About Burundi

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The small country of Burundi is located south of the equator in the Great Lakes Region. The partially associated Lake Tanganyika is the oldest and deepest lake in the world after Siberian Lake Baikal. It extends for 673 km and is on average 50 km wide.

Houses bordering a lake in Burundi

The landscape is dominated by mountains and water.
The hills around the Great Lakes are among the most densely populated, partly because the soil is very fertile due to volcanic activity. The altitudes also ensure a mild climate, despite its proximity to the equator. As a result, the region falls outside the habitat of the tsetse fly, so that good livestock can also be kept there.

The country has a tropical climate, which is strongly determined by altitude and season. There are two dry and two wet seasons annually. The dry seasons fall in the period June-August and January-February. The long wet season runs from March to May and the short from September to November. The average temperature is, depending on the altitude, between 24 and 17 degrees. The average rainfall is 150 cm per year.
In terms of landscape, Burundi has a lot to offer: the green hills and the large Lake Tanganyika, each with its own flora and fauna. The lake also offers a barely realized potential for water fun and sports. The entire coastline between Bujumbara and Nyanza-Lac has been described as the “Burundian Riviera” by a passionate tourist office official.

The Tanganyika Lake coast

Burundi has two national parks: the Kibira National Park in the northwest with alpine rainforest (which in Rwanda becomes the Nyungwe Park), and the Rurubu National Park in the northeast along the Rurubu River.

Burundians carrying their yield

Agriculture is by far the most important economic activity. It is the main activity of about 95% of the population. The main export crops are coffee and to a lesser extent tea, sugar and cotton. In addition to the processing industry for agricultural products, there are modest industrial activities. Burundi has a homogeneous population by African standards: everyone speaks the same language, Kirundi. The largest ethnic group is the Hutu. There are also Tutsi and Twa minorities.

Women in Burundi have long been a disadvantaged group and are often still illiterate. Today, the constitution requires at least 30% of positions in government and parliament to be held by women.