still aimed at developing tourism in Burundi.





First and foremost, we want to be the event capital of the entire region. I think I would be failing in my vision if I cannot bring events to Burundi. And I say events because Burundians are known for their warmth and hospitality and have a free spirit that makes visitors feel at home. And for this reason, we want to bring East Africa and the world to Burundi.

sector in Burundi in terms of lobbying for policy formulation and implementation on the side of the Burundian government so as to help drive our agenda of growing tourism and other sectors in Burundi.

And while at it, we want people to venture further into the countryside and discover more of Burundi.

DG: Word out there is that there are still some stereotypes that still regard Burundi as an unsafe destination. Travel advisories from the usual suspects, the US and the UK, are not helping either. How do you plan on addressing these issues?

LB: And to build onto that point, we as the private sector are keen on furthering this by actively lobbying the government and other policy shapers in Burundi. Under the Burundi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we will bring together a team that will be the voice of the private



This is fundamental as it will help us achieve more and make us work together to bring about the desired results.

CN: I beg to differ with the stereotypes. Burundi is a safe and secure destination. Period. We have a comprehensive peace agreement signed since


2005 and we have also successfully held two elections since then. This is a clear indication that Burundi is a peaceful country. It is however, unfortunate that some people still want to see Burundi through its past, but the truth is that the worst is behind us and we are matching towards a better and brighter future. Our sights are trained on consolidating on the gains we have made over the last decade or so and rebuild our image. It is a long process that everyone in Burundi is keen on helping achieve. Unlike in some other places in the world where tourists are kidnapped and the like, we have not seen such incidents and other security-related threats on tourists in Burundi. LB: Skeptics are all around us, but they cannot stop us from doing what we are doing in Burundi at the moment. Look around, most of the investments that have been made here in Burundi are by the locals. That in itself is a big statement that we as Burundians are here to stay and we are not going anywhere. We know and understand that peace and safety starts with ourselves.

behind, or not keen to join. What is your take on this? CN: Burundi remains a part and parcel of the East African Community and we remain true to the spirit of regional integration and co-operation. Burundi is strongly committed to implementing the single tourism visa for East Africa. However, cannot join the single visa regime just for the sake of it. We still had some housekeeping issues at home that needed to be addressed first before we can join the single East African tourist visa.

Burundi remains a part and parcel of the East African Community and we remain true to the spirit of regional integration and co-operation.

We have embraced our present and we are marching to a better tomorrow for Burundi. Investors and visitors cannot come to Burundi if Burundians do not believe in themselves and the future of their country; we believe in us; we believe in Burundi and everyone else is invited to come experience Burundi. DG: Would you still hold that thought noting that Burundi is headed to a general election in 2015? CN: Absolutely yes. I mean, we have already successfully held two peaceful elections. So what is going to stop us from holding a third peaceful election? DG: There single East African tourism visa regime has been an emotive subject that has elicited passionate, and often, heated debate from across the region. Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have gone on to implement the single visa regime while Burundi and Tanzania appear to have been left


Key amongst these issues is a centralized mechanism which would be able to register all visitors coming into Burundi at all entry and exit points. This facility has come online just recently. We still have a few other requirements that we need to fulfill before we can finally join Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and hopefully Tanzania. LB: As the private sector, we think it is prudent that Burundi moves in step with the rest of the region.

The single East African visa is one such area that Burundi needs not to be left behind, especially at this critical stage when we are in the process of developing our tourism product. The impeding requirements that need to be met, then need to be addressed with urgency so that Burundi joins the single East African visa region as soon as possible. As the private sector, we will continue to lobby the government on this matter so that any pending requirements are fasttracked so that Burundi joins the single tourism visa in the quickest time possible. DG: Your parting shot on tourism in Burundi. CN: Burundi is back and it means business; the final investment frontier in the region. LB: I dare the skeptics and all those that have not been to Burundi to come visit; they will see a different Burundi – a safe, peaceful and beautiful Burundi.






Climate In Burundi

Burundi has a tropical climate with wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons that run from June to August and December to January, and temperatures that range based on the altitude between the warmer lowlands and the higher and more comfortable plateaus. With a tropical highland climate, the difference in altitude causes temperature variations from 16 – 23 degree centigrade. The central plateau enjoys pleasantly cool weather, with an average temperature of 20 degree centigrade; the area around Lake Tanganyika is warmer, averaging 23 degree centigrade; the highest mountainous areas are cooler, averaging 16 degree centigrade.

Local Customs

The respect for Burundi elders is very strong. Although casual dress is accepted more conservative dress is preferred, especially in business situations. Ask for permission before taking pictures of locals, and show respect for local customs, especially in rural areas where visitors are even less frequent.

The Food

Burundi cuisine is from the rich volcanic soils with beans, cassava, sorghum and corn. Fresh fish from Tanganyika is a culinary delight. The national dish is beef brochettes (kebabs) and grilled plantains (cooked bananas) available almost everywhere. Most hotels have international cuisine with South Asian community offering curried dishes alongside the traditional rice & beans plus Frenchinspired European offerings. Snacks include samosas, skewed meats, bananas and fresh fruit.

Visa And Health

A valid passport and visa are required for entry. Visitors from certain countries, though, are exempt from visas. Check with the Burundi mission in your country before you travel. Visas are issued at Burundi missions abroad and at entry/exit points as well.





Flights And Transport

Bujumbura International Airport is the country’s main airport. It is served by a host of international airlines as follows: SN Brussels 2 flights/week from Brussels Kenya Airways/KLM 4 flights daily from Nairobi/Amsterdam South African Airways 3 flights/week from Johannesburg Ethiopian Airlines 1 flight daily from Addis Ababa Air Uganda 3 flights/week from Entebbe Rwandair 3 flights/week from Kigali Buses are the connection to the main cities of Bujumbura, Bururi, Cititoke, Gitega, Muyinga, Ngozi and to Rwanda. Minibuses and taxis operate with the cities/towns. You can also take ferries on Lake Tanganyika.

Health and Immunization

It is recommended to carry sunscreen and/or insect repellant as well as some antimalarial medication as a precaution. Good medical facilities are available in the country. However, it is recommended that you take out medical insurance before arrival. You are advised to visit your doctor for a check-up at least a month before travelling. Prophylactics against malaria are strongly advised as is mosquito repellent. Drink only bottled or boiled water.

Money and Currency

Exchanging money is easy, with choices between the banks and exchange bureaus in all large towns, although the

rates are more favourable in the capital city. Larger denominations fetch better rates. Local banking hours are open weekday mornings only. Credit cards and traveller’s checks have limited acceptance outside the larger hotels in the capital. The Burundian Franc (BIF) is the official currency

Where To Stay

Burundi has several international level hotels in the towns/cities from luxury to budget accommodation.


Burundi has a flourishing craftsmanship with unique delicate and attractive shapes, talented artists carve sceneries on wooden boards and paint landscapes with beautiful shaded background, and these make

lovely souvenirs. The cities/towns have shopping areas to buy any necessities you may need.


Among the sites to see are the Parc des Reptiles, a large park and zoo with the nearby Geological Museum displaying fossils, the Musee Vivant, a reconstructed open-air village displaying the culture of Burundi, and a market selling handicrafts and local art. Visit the national parks Kibira, Ruvubu, take botanical trails in the natural reserves of Rusizi, Bururi, Vyanda, Rwihinda Lake, Nyakazu Break and the Karera Falls. Take nature walks in the forest reserves of Roumonge, Kigwena and Mugara. Enjoy the thermal waterfalls in the Mugara forest reserve and the beaches of Tanganyika for a welcome rest, swim and boat ride.






Bugabira Giteranyi






Gitobe Vumbi


















Kigamba Bugenyuzi




Mishiha Buhiga
















Makebuko Itaba






Mugamba Bugarama











Isale Ndava








Rutegama Kiganda










Mbuye Mubimbi


















Muruta Buganda

Muyinga Gasorwe


























Buyengero Burambi




Rutovu Rutana



Bururi Rumonge





Makamba Kayogoro




Nyanza-Lac Mabanda








Executive Committee of the Department of

Hotels&Tourism of Burundi

Hotels& Tourism of Burundi BIZINDAVYI Anne Lyse



Vice President





Secretary General


Commissioner for Training and Develop projects and Programs

Commissioner for Training and Communication





Commissioner for Hotels

Commissioner for Restoration and Related Matters

Commissioner for Travel Agencies

Commissioner for Tours and Operators







Set to go on a

charm offensive Burundi has truly turned the corner and is looking at making greater strides towards enhancing its image abroad while at the same time improving on its service and product offering abroad. After a stellar performance at the last three editions of the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, Burundi is positioning itself on a charm offensive that is geared towards attracting more business and leisure tourists to visit the country. Boulstered by a new team of tourism officials at the National Tourism Office, Burundi will in 2014 embark on a serious drive aimed at re-branding its image locally, regionally and internationally.




