Explore the Culture of Burundi: 12 Fun Facts You Can’t Miss

Lake Tanganyika

The landlocked country of Burundi in the Great Lakes Region of east-Central Africa is a tiny nation with a staggering range of lakeside beaches, soaring mountains, and various landscapes.

Burundi is rich in cultural traditions and with magnificent scenic views. Here are some interesting fun facts about Burundi.

1. Burundi Has A History Of Two Capital Cities

There are two capital cities in Burundi. Bujumbura, the main port, is also the largest city of Burundi. It conducts most of the country’s exports, such as tin, coffee, and cotton.

President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, 2019, transferred the capital from Bujumbura to Gitega. Unlike Bujumbura, Gitega is located at the center of the country and on the west shore of Lake Tanganyika. It is also the capital of the monarchy in Burundi.

2. Mount Heha Is The Highest Point In Burundi

Mount Heha is the highest point of Burundi, with a height of 2670m in the Burundi highlands.

Located in the rural areas of Bujumbura, the mountain range is 20km east of Lake Tanganyika and 30km southeast of the former capital city.

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If you plan to visit the mountain range, you will experience beautiful scenic beauty with riding and trekking experience.

3. Lake Tanganyika Is The 2nd Largest Freshwater Lake In The World.

The second largest (by volume) and second deepest Lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika, is in Burundi. After Victoria Lake, it is the second largest Lake among the African Great Lakes.

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The Lake is present across four countries; 40% is situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 46% is located in Tanzania. The water flows out to the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo River System.

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John Speke and Richard Burton are the two English explorers named the Lake. Burundi is landlocked, yet, the Lake is nothing less than a coastline. The Burundians often head off to Saga Beach, with its warm waters and clear sands to beat the heat.

4. Former Capital Of Burundi Has The Largest Port

Bujumbura is Burundi’s former capital city, has the country’s largest port, and is on Lake Tanganyika. Built in the 1950s, the tools and equipment might be old, yet in great condition. Bujumbura is expected to become a transport hub in the hope of economic development.

5. 14.6% Of Burundi’s Population Has Internet Access

As of January 2022, there were 1.82 million internet users in the republic of Burundi. The internet use rate stands at 14.6% of the country’s entire population.

An analysis report shows internet users have significantly increased over the years.

6. Cows In Burundi Are A Symbol Of Happiness, Health, And Prosperity

In Burundi, cows symbolize happiness, prosperity, and health. “amashyo” is a common Kirundi greeting, meaning you may have several herds of cattle.

The response to “amashyo” is “amashongore.” It means that you may have several herds of female cattle.

7. Banana Beer Is Popular Among Burundians

Similar to East Africa, the Burundians are popular for brewing banana beer. The beer is made from mashed and fermented bananas and is usually enjoyed in groups with the help of a straw.

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To speed up the process of fermentation, the brewers dig up. A hole in the ground with dried leaves of banana and light them on fire. On the top, they lay the banana leaves and unripe bananas, leaving them like that for six days.

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With the number of nightclubs and bars in the country, the Burundians seem to enjoy it. It also has the highest alcohol consumption per capita in Africa.

8. Burundi Won The First Olympic Medal In 1996

In 1996, Burundi participated in the Olympics and housed medals. The athletes of the country participated in all the Olympic games. However, they never took part in the winter Olympics.

Venuste Niyongabo was the first to win the Olympic gold medal in athletics. Francine Niyonsaba, in 2016, won a silver award in athletics.

9. Ruvubu National Park Is The Largest National Park In Burundi

There are four national reserves, three national parks, and two natural monuments around Burundi. Ruvubu National Park of the country covers 508sq.km and is the largest national park in the country.


Being one of Burundi’s last natural grassland ecosystems, it houses a wide variety of wildlife, including waterbucks, hippopotamuses, baboons, and buffalo. More than two hundred bird species are recorded in the park; it’s a safe haven for bird watchers.

The second largest national park of Burundi is Kibira. It consists of two major tea plantations and covers the Montane rainforest. It is a famous spot with local chimpanzees along with white and black colobus monkeys.

10. “Unité, Travail, Progrès.”” Are The National Slogan

The country’s national slogan translates to Unity, Work, and Progress. Although the two slogans, unity and progress, have been reversely working in the country since its independence, the country is still in its recovery stages.

11. Royal Drummers Of Burundi Are The Most Popular Ambassadors

Burundi is rich in tribal traditions and cultures mainly influenced by locals and neighboring East African communities. Arts and crafts such as masks, pottery, statues, drumming, and baskets are the main hobbies adopted by Burundians.

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The Royal Drummers of Burundi are the most famous ambassadors of heritage. They use ancient instruments such as amashako, ibishikiso, ikiranya, and karyenda. Among these, Abatimbois is a popular ritual performed during official ceremonies.

12. Burundi Has Witnessed Civil War

Burundi consists of three main ethnic groups. The population of Burundi has 85% of the Hutu population and 15% of the Tutsi people. The remaining 1% consists of the Twa community. Led by ethnic violence, Burundi has witnessed a civil war between the Hutu rebel groups and the dominant army of Tutsi. The war caused many civilian casualties, especially after killing the president of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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