Home > History > The A-Z that is Africa: Burundi

The A-Z that is Africa: Burundi

The Republika y’u Burundi is in East Africa bordered by Rwanda to the North, Tanzania to the East as well as South and DRC to the west. It is a landlocked country and its official languages are Kirundi, French, Swahili and English.

The Burundi people mainly consists of the Hutus, then Tutsi and Tutsi (Pygym) and Catholicism is most dominant with 61%, 23% protestant and 3% muslim. The capital city of Burundi is Bujumbura and the currency used there is the Burundian franc. Pierre Nkurunzinza, who assumed office in 2005, is the president of Burundi.

Interesting facts:

  • Before independence the country was named Ruanda-Urundi
  • Burundi is right at the heart of Africa and it is a great place to experience natural beauty and cultural diversity
  • It is one of the smallest countries in Africa and it gained independence on 1 July 1962
  • A civil war broke out from 1993 to 2006 between the Hutus and Tutsis ethnicities causing most of the Burundians to seek refugee in neighbouring countries
  • Burundi was ranked as the world’s least happy nation in the world in 2016


People and Culture:

Burundi has to two distinct ethnic groups: the Hutu and the Tutsis. While these cultures have coexisted in the area for centuries and now share a common language and many common cultural elements, they remain separate in terms of group identification.
Burundi’s culture is based on local traditions and the influence of neighboring countries. The culture of Burundi includes mainly songs, dances, stories and legends. Poetry is sometimes recited during social gatherings. Drums play a big part in the music of most African countries, but in Burundi they have an almost spiritual meaning. The world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi, who have performed for over forty years, are noted for traditional drumming using the karyenda, amashako, ibishikiso, and ikiranya drums. Dance often accompanies drumming performance, which is frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings.The traditional clothing is a cloth wraparound called a pagne.


Burundian Cuisine:

Plantain and beans

East African Chapati



Burundian traditional dressing:

Places of interest:

Karera falls

Lake Tanganyika

Blue bay resort in Runonge


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