Burundi dazzles at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo

The third Magical Kenya Travel Expo hosted annually by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) was a huge success by all measures. During this edition, the KTB, for the first time invited national tourism boards from within the region. Burundi, as a member of the East African Community (EAC) saw this as a wonderful opportunity through which the country could get to showcase its tourism potential to the rest of East Africa with a view to providing a complimentary tourism product. The main highlight of Burundi’s participation at the Magical Kenya

Travel Expo was in no doubt the dazzling performance displayed by the famed Burundi royal drummers on the opening day of the expo. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta who officiated at the official opening of the expo, was so captivated by the performance of the Burundian drummers that he personally invited them to perform at the Kenya@50 celebrations. Burundi also hosted an elaborate gala dinner at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi for travel and tourism professionals from Kenya and the entire East African region. The Burundian tourism delegation

was led by Hon. Victorie Ndikumana, the former Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Tourism of the Republic of Burundi. New team to spearhead tourism marketing and promotion for Burundi The winds of change have finally swept through into the National Tourism Office of Burundi with the appointment of a new tourism management team whose sole task is to make Burundi visible in the local, regional and international market place. The team is led by a new director general Ms. Carmen Nibigira, an energetic lady that is rearing to go.






Burundi Fashion Week

The Burundi Fashion Week is the brain-child of Burundian fashion designer Cynthia Mungwangari. The 23-year old is quickly turning into a fashion icon and trend-setter in Burundi with her innovative and trendy designs. According to Cynthia, the Burundi Fashion Week is an annual event that is meant at shinning the spotlight on Burundi’s creative appeal and a platform through which Burundi can be marketed locally, regionally and internationally through a media that is central in all our lives – fashion. The event presents opportunities to budding local and regional young designers and models to showcase their talent. Through her label “Cy-Mun” Cynthia hopes to spread the message that Burundi is open to visitors and investors alike and that creativity thrives in Burundi. Cynthia has over the years exhibited her clothing designs in shows across the region and internationally and through the Burundi Fashion Week, she hopes to attract more local, regional and international designers to showcase their creative designs in Burundi.

Literary contest in English launched in Burundi

A new literary contest has been initiated in Burundi with the aim of encouraging Burundians to take up writing and reading in English. According to Iwacu Press Group, a media organization based in Burundi who are the initiators of the Andika Prize, the literary contest is aimed at encouraging young writers from Burundi to write and talk about the world using the English language. It is through this initiative that young Burundian writers will be able to avail the image and history of Burundi to English Speakers across the world and facilitate Burundians to take part in the regional integration effectively. Andika Prize takes cognizant of the fact that except the mother tongue, other languages such as English, French or Kiswahili are wide tools of communication throughout the world. And because of English is the main language of business in the world today, young writers from Burundi will now be able to write and talk about Burundi to the English world since literature



allows the readers to travel in different places in the world through the written word. Andika Prize is also supported by the US Embassy in Burundi and Trademark East Africa.






Rwanda and Burundi join to protect Africa’s largest mountain forest

Rwanda and Burundi have signed an agreement to establish a transnational conservation area. The newly demarcated area encompasses the largest swath of mountain forest remaining in East Africa. The agreement covers Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park and Burundi’s Kibira National Park, together representing 1,400 square kilometers in the speciesrich Albertine Rift eco-region. This area is home to endangered chimpanzees, owl-faced monkeys, and at least eight threatened bird species. The two parks have come under intense pressure in recent years because of increased demand for bamboo and timber, in addition to lucrative gold and coltan deposits within park boundaries. Bi-national cooperation will aid the policing of poachers and illegal harvesters and will also improve monitoring of threatened species that frequently cross the border between the two countries. Tourism is a major sector in East Africa, and Burundi hopes this conservation agreement will help attract foreign visitors and foreign investors. This conservation agreement is seen as the beginning of a long relationship that will lead to the development of both countries, particularly Burundi, whose tourism sector is just getting off the ground.













Burun at Hea



ndian art


I was charmed by the warmth and hospitality of the people and I decided to stay

I never quite understand how I came here, but I just found myself in Burundi. And what I saw, I loved and I did not want to go back. I wanted to stay here. The warmth of the people of Burundi, I think, is what that really charmed my heart and I could not think of going anywhere else after here. They are genuinely warm and hospitable and this is one of the main reasons as to why I decided to settle here in Burundi and make Bujumbura my home. I first acquired this hotel in 1993, but before I could do anything, civil war broke out in Burundi and I could do nothing until after the peace agreement that ended the war in 2005.

Sharing the warmth and hospitality

During those dark days, the hotel was completely destroyed and I had to start building it from the ground up. Work commenced in 2006 to build a new hotel and now look where we are now.






Tourism in Burundi is still developing and it is a shame that not many people have come to experience this destination. They simply do not have an idea of what they are missing in terms of tourism attractions and hospitality. Simply put; Burundi is the place to be; the home of true African hospitality.




The Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika is one of the best known hospitality brands in Burundi. We take pride in the kind of brand image we have and we protect this with a passion. We are constantly looking for ways of improving on our service and product offerings through innovation, listening to your guests and constantly training our staff to equipment with skills that will enable them do their jobs better and take care of the guests that walk in through our doors. Ours is to share the warmth and hospitality of the Burundian people. Today, the hotel has 110 rooms which also include 20 apartments and suites for longterm stays. We also host numerous meetings and


conferences as we have already two conference rooms and have recently opened a new outdoor conference hall with a capacity of hosting up to 500 people.

Burundi, my adopted home

Tourism in Burundi is still developing and it is a shame that not many people have come to experience this destination. They simply do not have an idea of what they are missing in terms of tourism attractions and hospitality. Simply put; Burundi is the place to be; the home of true African hospitality. My name is Alfredo Frojo. I am an engineer by training, but an hotelier for life. I come from Napoli in Italy, but I have call Bujumbura, Burundi my adopted home. I am Burundian by heart.





Coffee for a cause Helping local communities, one coffee cup at a time

It is due to their love for Burundi that they have teamed together towards a admirable cause that is aimed at first and foremost helping the farmers from rural Burundi by buying their coffee at high prices and helping sell the premium final product both locally and internationally. Though the project is still at its infancy stage, the reception has been immense, especially from both the expat community and Burundians in general. “Burundi has a reputation of having some of the best gourmet coffee in the world. However, the local farmers have suffered for many years at the hands of middlemen and have never reaped the benefits of their hard work in the farms². “We therefore decided to help the local farmers by roasting and marketing their coffee and return a portion of the proceeds back to their cooperatives². ²Then we can sit down with them and agree what we can do with the profits for the sake of improving their lives” say the company’s founders. Igikere Gourment Coffee, buys the coffee beans directly from the farmers, currently from two co-operative societies namely Dusangireijambo from Kayanza and Mboneramiryango from Gitega. Under the Twese (together) Project, at least 10 per cent of the profits from the sale of Igikere coffee will be channeled back to the grass root level to help the local coffee farmers improve their livelihoods.

It is not every day that three people from different backgrounds would converge in a foreign land and come up with a prolonged worthy cause that is helping change lives at the village level on the one hand and generate appreciation and joy on the other hand. I have the pleasure of introducing Igikere Gourmet Coffee. A company that believes that a coffee roasting company in a coffee producing origin country can not only serve the best cup of high quality coffee but also ensure the sustainability and advancement of the entire supply chain it works with. This is a noble initiative formulated by three European women and while they come from abroad, they consider themselves truly Burundian at heart.

