Africa > East Africa > Burundi > Burundi Tourism Profile

Burundi: Burundi Tourism Profile

2015/03/09

Burundi,The airport of Bujumbura
 

Travel and tourism slowly on the rise

Burundi has a great transaction to offer tourists, inclunding mountainous landscapes, natural parks, wildlife and access to one of Africa’s major lakes. The country’s travel and tourism industry, however, remains undeveloped and only contributes marginally to the country’s GDP. Visitor numbers have only increased marginally since the peace agreement was set up in 2001 and a lot of still consider the country too dangerous. In comparison with its neighbour Rwanda, a country with a similar sad history of ethnic violence, Burundi is still lingering on the starting blocks at the same time as it comes to attracting tourists.

The government of Burundi is giving priority to the development of the local tourism industry so that the country can win its equitable share of the millions of visitors each year from around the world who want to experience initial hand some of the very appropriate places that abound on the African continent.
The tourism industry in Burundi is serviced by both local and international operators. The capital city is served by international airlines. Some airports as well provide charter services allowing visitors to access remote parts of the country not serviced by scheduled airlines. While the cost of getting to Burundi from Europe, Asia or America is relatively high, local travel costs range from very cheap to deluxe on international scales. International car rental companies are represented.

Opportunities for ecotourism

Ecotourism is a niche area of travel and tourism in Burundi but has great potential to attract visitors. The national conservation areas, inclunding Kibira National Park, Ruvubu and Lake Tanganyika, all offer incomparable natural habitats for wildlife. In addition, the country as well holds a number of flourishing wildfowl lakes, such as the Rwihinda Lake Natural Reserve, which is a sanctuary for migratory, aquatic birds and has strong potential to attract a lot of visitors. Plans by the government to boost nature-based tourism will help open up new tourist areas and, as a result, stimulate increase in tourism in Burundi.

Poor infrastructure hinders tourism sector

The infrastructure in Burundi remains poor and transportation and travel accommodation options for tourists are limited. Substantial improvements to infrastructure are planned, with funding coming from donors inclunding public and private investment . Improvements to power supplies, transportation and communications facilities should all help with the next development of travel and tourism in Burundi. The 20-year infrastructure development plan that was put in place in 2010 by the Burundian government in conjunction with the African Development Bank has done little to improve the situation although the issue is becoming an increasingly significant topic of discussion on the government’s schedule.

Burundi’s peace continues

Intertribal tensions in Burundi have had a devastating result on the country since independence in 1962. A power-sharing agreement was set up in 2001 and, since again, around half a million refugees have returned home. A brittle peace reigns in Burundi although tensions have recently erupted again. This threatens the cautious strides that the travel and tourism industry made in 2011 and 2012.

A single tourist visa throughout the East African Community (EAC)

Despite plans to have it in place by July 2012, the single tourist visa for EAC members has not become operational. The EAC is made up of five nations: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and plans were initially put forward in 2006 for a single visa issued by member national embassies and valid for access to any country within the EAC. The EAC secretariat highlighted the roll-out of the single tourist visa and common passport as one of the top priority projects for 2013. The visa will enable travel within any of the five nations in the EAC, inclunding the possibility to travel between nations without the need for a further visa.

Some of the large American and European hotel chains have a foothold in Burundi has diplomatic representation from several nations.

Travel and tourism slowly on the rise

Burundi has a great transaction to offer tourists, inclunding mountainous landscapes, natural parks, wildlife and access to one of Africa’s major lakes. The country’s travel and tourism industry, however, remains undeveloped and only contributes marginally to the country’s GDP. Visitor numbers have only increased marginally since the peace agreement was set up in 2001 and a lot of still consider the country too dangerous. In comparison with its neighbour Rwanda, a country with a similar sad history of ethnic violence, Burundi is still lingering on the starting blocks at the same time as it comes to attracting tourists.

Opportunities for ecotourism

Ecotourism is a niche area of travel and tourism in Burundi but has great potential to attract visitors. The national conservation areas, inclunding Kibira National Park, Ruvubu and Lake Tanganyika, all offer incomparable natural habitats for wildlife. In addition, the country as well holds a number of flourishing wildfowl lakes, such as the Rwihinda Lake Natural Reserve, which is a sanctuary for migratory, aquatic birds and has strong potential to attract a lot of visitors. Plans by the government to boost nature-based tourism will help open up new tourist areas and, as a result, stimulate increase in tourism in Burundi.

Poor infrastructure hinders tourism sector

The infrastructure in Burundi remains poor and transportation and travel accommodation options for tourists are limited. Substantial improvements to infrastructure are planned, with funding coming from donors inclunding public and private investment . Improvements to power supplies, transportation and communications facilities should all help with the next development of travel and tourism in Burundi. The 20-year infrastructure development plan that was put in place in 2010 by the Burundian government in conjunction with the African Development Bank has done little to improve the situation although the issue is becoming an increasingly significant topic of discussion on the government’s schedule.

Burundi’s peace continues

Intertribal tensions in Burundi have had a devastating result on the country since independence in 1962. A power-sharing agreement was set up in 2001 and, since again, around half a million refugees have returned home. A brittle peace reigns in Burundi although tensions have recently erupted again. This threatens the cautious strides that the travel and tourism industry made in 2011 and 2012.

A single tourist visa throughout the East African Community (EAC)

Despite plans to have it in place by July 2012, the single tourist visa for EAC members has not become operational. The EAC is made up of five nations: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and plans were initially put forward in 2006 for a single visa issued by member national embassies and valid for access to any country within the EAC. The EAC secretariat highlighted the roll-out of the single tourist visa and common passport as one of the top priority projects for 2013. The visa will enable travel within any of the five nations in the EAC, inclunding the possibility to travel between nations without the need for a further visa.