Bujumbura enjoys a tropical savanna climate and the weather never becomes cold. The months of October to April are the warmest and the heat makes these months ideal for the beach. These are also the wettest months. November to January bring pleasant temperatures and dry days, which are perfect for trips out of the city and into the hills.
Bujumbura is the bustling capital city of Burundi on the shores of Lake Tanganika in central Africa. The city is the main port of Burundi and exports the country’s primary product, coffee. The spectacular setting, on the shores of the second-deepest lake in the world, attracts visitors to fashionable beach clubs next to the water. From these beaches the views of the lake and of the mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the distance are extraordinary. During the day, Karera Beach, located on Lake Tanganika about 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre, is popular with both visitors and locals. In the city itself, there are fine views from the War Memorial, which is a popular place to watch sunsets from. Bujumbura is famous for its many groups of Burundian drummers who stage regular performances. Venues and times are advertised on flyers and posters, or you might come across a group playing at a party or a wedding. A visit to the Rusizi National Park, just outside the city, offers the experience of seeing wildlife on the banks of the river Rusizi. There are hippos, crocodiles and exotic birds in abundance. Nearer to the city, Musee Vivant has a small zoo, including crocodiles and snakes, as well as a replica of a traditional Burundian village. Bujumbura has a variety of swimming pools which are perfect for hot, humid days. The pool at the Hotel Club Lac du Tanganyika is attached to a hotel, but open to the public for a fee. A short drive south of the city is the Livingstone-Stanley memorial, sited where the two explorers are said to have met. There are spectacular views of the lake from the memorial.
Licenced taxis are available all around the city, but make sure you negotiate a price before getting into the vehicle. Local people use mini bus taxis, but using these does require some knowledge of Bujumbura.
Bujumbura International Airport (BJM) serves the city. It is 6.2 miles (10km) from the city centre. Many hotels offer free shuttles from the airport. Taxis operate from outside the terminal building and you should agree a fare before the journey. By road, the journey can take up to half an hour, depending on traffic. Car rental needs to be arranged in advance. Many visitors choose a rugged SUV or 4X4, as the roads outside of Bujumbura can be challenging. Car rental can include your own driver.