In an additional initiative the funds will be supported by 100 Burundian Francs for every cup of Igikere coffee sold at Cafe Gourmand in Bujumbura. Such income would be much welcome and could be used to purchase school books for the village children; drugs for the local dispensary or fertilizer for the coffee trees. It will be however left to the farmers to decide what to do with the capital every year. Igikere is the Kirundi word that means frog and most certainly the company is hopping in the right direction. CONTACT Igikere Gourmet Coffee Tel: +257 79 915975 Info@igikere.com, www.igikere.com







Can you smell the coffee?


Coffee is regarded as the green gold of Burundi. Until a few years ago, Burundian coffee was regarded as a national treasure; the pride of the nation that was celebrated across the world due to its high quality. However, a significant dip in the fortunes of the once vibrant coffee sector in Burundi was witnessed in the second after the government pulled out of the industry. However, the tides are changing and a new wave of change is sweeping across the coffee fields of Burundi, thanks to a renewed interested in the once vibrant sector. And what’s more, more Burundians are adopting a coffee drinking culture and venturing into the coffee business with a view to bringing back the high quality specialty coffee that flew the flag of Burundi sky high.




Memories in just a cup Serving only the best of Burundian specialty coffee Jules Katabizi had fire in his belly that would not let him rest easy until he did something. Having grown up when the coffee boom in Burundi was at its peak, Jules was yearning to bring back those glory years. With a passion for anything coffee, Jules shared his burning ideas with Cynthia Akimana, a hospitality guru who has amassed an extensive experience working for some of the top hospitality groups across the world. Like Jules, Cynthia had a burning desire to do something in Burundi. And behold an idea was born. The two decided to combine their passions; the love for coffee and everything and anything coffee and the love for high service standards. And this is what that gave birth to the lovely BujaCafé. BujaCafé is a trendy, hippy coffee shop in central Bujumbura. It is located in a quiet street in the Burundian capital and prides itself to offering some of the best specialty coffee in Buja if not in Burundi. Says Cynthia: “The main concept behind

BujaCafé is to have a brand coffee shop where we can sell specialty Burundian coffee that brings back the vibe of the Arabica coffee grown in Burundi in the 1980s.”

Rekindling memories

And to ensure that BujaCafé serves only the best coffee, they grow their own coffee so as to ensure the quality of the coffee the serve or sell to customers. And the reception has been amazing. “When we opened in August 2013, most of the people who came here were mainly expats living in Burundi or the Diaspora on holiday in Burundi. But through word of mouth, many more Burundians are coming,” explains Jules. “And when they have our coffee, most of them say that it rekindles their memories of the golden 80s at the height of Burundi’s coffee industry,” adds Cynthia. At the time, many Burundians did not consume coffee, in spite of its sweet aroma. They just grew it and exported it abroad. They basically missed out on tasting some of the best coffee in the world. But today, thanks to BujaCafé, Burundians and other people visiting Bujumbura can get to have some of the best coffee there is.

Contact BujaCafé 32 Av du 18 Septembre +257 78 782080 bujacafe@mail.com






HOTEL INDEX List of Hotels, Restaurants and Coffee Houses in Burundi

A Accolade H么tel (+257) 79 954 301 sabumukama2005@ yahoo.fr GITEGA


Auberge Kayanza (+257) 79926038 paularose00@yahoo.fr KAYANZA B

Best Hotel (+257) 22 22 24 64 sabifeli@yahoo.fr www.besthotelburundi.com BUJUMBURA

Agasaro Guest House (+257) 22 22 36 48 kugasaro@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Bash SPRL (+257) 79 269 196 restaurantlevertdelice@yahoo.com BUJUMBURA

Botanika, Hotel Restaurant (+257) 22 22 87 73 adrien@hotelbotanika.com www.hotelbotanika.com BUJUMBURA

Alexestel (+257) 22 25 39 72 reception@alexestel.com, www.alexestel.com BUJUMBURA Auberge de Ngagara (+257) 77 799 647 kajose@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Baze Lodge (+257) 78 823 457 cbazelodge@yahoo.fr MURAMVYA

Bright H么tel (+257) 22 25 61 88 bugyves65@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA


Benitho Guest (+257) 79932536 BUJUMBURA


DownTown Residence (+257) 78 860 772 BUJUMBURA G Gahahe Hill’s Hôtel (+257) 79 920 288 gahahehotel@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Gloria Guest House (+257) 79 751 995 BUJUMBURA Café Gourmand

C Café Gourmand (+257) 78 180 001 le-cafegourmand@yahoo.com BUJUMBURA Centre Bene tereziya de Gitega (+257) 22 40 20 41 bigirimanabeat@yahoo.fr GITEGA Centre Multifonctionnel de Gitega (+257) 22 40 43 94 nkeshemma@yahoo.com GITEGA Christmas Club (+257) 22 21 47 19 motelresto@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

City Hill Hotel (+257) 22 27 77 87 info@cityhillhotel.com www.cityhillhotel.com BUJUMBURA Clos des Limbas (+257) 22 25 30 00 closdeslimbas2@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA D Dolce Vita Hotel (+257) 79 478 726 hoteldolce@hotmail.fr www.hoteldolcevita.net BUJUMBURA Dorado Hôtel (+257) 79 997 477 doradohot@doradohotel.bi www.dorado-hotel.net BUJUMBURA

Guest House Bang (+257) 79 820 100 KAYANZA H HABESHA Ethiopian Restaurant (+257) 79 926 221 timdorisfr@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Hastotel (+257) 22 23 61 39 hakistan2@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Helena Hotel (+257) 22 40 46 26 helenahotelbdi@yaho.fr GITEGA HIBISCUS (+257) 22 21 97 10 vhibiscus118@gmail.com, BUJUMBURA






Hôtel Ku Karusho (+257)79 883 499 blama24@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Hôtel Albatros (+257)v22 91 80/82 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Amahoro (+257) 22 24 75 50 inf@hotelamahoro.com www.hotelamahoro.com BUJUMBURA Hôtel Amajambere (+257) 79 770 631 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Amajambere (+257) 75 45 3925 BUJUMBURA Hôtel aux Bois Fleuri (+257) 77 741 240 hotelboisfleuri@yahoo.co.uk BUJUMBURA Hôtel Beauséjour Iramvya (+257) 79 950 698 info@hoteliramvya.bi BUJUMBURA Hôtel Belair Résidence (+257) 22 25 43 17/18 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Club du Lac Tanganyika (+257) 22 25 02 20 info@hotelclubdulac.com www.hotelclubdulac.com BUJUMBURA



Hôtel Belair Résidence

Hôtel de la Palmeraie (+257) 78 800 000 planetcapital@yahoo.fr www.lapalmeraie-hotel.com BUJUMBURA Hôtel de l’Amitié (+257) 22 22 61 95 hotamitie@cbinf.com www.hoteldelamitie.bi BUJUMBURA Hôtel des Plateaux (+257) 78 475 903 info@hoteldesplateaux.com www.hoteldesplateaux.com NGOZI Hotel Emeraude (+257) 22 27 65 50

info@emeraudehotel.bi www.emeraudehotel.bi BUJUMBURA Hôtel Indava (+257) 79 992 057 birikuzochristian@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Hôtel Kigobe de Ngozi (+257) 77 865 606 theo.ndikumana@gmail.com www.hotelkigobe.com NGOZI Hôtel Labrador (+257) 79 924100 GITEGA Hôtel le Bon Air de Ntahangwa


(+257) 77 792 608 bonairhotel@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Hôtel le Bouquet (+257) 78 731 156 hotellebouquet@yahoo.fr www.hotelbelairbujumbura.com BUJUMBURA Hôtel le Chandelier (+257) 22 27 68 04 info@hotel-lechandelier.com www.hotel-lechandelier.com BUJUMBURA

BUJUMBURA Hôtel Residence (+257) 22 25 57 57 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Restaurant Agahimbare (+257) 76 528 260 hragahimbare2009@yahoo.fr MUYINGA Hôtel Restaurant HQ-BP (+257) 76 807 022 ndabahagamyelouis@rocketmail.com BUJUMBURA

Hôtel le Paradis (+257) 22 30 51 09 hotel-le-paradis@cbinet.net www.hotel-le-paradis.bi KAYANZA

