The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Burundi. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Irish citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
There is a high risk to your security in Burundi. The Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all tourist and other
non-essential travel because of high levels of serious crime and
possible civil unrest. While the security situation has stabilised
across the country, the risk of armed violence, banditry,
kidnapping and cross-border attacks by rebels remains high.
If you do decide to travel outside of Bujumbura, we would advise you to contact the United Nations office in Burundi for the latest security advice prior to travel. The Department of Foreign Affairs advises against all travel to Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza, Citiboke and Ruyigi Provinces as well as the border areas with the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the remaining Provinces we advise against all but essential travel.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency and customs) change regularly. Please contact the nearest Burundian Embassy to confirm prior to travel.
Safety and Security
The general situation in Burundi has started to stabilize following peace agreements between the National Liberation Forces (FNL) rebel group and the Government of Burundi. However, ethnic tensions are still reported, and sudden outbreaks of violence and civil unrest still take place throughout the country. There are still large amounts of small arms and weapons in circulation. Attacks and ambushes by former soldiers, rebel forces, and youth gangs occur frequently.
Muggings at gun and knife point, burglary, and armed car hijackings have all been reported. Precautions should be taken including not walking in the streets after dark, even in Bujumbura city centre, and not carrying large amounts of money.
Overland travel after dark should be avoided. The United Nations advises that travel outside of Bujumbura should take place in a convoy of at least two vehicles.
There is a high risk of kidnapping near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Armed guerrillas operate in this area. Cross-border incursions by rebel groups also occur.
There is a general threat from terrorism in Burundi. Al-Shabab, the group which has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks in Kampala, Uganda which killed over 70 people, have made public threats against Burundi, specifically the capital Bujumbura
Local Laws and Customs
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison sentences. Homosexual acts are illegal. You should request permission before taking photographs of military installations, airports, and government buildings.
The economy is cash-based. Credit cards are not widely accepted. While some ATMs can be found, they are unreliable and not secure to use. Euros and U.S. dollars printed after the year 2003 are the most easily exchangeable currencies.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Burundi has a Tropical/Highland climate
Additional Country Info
The Embassy of Ireland in Dar es Salaam is accredited to Burundi. As there is no Irish diplomatic presence in Burundi, the ability of the Department of Foreign Affairs to assist Irish citizens who get into trouble is severely limited.
Diplomatic Missions and Consular Missions
The Embassy of Ireland in Dar es Salaam is accredited to Burundi. As there is no Irish diplomatic presence in Burundi, the ability of the Department of Foreign Affairs to assist Irish citizens who get into trouble is severely limited.Top