Hôtel Safari Gate (+257) 22 21 47 79 contact@hotelsafarigate.com, www.hotelsafarigate.com BUJUMBURA Hôtel Sckojet (+257) 77 733 238 salvasagaba@yahoo.fr www.hotelsourcedunil.com NGOZI Hôtel Source du Nil (+257) 77 757 702 adg@hotelsourcedunil.com BUJUMBURA

Hôtel le Primtemps (+257) 77 819 610 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Métropole (+257) 77 751 079 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Mimoza (+257) 79 954 534 BUJUMBURA Hôtel Rabiro (+257) 79 950 698 hotamitie@cbinet.net BUJUMBURA Hôtel Remhotel (+257) 78 840 415 kanyaanga@yahoo.fr

King’s Conférence Center

Hôtel Royal Palace (+257) 77 745 992 victor.shaka@cogieco.biz BUJUMBURA

Hôtel Water Front de Bujumbura (+257) 22 25 42 00/22 25 47 47 rubeyacecile1@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA








Hôtel Yombe Palace (+257) 79 928 301 sinavyigizegilbert@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA I Iwacu Center Hôtel (+257) 79 965 443 ebavumiragiye@yahoo.fr GITEGA Iwacu Residence (+257) 77 757 270 iwacuresidence@gmail.com BUJUMBURA J Jungwe Residence Hotel (+257) 77 781 694 niyofeli2003@yahoo.com BUJUMBURA K Karera Beach Hotel (+257) 22 24 78 18 habogerard60@gmail. www.karerabeachhotel.com BUJUMBURA Karibu Hôtel 79,935,009 vkaremera@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA King’s Conférence Center (+257) 22 27 36 36 kcc.burundi@yahoo.fr www.kccburundi.org BUJUMBURA





Maison d’Accueil de Kigozi (+257) 77 743 018 ngendarm@yahoo.fr www.benetereziya.com KIRUNDO

Orange Lodge (+257) 22 40 46 66 orange.lodge@yahoo.fr GITEGA

Mathy Lodge (+257) 77 803 550 mathiasbasabose@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Motel Irakoze (+257) 77 774 254 ronkurunziza@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Motel Saint Michel (+257) 77 748 990 nzambcesar@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Mupfizi -Motel (+257) 79 592 578 BUJUMBURA Musumba Hill’s Hotel (+257) 77 701 595 philipb2@yahoo.com KAYANZA N New Parador Residence (+257) 22 25 73 71 info@newparadoresidence.com www.newparadoresidence.com BUJUMBURA Nord-Motel, Kamenge (+257) 79 453 925 BUJUMBURA

OU Be Ben Matana (+257) 79 942 084 antisigana@yahoo.fr BURURI P Pacific Hotel (+257) 77 705 805 kabundag@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Palm City Lodge (+257) 22 24 69 60 anicet.havyarimana@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Pearl Residence Hôtel (+257) 22 27 73 10 pearl.residence@yahoo.fr www.pearlresidencehotel.bi BUJUMBURA Pinnacle Resort Hôtel (+257) 79 923 640 muyinga99@yahoo.com BUJUMBURA R Rama Hôtel (+257) 22 30 40 20 ramahotel09@yahoo.fr www.hotel-rama.com KIRUNDO


Résidence El Manar (+257) 77/78 746 636 augustin.sindayigaya@yahoo.com KARUZI

Shammah Hôtel (+257) 22 27 57 60 shammahhotel2006@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Résidence Ubuntu (+257) 22 24 40 65 conctact@ubunturesidence.com www.ubunturesidence.com BUJUMBURA

Star Hôtel (+257) 75 802 405 augustngoma@yahoo.fr www.starhotel.bi BUJUMBURA

Restaurant le Flamboyant (+257) 78 854 001 immynyankiye@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Starlight Residence (+257) 22 27 32 71 donatienniyowizera@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Resturant chez André (+257) 78 86 40 60 rchezandre@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

Sun Safari Club Hotel (+257) 79 565 728 sunsafariclubhotel@yahoo.com www.sunsafariclubhotel.com BUJUMBURA

Riviera Lodge (+257) 79 946 333 rodivin@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA S Saga Plage (+257) 22 24 15 40 BUJUMBURA Saga Residence (+257) 22 24 22 25 alainrob2003@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA Sangwamahoro Hotel (+257) 22 21 03 44 manibos@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

T Tamotel’s Hotel (+257) 79920191 jndaje@yahoo.fr www.tamotel.bi GITEGA Tanganyika Blue Bay (+257)78 880 000 reservation@tanganyikabluebay.com BURURI Top Hill Residence (+257) 22 25 43 78 tophillhotels@gmail.com BUJUMBURA

Star Hotel

U Umuco Hotel Restaurant (+257) 78 857 869 bizindasca@yahoo.fr RUYIGI V Via Tanganyika Hôtel (+257) 22 24 84 59 kubwa.se@gmail.com BUJUMBURA Village Hôtel (+257)22 25 21 17 villagehotel_bujumbura@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA W Welcome Motel (+257) 79 935 581 gahujos@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA







TRAVEL Great Opportunities Abound Burundi seeks out


As Burundi is working on growing its tourism product offering, the country is also looking at working with the private sector to develop some niche tourism products that will enhance its tourism potential to attract both business and leisure travelers into the country. Under its newly adopted tourism strategy master plan,



Burundi is looking at attracting travelers and investors into three key sub-sectors namely, golf tourism, conference tourism and marine tourism.

Golf resort

The Government of Burundi is looking at attracting investors into these three sub-sectors under a public-private partnership. The Burundian government will in this respect facilitate the establishment of businesses in Burundi that are mainly focused in investing in these three sub-sectors.


Other facilities that the Government of Burundi intends to extend to investors include provision of land to set up the golf course and a convention center in Bujumbura. Investors are expected to establish an 18-hole championship golf resort near the scenic lake region of Kirundo in northern Burundi. Currently, Burundi has only a nine-hole golf course in Burundi and is looking at tapping into the growing golf market. Burundi has a huge population of expatriates drawn from across the world and even though it has a relatively small middle class population, the country is looking at making golf accessible and attract golf players from across the region.

Conference tourism

Conference tourism is one of the biggest drivers of business and leisure tourism in any destination. Burundi is seeking to tap into this market segment under the main theme of: Meetings in the Great Lakes. The country is currently hosting some major international organizations such as the United Nations and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and is looking at attracting more regional and international conferences and trade exhibitions to Burundi. However, due to a limitation of capacity in terms of a large conference and exhibition center, Burundi is not able to attract such meets. Currently, most meetings are held in small conference rooms and halls in major hotels across the capital Bujumbura. The Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika is one of the major venues hosting local, regional and international meetings. The hotel has two conference centers with a capacity of hosting 200 delegates and has recently unveiled a 500 seater conference hall.

Bujumbura International Convention Center

The Kings Conference Center is the other major conference facility in Bujumbura. It has a capacity of hosting about 350 delegates. The proposed Bujumbura International Convention Center (BICC) is expected to have a main conference hall with a capacity of hosting up to 2,000 delegates. The proposed BICC is also expected to have smaller meeting rooms and conference halls as well as a five-star resort. The Government of Burundi has already identified a suitable site on the shores of the Lake Tanganyika just south-east of the city of Bujumbura. Other facilities that will be available is the new Bujumbura Marina.







CafĂŠ Gourmand blazes the trail Is this the

Best pastry Shop

in Africa?





Cafés and pastry shops are opening everywhere in the Burundian capital these days. But one that has stood head over shoulders over its peers is the popular Café Gourmand. The café started three years ago when renowned French pastry Chef Hermann Ferga packed up his bags for Bujumbura so as to be close to his wife’s family in Burundi. His vision was to establish the same high quality standards of service and products as in his native France in Burundi. To ensure that he set high standards in the local pastries business, Hermann imported most of the equipment into Burundi and embarked on an intensive training program for the staff who work at the Café Gourmand. Located in the heart of Bujumbura, the café which also sells Burundian specialty coffee is today one of the most popular outlets in Bujumbura. And it is not only popular with the local expat community, but also with the local clientele. It has also become a popular meeting spot for friends or business partners whereby they can hold a conversation or a business meeting over a cup of coffee. The café is now looking at expanding with the establishment of a catering and take-away outlet at its current location as well as opening another take-away outlet in the Kinindo suburb of Bujumbura. Even though the café imports some of its ingredients from France, it also mainly buys some of produce locally to help support local businesses. It only imports ingredients that cannot be sourced locally or regionally. With the success of its outlets in Bujumbura and in the spirit of regional integration, the Café Gourmand would be looking opening other shops in the region in the years to come with a view of offering its celebrated pastries to other markets.

CONTACT Café Gourmand hervieudavid@hotmail.com Tel: +257 78 635195







Business Bridges

Kenya Ports Authority opens liaison office in Burundi




The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has opened its liaison office in Bujumbura, Burundi to provide dedicated port services to the local clientele. Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, Eng. Michael Kamau presided over the official opening ceremony. Said Eng. Kamau: “This is not a Public Relations Office, we are not here to pay rent and just look like we are doing something, we are here for business, complaints to be resolved and there will be daily monitoring of the performance of this office.”

Growing Burundi-bound cargo Located on the sixth floor of Ultimate Tower along Ngendandumwe Avenue in the Central Business District (CBD) of Bujumbura, the new Liaison office will bring port services closer to the customers by building strong relationships, cultivating goodwill and resolving customer issues speedily. This is intended to increase KPA’s market share and discourage customers from exploring alternative routes.

The opening of the office is a timely and strategic move towards growing Burundibound cargo traffic through the port of Mombasa. The total volume of Burundi cargo through the port in 2013 stood at 72,000 tons compared to 39,000 tons Eng. Kamau pointed out that having handled in the year 2012. This looked at the development represents an increase of 33,000 track record of Burundi tons or 84.50 percent which in the last five years; is the highest growth it was evident that in the transit market. there was a lot of Total transit cargo business potential through the port to be harnessed. increased by 3.4 We are here to serve He equated the percent from you and will do the country to the 6.63 million tons best we can to deliver most suitable in 2012to 6.85 on our promise as launch pad for million tons in a business and to spurring the 2013. a country we are rest of the East friendly to Previously, KPA has and Central Africa been serving transit economies. customers from its “You are very Kampala Liaison office important business and it has become necessary partners to us and we to open the Burundi Office treasure our relationship and that to serve the customers better. The is why we are here,” he noted. strategic importance of the transit market also necessitated the opening of another The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by KPA liaison Office in Kigali, Rwanda in the Burundi Minister for Transport, Public July 2013. Works and Equipment Honourable Eng. Deogratias Rurimunzu and the Charge The liaison offices are intended to provide d’Affairs, Kenya Embassy, Burundi, Ms. the same service levels and functionality as Njamba Kinyungu, KPA Chairman Hon. the Inland Container Depots to match up Danson Mungatana, KPA Managing to the services offered at the Headquarters. Director Mr. Gichiri Ndua among other senior officials.






with the stakeholders to enhance handling of transshipment cargo at Addressing guests during the opening ceremony, Eng. the Port of Mombasa. Michael Kamau reassured the Burundi business community that the Government of Kenya (GoK) takes business Also present at the official opening of the KPA Burundi Liaison seriously and hence the ongoing implementation of various Office were the General Manager Corporate Services Mr. Justus measures to maintain sustainable port efficiency and the Nyarandi, the Head of Marketing Mr. Edward Kamau, the Burundi and Rwanda KPA Resident Liaison Officers Mr. Mohamed Juma entire northern corridor. and Ms. Cynthia Kamau respectively. He noted that cargo clearance period had reduced to five days from nine while the transit time from Mombasa to Malaba had gone down to five days from the previous 13 days.

Port Efficiency

Eng. Kamau pointed out that the measures implemented to enhance port efficiency and movement of cargo along the northern corridor were bearing fruits. He said so far there was consistent cargo tracking system along the corridor particularly on the Kenyan side. He noted that there was no more scanning of transit cargo in Kenya but hinted of the need for the same requirement or stripping of containers on arrival as a means of protecting the interest of citizens of transit countries.

Saving costs and time

The Cabinet Secretary urged Burundi people to optimize the usage of the new liaison office at their door step to reduce costs of doing business with the port of Mombasa. He added that the liaison office will facilitate dissemination and verification of relevant port and corridor information thus minimizing the need to travel to get the same from Mombasa. Said he: “The liaison office will facilitate online payments of port charges from Bujumbura saving you costs and stress in travels and unnecessary time in money transfers.” The KPA Chairman Honourable Danson Mungatana reassured the Burundi Business Community of personalized port service delivery. “We are here to serve you and will do the best we can to deliver on our promise as a business and to a country we are friendly to,” the KPA Chairman explained. Gichiri Ndua, the KPA Managing Director, applauded the Burundi Government and the Burundi business community for their continued patronage of port services which led to Burundi registering a record 84.5 percent growth, the biggest growth amongst transit countries from the region. He also added that KPA had designated space solely dedicated to transit cargo and noted that there were ongoing discussions





Orientalmeets African A culinary journey

It is often said that the way into a man’s heart is through his stomach. Feed him and feed him well and you have a friend for life. And Burundi is about to do just that. Food is celebrated in Burundi. And food is one of the major experiences that people love to experience whenever they go to a new destination. It leaves a lasting memory in their minds. Burundi is famous for its traditional cuisine of mukeke from the Lake Tanganyika.

However, more can be had in Burundi. Meet Deo Bukera, a hotelier per excellence. Deo has more than 30 years of catering experience under his belt. He is passionate about food. To him, food is not just food, it is a form of expression that comes from deep within. In his many years’ experience in the catering and restaurants business, Deo has brought to Burundi a different perspective by sharing a culinary journey through the food that he creates.

He is one that is not afraid to try out new recipes in the kitchen or combine foods from different cultures. In Bujumbura, Deo runs three different restaurants, all catering to a diversified cuisine that has its own distinctive smell and taste. Having spent some time in Thailand, where culinary art is highly celebrated, Deo was inspired to bring the same to Burundi and add an African twist to Thai food. His restaurant La Citronnelle Thai in Bujumbura serves food with a heavy Thai influence but is topped by a heavily distinctive African themed restaurant; a perfect merger of two different cultures that is deeply felt in the taste and smell of the food.







Untapped investment opportunitiesin Burundi Incentives make it easier for businesses to incubate, turn profits

With a thousand hills, Burundi is a marvelous country. It is an almost ever green Country offering contrasting landscapes that range from wide open plains and to mountainous terrain. The country is dotted with large natural forests and parks where

A variety of flora and fauna abound.

A favourable investment climate buoyed by incentives such as tax waivers, rebates and ease of doing business are some of the new drivers of the national economy that are helping attract more investors into





the country. It is also much easier to register a business in Burundi. It takes a maximum of 24 hours to get a business registered and get all necessary trade licenses at the newly formulated one-stop shop business registration center. The hospitality sector is one of the most targeted industries that offers numerous investment opportunities and a return for investment bearing in mind that the industry is at its takeoff stage. Currently, the tourism and hospitality sector is looking for much needed investments that will not only help bring about competition in the sector, but will greatly help improve on service delivery and raise service standards. Such investments, especially by big regional and international hospitality chains will further help in knowledge transfer and capacity building. Burundi is currently a member state of CEPGL (Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries), EAC (East African Community), COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) which creates a big market pool. With its untapped tourism potential, Burundi is looking at partnering with local, regional and international investors to drive the business and leisure travel market through a number of high profile projects that include the development of a championship-level golf course and resort in the scenic Kirundo region as well as the development of an international convention center just outside Bujumbura to break into the fast-expanding MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector. www.burundi-tourism.com












2014 Heart of Africa


Heart of Africa


For the Love of

Adventure, Nature & Outdoors Burundi Trek can be summarized and understood in three simple words: investment, will and enthusiasm. The tour company came to be based on these three words and the love for adventure, nature and the great outdoors of its two founders Luc Toussaint and Jose Parys. Though originally from Belgium, the two found themselves in the very heart of Africa, Burundi. They were driven here by their collective thirst for discovering new places and engaging in new encounters. And they happily consider themselves as nomads - ever on the move on a journey of discovery. Having seen the amazing potential of Burundi and its raw beauty, the two had a chance encounter with Aegis, whom they regard as one of the best tourism guides in Burundi. And thus an idea to form a tour company in Burundi was born.


Investment is one of the three pillars on which Burundi Trek as a tour company is formed.




Aside from the investment on local knowledge and acquiring necessary skills and information, the three partners have invested in 4x4 heavy duty vehicles that are guaranteed to take their visitors anywhere in Burundi. From the paved roads of Buja the capital city, to the rough roads of rural Burundi to the sometimes muddy terrain of the unspoilt game parks and nature reserves that are the pride of Burundi.


While Burundi has many strengths, value and tourist interest are directly proportional to the will and energy to do the job. A will to succeed and a will to ensure customer satisfaction is what is at the core of Burundi Trek. This is realized through a proactive approach to what Burundi Trek does; by developing diversified and customized tour packages and excursions both in Burundi and in the wider East African Community region.


To create and develop successful tour packages, it takes both courage and optimism which is underlined by a strong sense of passion for the task. At Burundi Trek, we want to spread this passion and enthusiasm and allow our guests to experience it and share it through a number of packages such as photo safaris. These can be had all across Burundi, from the sandy beaches of the Lake Tanganyika, to the plains of the Bururi Nature Reserve to the riverine region of the Rusizi River delta. We can also organize cultural tours, nature walks or hiking expeditions all across Burundi. All activities are organized on request and can be tailored according to expectations and requirements of the traveler. We also offer exciting primate tours that will allow our guests an “encounter with gorillas�. This package will take guests across the border into the Kahuzi –Biega National Park in the South Kivu region, about 200km from Bujumbura for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the lowland gorillas.

CONTACT Burundi Trek Tel: +257 78 98 88 88 www.burundi-trek.com






THINGS TO DO in Bujumbura

Catch the magical sundowner Nature puts on a show unlike no other. And when it does, it does not do things in halves. The sight of the tropical sun rising in the morning or setting in the evening is a spectacular show by Mother Nature. Sundowners in Bujumbura are spectacular since they complement the city’s three greatest natural assets; the blue waters of the Lake Tanganyika, the mountain ranges on the shores of the lake and the flat plains on which the city of Bujumbura sits.



And the best way to enjoy this magical sundowner is to climb another hill. Bujumbura sits sandwiched between the Belvedere hills in Burundi and the mountain ranges of Uvira in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. And it is from the Hills of Belvedere that one can watch the giant fiery ring that is the sun, shine its golden rays onto the blue waters of the Lake Tanganyika as it gradually dips lower and behind the blue-black mountain ranges of Uvira. The view from the Hills of Belvedere also provide a stunning view of the city of Bujumbura below as day turns into night and the city lights of Bujumbura come one.


Jogging along in Bujumbura I have never seen a people that are as conscious of their physical shape as the people of Buja. In the mornings, you will see them, in the early afternoon, you will see them and even in the early evening you will see them. On weekends, you will see even more of them. I mean the joggers of Bujumbura. From ordinary next door neighbours, to university students, to a young couple to businessmen

and professionals, to military generals, politicians and diplomats. Bujumburans (the people of Bujumbura) love jogging. Aside from the favourable weather and a quest for physical fitness, I reckon that Bujumburans love jogging because of the variation of the city’s terrain. The terrain varies from flat plains and gradually climbs into a steep slope up the hills. The relative safety of the city coupled with its wide streets and boulevards also makes it safe for joggers.






Go to the markets The city of Bujumbura is cosmopolitan in nature. There people not only from the villages, but from neighbouring countries and others from far and beyond. But shopping in Bujumbura, as in many other African countries is an exciting experience all together. And going to the market would be the ideal way of experiencing this vibrancy first-hand. Whether shopping for every day essentials such as fruits and veggies in the local market or looking for something more distinctive such as the African fabric, the whole shopping experience is deeply satisfying and also fun doing. Shopping in Bujumbura, like in most other cities in Africa,



is all about negotiating the prices downwards if you are the buyer and convincing the seller that you have given them the best deal. This is what makes shopping so much fun. The African fabrics market in Bujumbura will have the shopper spoilt for choice. The fabrics come in all shades and colours imaginable. And they also come in all manner of texture and materials, from nylon, to cotton to silk to waxed fabrics, the shopper is indeed spoilt for choice. Aside from fabrics, Bujumbura also has a crafts market from where you can buy locally handcrafted gifts for yourself, friends and family. There are also plenty of Congolese crafts such as traditional African face masks and wood carvings. Also found within the crafts market is a wide range of African baskets.


MusĂŠe Vivant The National Museum or MusĂŠe vivant in French is amongst the must-visit places while in Bujumbura. The museum was first established in 1977 so as to help conserve and showcase the Kirundi traditional culture. Today, the museum helps showcase the very best of the Kirundi cultural, natural and artistic heritage. The museum is situated in a vast park within the Rohero Commune of Bujumbura. There are guides who are on hand to not only guide visitors around this cultural and nature park in the heart of Bujumbura, but will also offer informative and educative talks on the cultural heritage of Burundi. The cultural village boasts a traditional Kirundi royal palace. Here, visitors can get to sample traditional Burundian

cultural artefacts and handicrafts that come from all parts of Burundi. There is also a section known as the natural house or Maison de la nature in French where visitors can get to see some kinds of traditional tools used by Burundians during the royal era. On display are also some pictures of former Burundian kings. The park also has a wide range of wildlife that can be found in Burundi. They range from giant crocodiles to slithery snakes, some birds, chimpanzees and even a leopard. There is also an aquarium stocked with some fish varieties found in the nearby Lake Tanganyika. There are entry charges. Adult Burundians pay (Burundian Francs) BIF 2,000 while children pay BIF 1,000. Foreign adults and children pay only BIF 5,000 and BIF 2,000 respectively.







Road to the


Experience the grandeur of Burundi by road

Road trips; by far some of the best ways of getting intimate with any destination. I first caught the road trip bug when I bought my first car – a beat up 1975 Volkswagen Beetle. It was so beat up that I could see the tarmac as it crawled the streets of Nakuru town in Kenya’s Rift Valley. I often wanted to go further and make a discovery of this our great nation, but my dear Betty, as I



called the lovely Beetle made walking on the highway look so attractive. Anyway, that is a story for another day. Soon, I managed to upgrade to a more powerful, but better vehicle in the form of a Subaru Legacy and the world opened up for me like never before. I would driver further and longer and in turn, I got to see my own country like I had never seen it before. From those early experiences, I found out that road trips


tend to open a destination to the eyes of the traveler in a much deeper fashion; they afford the traveler a more personalized look at the landscape; and the destination tends to open up more and reveal itself even more to the traveler. There are mainly two types of road trips; the self-drive road trip and the public transport road trip. Both have their pros and cons. The main advantages of the self-drive road trip is that it affords the traveler frequent stops to either soak in the views or stretch the legs and catch a lungful of fresh air. The traveller also gets to dictate the pace of the trip and can drive off the main road and follow the dirt road that leads to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere and so on.

Intriguing public transport

Public transport does not afford the traveller any of these benefits, but its greatest asset remains in the fact that it affords the traveller a more genuine look and feel of the destination. It affords the traveller a genuine interaction with the locals in their natural environment; and they tend to be very unpretentious. Africa offers, by far, the most intriguing public transport road trips in the world. I dare say so for one, and only one, reason: Nowhere else in this wide world would you find the kind of colour, vibe and contrasts in the public transport than here in this our Africa. And you need not move from one country to another to see this contrast, in some places, you only need to cross the street and you are ushered from a world of order across the street to total chaos and disorder in the next street. It then gets the more interesting when

you travel across regions, provinces, states or countries. In one instance, the traveller will travel in a comfortable bus with, say air conditioning and free bottles of water, but then transfer to a beat up minivan whose doors can hardly close and its body work is a living testimony that the vehicle has seen better days. But the greatest treat for the traveller travelling on public transport is the interaction with the local travellers. The locals are unpretentious and are busy minding their own business. Hardly will they notice the lost or bewildered traveller as they are busy checking if their trade wares have safely been loaded onto the bus; the market traders are busy trying to sell their wares to the travellers; the touts are busy looking for one more passenger to squeeze between the small wooden chair near the door; while the driver is multitasking by revving up the engine and hooting endlessly while he chews on a sugarcane on one hand and shifting through the radio stations on the dust-covered stereo with his other hand. This is the nature of public transport in Africa; shambolic at times, orderly at

other times before chaos sets in again. It never seems to be quiet and every time is a rush hour; someone is always in a rush to get somewhere; while others seem to have all the time in the world. And when finally the bus gets moving, there are moments that will occasion a rare chit chat between two passengers sitting next to each other; and soon, what started as small talk between total strangers turns into a friendly chat. And they will talk about anything and everything; from the weather, to politics; to business. And soon, there is a smile, followed by nodding of heads before hearty a laughter cracks through the air. And soon, everyone is talking; talking the African way – with emotion, passion and enthusiasm.

A symphony of colours

The seven-hour trip to Bujumbura, the commercial and administrative capital of Burundi takes us through hilly terrain that opens up to breathtaking views of deep valleys below and jagged mountain tops dotting the horizon. Giant eucalyptus trees carpet the hillsides from the base to the top and









shoot upwards to the deep blue sky above. The landscape all around is covered in a lush carpet of greenery of different shades; from lime green, to jungle green to sea green. And there are other colours too; from the blue flowers of the jacaranda trees, to the cherry red of the ripe coffee berries on the coffee bushes, to the earth-coloured waters of the rivers and streams at the bottom of the hills and cliffs. It is a symphony of colours. The bus races down the hillside covered on either side by large banana plantations. We pass through bustling rural market places and as the bus slows down at speed bumps, the village people swarm onto the bus like bees. In their hands, they clutch all manner of wares, mostly food stuffs; from tomatoes, to freshly picked strawberries and mushrooms, to mangoes and bunches of ripe and raw bananas.

Buja is calling

We drive through a small village and we find some children playing by the roadside. For them, this is the best place to be. They are covered in dust as they play football in a small dusty field near the main highway. I smile to myself as memories flood my mind and take me back to my boyhood days playing street football in the dusty estate streets with my friends. And we were just like them, football and play dominated our boyhood days and all else did not matter.

And there are other colours too; from the blue flowers of the jacaranda trees, to the cherry red of the ripe coffee berries on the coffee bushes, to the earth-coloured waters of the rivers and streams at the bottom of the hills and cliffs. It is a symphony of colours.

Others are carrying freshly roasted goat meat and roasted maize. The mere smell of it makes my mouth salivate. “How much is this?” I politely ask. The young boy smiles back at me and excitedly shouts the price: “Ni igihumbi!” I smile back at him as I reach for my pocket and take out a thousand franc note. Money changes hands and I can finally get to enjoy the inviting taste of freshly roasted maize. And yes, it tastes good. From the corner of my eye, I can still see the young boy standing by the window looking at me. “Murakoze! [Thank You]” I say to him. He smiles back before dashing off to the next customer. After everyone has bought whatever they need, the engine of the mini-bus roars back to life and we continue on our journey deeper into Burundi. We speed through tiny villages on the way.


Finally we get to the edge of a cliff and the landscape on our right suddenly opens up to a huge flat valley below. The view is immense; the foreground is covered with small bushes and trees while the background opens up to the city of Bujumbura that is now covered in mist.

The bus roars down a valley and up a steep incline; we are getting closer to the city of Bujumbura. And again, we come to the edge of another cliff and the corrugated iron roofs of the estates and buildings of Bujumbura become clearer. In the distance, we can see the mass water body that is the Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake. And just across the other side of the Lake Tanganyika, the blue-black chain of the mountain ranges sitting across the border tower above the city of Bujumbura which lies in a flat plain hugging the shoreline of the Lake Tanganyika. The bus snakes its way into the heart of the city and pulls over in front of its main office in the main country bus park in the city. We are finally in Bujumbura. The city fondly known to the locals the vibrant city that is Buja.






IntoreTours (+257) 79 569 908 mbonavry@gmail.com BUJUMBURA

List of Tour Operators A


Augustine Tours (+257) 78 283 273 consultant@augustinetours.com www.augustinetours.com BUJUMBURA

Ecotour Grands Lacs (+257) 79971406 kirombo@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

B Burundides (+257) 22 27 41 66 edobagumako2002@yahoo.fr www.burundides.bi BUJUMBURA Burundi Safaris & Souvenirs (+257) 79 494 394 info@burundisafari.com www.burundisafari.com BUJUMBURA Burundi Tours (+257) 78 508 507 ange.muyubira@gmail.com BUJUMBURA C Catrase S.U (+257) 78 80 08 52 hodariemma@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA




Jodav World Tours & Travel Agency (+257) 71 444 111 jodav2011@gmail.com BUJUMBURA

T F Fantastic Voyage (+257) 22 24 49 fantasticvoyage1@gmail.com www.africafantastic.bi BUJUMBURA G Green Tourism Resorts (+257) 75 969 416 greenresortstourism@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA H Hoste C0.LTD (+257) 79/75 967 808 gatabazi@burundihost.com BUJUMBURA I Ingoma Safaris (+257) 78 735 244 info@ingomasafaris.com www.ingomasafaris.com BUJUMBURA

Tanganyika Tours & Travers Agency (+257) 75 732 272 tanganyikatravels@gmail.com www.3tafrica.com BUJUMBURA Tourist Friends Agency (+257) 78 820 309 info@touristfriends.bi www.touristfriends.bi BUJUMBURA Team Travel Agency (+257) 22 24 24 50 team.agency@yahoo.com BUJUMBURA M Manaf Freighters (+257) 22 24 65 28 manaf@cbinf.com BUJUMBURA N Nile Travel Agency “NITRA” (+257) 22 21 77 88 nitraagency@yahoo.fr BUJUMBURA

















Redefining the Future of Art For 36-year-old Ange-Noëlle M. MUYUBIRA, the phrase one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is more than a cliché. For her, the phrase has been more symbolic than anything else. The phrase has quite literally breathed new life into a community of artisans and is breathing new life to a vibrant crafts industry in Burundi. Soon after returning from England where she lived for more than 10 years, Ange was troubled by the fact that many artisans in Burundi still languished in poverty. The fact that there was also a shortage of skills made her think even deeper on how she could help turn the tide. To do this, Ange started Kaz’O’zah Art. The word Kaz’O’zah is derived from the Kirundi word Kaz’O’zah which means the future. And quite literally the Art Incubator she initiated would help shape the future lives of many artisans in Bujumbura.





Art incubator

Today, the Art Incubator is helping equip life skills to a wide range of people, many of whom coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. “Having never gone to school, I did not know what else to do than to beg for money among family members. But I was trained here and today, I can sew and weave and thereby earn a decent, honest living,” explains MarieMy goal is to start a Consortium Gorethe Nizigiyimana of Exportation of Burundi who is a widow and a Art & Craft. Members of this mother of ten children. Consortium will be the graduated

Incubees from Kaz’O’zah Art -who will then have their own businesses with their own trained staff- and other Burundi artisans.

Currently, the Art Incubator is training and gaining new life skills that quite literally are giving a second chance in life to some 35 talented people which include 22 women and 13 men, all of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This social enterprise employs a vibrant team of 7 young professionals in Account, Design, Communications & Public Relations and Administration to promote and support the artisans. “My goal is to start a Consortium of Exportation of Burundi Art & Craft. Members of this Consortium will be the graduated Incubees from Kaz‘O’zah Art -who will then have their own businesses with their own trained staff- and other Burundi artisans. Art, I believe, will contribute to showcase the beauty of Burundi to the world.” a passionate Angel explains. CONTACT Kaz‘O’zah Art 5 Avenue de la Justice, Rohero 1 Tel: 76 508508/78 508507 ange.muyubira@gmail.com





FASHION WEEK She is barely 24 years of age, but she has a passion and a dream to change the fashion industry, not only in Burundi, but in the wider East African Community as well. Meet the gorgeous Cynthia Munwangari, a tall, light skinned former catwalk queen with looks to kill and brains to match. For her, she walks, dreams and talks fashion – African fashion. She is so passionate about fashion that she is stopping at nothing to bring some of the best models and fashion designers from Burundi and the wider East African Community. Cynthia is working on a week-long event that is meant to not only showcase some of the most innovative fashion designers from the region, but bring out a celebration that will focus on African fashion. Dubbed the Bujumbura Fashion Week, the event will be one of the many events that are geared towards turning the city of Bujumbura into the events capital of East Africa between the months of June and August in 2014.

Clothing line

Says she: “I have been involved in fashion for a number of years now. It started when I first worked as a model and I caught the bug and here I am now. I have got my own clothing line called Cy’Mun which is derived from my first and second names.” Cynthia has cut her teeth in the highly competitive fashion business through a number of fashion shows that she has either organized or been involved in one way or another. These have included fashion shows in Nairobi, Kigali, Kampala, Switzerland amongst many other cities. This self-taught fashion diva currently has a fashion store in Bujumbura called Cy’Mun Fashion House and also sells some of her fashion creations through Bold Fashion House in Kampala, Uganda. In spite of her tender age, Cynthia has big dreams not only for herself, but for the budding fashion industry in Burundi and in the entire region. For her, she believes that the first



step will commence with the Bujumbura Fashion Week. “Bujumbura Fashion Week will be part of a larger festival to not only celebrate fashion, but our culture and our food and everything about Burundi and its people. We want to use fashion as a platform through which other people will get to know about Burundi and experience Burundi and hopefully do business in Burundi,” she explains. According to Cynthia, she expects that the Bujumbura Fashion Week will grow in stature over the years to come and will be part of other major fashion capitals in Africa and will become the launch pad of many careers in African fashion.


Passionfor Young designer with a big dream for African fashion
















Annual events set to turn Bujumbura into an events capital Black&White is an organization that was initiated by returning Burundians from the Diaspora. Their sole intention is to organize events that will not only bring Burundians together, but also attract more people from across the East African region and the Diaspora. Black&White started with a first event in 2013 that brought together mainly mature adults over the age of 35 years of age in a Golden Oldies Night at the Club Havana in Bujumbura. They also organized a colourful Valentine’s Dinner at Ego Hotel in the Burundian capital. The brain child of Paco Wege, Bango Reinarhz and Natacha



Ndamama, Black&White targets to have at least four major annual events in Bujumbura. These will include the Black&White event in November whereby patrons will be required to wear black and white clothing. The Valentine’s Dinner event will require couples to dress in red, white or black. The other event includes a beach party on the beaches of the Lake Tanganyika. Dubbed the Buja Festival, the event will take place over a five-day period in July of every year and all patrons will be required to dress in white. The day and night event will also incorporate families with children. Black&White will also organize a Summer Event in June that will celebrate Burundians from the Diaspora.


The Music Buddy

of Burundian Music When you mention Burundi and music in the same sentence, many people, especially from Kenya will think of Kidum, arguably one of the most well-known musical artists from Burundi. But before Kidum came into the scene was one Jean Marie Magloire Nibigirwe popularly known by his stage-name Buddy. Buddy is an Afro-fusion maestro with a wealth of experience playing for numerous bands in Nairobi and Mombasa in the 80s and 90s. But the love for music had been cultivated into his soul. Many a times, he would sneak out to learn playing the guitar

in the sprawling Buyenzi neighbourhood in Bujumbura and soon discovered that he had to make a tough choice between music and school. He chose the former and never looked back. Today, he looks back with a deep sense of pride for what he has been able to achieve in the music industry. Apart from performing in numerous places and even starting the then popular Piano Bar in Kigali, Rwanda immediately after the Rwandan Genocide, Buddy is now busy working on his album. His genre is Jazz and Afro-fusion. He has now set up a recording studio in Bujumbura to help nature the next generation of Afro-fusion artists from Burundi and the entire East African region.







Drummers of Burundi

Dazzling display of skill and rich cultural heritage

When the drums play, you feel the ground on which you are standing reverberate; you feel the bowels of your heart pump harder and you feel the rhythmic sound of the drums sink deep into your heart and energize your entire body. And your mind follows the drum beats in ecstasy. These are the unmistakable Drummers of Burundi.


Music in traditional African folklore, has played a critical role in passing down cultural traditions and knowledge from one generation to another. It was one of the most widely used media in traditional African settings, no matter the tribal community. This coupled with various dances was used in African society as a strong and emotional form of passing messages amongst



and between communities. No African celebration or life moment would be marked without song and dance. And this music and dance had various accompaniments, from the bare rudimentary slapping of dry sticks together, to sophisticated string instruments, perhaps the precursor to today’s guitars. But one instrument has always stood out in almost amongst all tribal communities in Africa – the African drum, popularly known by its Bantu name Ngoma. And when the African drum played, it played with meaning; it spoke words that could only be understood by the community. At times, the ngoma would seem to cast a spell on the tribesmen; and they would quite literally break their bones as they moved in sync to the drumbeats. In often times, it would start slowly and would crescendo to a point whereby the African tribesmen would seem to have lost it totally.


But still, the dance would continue and the tribesmen would speak back to the drum; and an exchange of words, beats and movements would follow. And as suddenly as the drum beats had started, they suddenly stop and all is quiet in the village. And the villagers would scatter back to their village dwellings with the knowledge that tomorrow the drums will play again, but the meaning would be different. Royal drummers The Warundi (Burundian) people were no different. They hosted traditional African ceremonies in which song and dance played a vital role. And like in some African tribal settings, the Warundi were governed by a tribal king who was revered by his tribesmen. Aside from the majesty that surrounded the Mwami, the king of the Warundi people, it was the culture of the drums, which was deeply engrained in the ancient Burundi Kingdom that really stood up. Known in the Warundi kingdom as karyenda, the drums in the ancient Burundi kingdom were played for the Mwami, but only on special occasions such as the coronation of a new king and other important ceremonies such as the birth of a child in the royal family. Symbolism of the drums The drums made from hollowed tree trunks covered with animal skins. The tree used to make these traditional drums is considered a sacred tree and was rarely cut down. The tree known as umuvuga ngoma or the tree of the drum in the Kirundi culture was also planted within the grounds of the royal palace of the Mwami. There are three main drum categories played in the ensemble. The main drum which is positioned smack in the middle of the ensemble is the lead drum. Known as Inkiranya,in Kirundi, the drum dictates the tempo of the dance to the rest of the ensemble. Its main significance is that is royalty or wise leadership in the ancient Kirundi tradition. The drum of medium size. To the left of the main drum is a collection of much larger and heavier drums called the Amashako. Their representation in the Kirundi society was that of elders who helped guide the Kirundi Kingdom through wise counsel. These drums are so large and heavy with some of them weighing upwards of 100kgs a piece. The Amashako drums never vary their beats, they remain constant.






The last drums in the ensemble are known as Ibishikiso drums. They are much smaller than the Amashako and mainly follow the rhythm and tempo established by the Inkiranya. These drums represent the present generation of the Kirundi Kingdom of young warriors who have the energy and courage to not only protect the Mwami, but also the entire Kirundi Kingdom. In the ensemble is also a small drum that is never played. It represents the future generation of the kingdom.

Play the drums

The performance of the Royal Drummers has largely been the same for many years. Like in ancient African tradition, the drum-playing techniques are passed down from father to son. The arrangement of the drums is also symbolic in that they are arranged in a bow-like manner. The entire ensemble is arranged in a curve that curves inwards to symbolize the outline of a bow while the main drum positioned in the middle symbolizes an arrow ready to be shot. The members of the ensemble take turns playing the Inkiranya, dancing, resting, and playing the other drums, rotating throughout the show without interruptions. At the start of their performance, the drummers enter balancing the heavy drums on their heads and singing and playing. Those keen on watching or playing the drums can visit the city of Gitega, which is also the sacred home of the royal drums of Burundi. But if you are in Bujumbura and would like to not only play the drums, but also get a cultural talk on the ancient traditions of the Warundi people and the history of the royal drums, then you need to link up with the Kagenda Riciteme Royal Drummers. The group is one of the most popular traditional



group. Apart from performing at numerous venues across the world, the group put up a dazzling performance and put Burundi on the map at the FIFA World Cup finals in France 1998 and in South Africa in 2010. The group has practice sessions in the Bwiza suburb of Bujumbura every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5pm.


NATIONAL TOURISM OFFICE OF BURUNDI P.O. Box 902 Bujumbura, Burundi Tel: +257 22 22 20 23 Fax: +257 22 22 93 Email: info@burundi-tourism.com Website: burundi-tourism.com

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Beautiful Burundi 2014  

Beautiful Burundi is the Official Tourism Guide for the National Tourism Office of Burundi (ONT)

Beautiful Burundi 2014  

Beautiful Burundi is the Official Tourism Guide for the National Tourism Office of Burundi (ONT)