Burundi Travel Information

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Facts About Burundi

Background: Between 1993 and 2000, wide-spread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions in Burundi created hundreds of thousands of refugees and left tens of thousands dead. Although some refugees have returned from neighboring countries, continued ethnic strife has forced many others to flee. Burundian troops, seeking to secure their borders, have intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Government type: republic
Capital: Bujumbura
Currency: 1 Burundi franc (FBu) = 100 centimes

Geography of Burundi

Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 3 30 S, 30 00 E
Area:
total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,650 sq km
water: 2,180 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons from June to August and December to January.
Terrain: hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains.
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Mount Heha 2,670 m
Natural resources: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium, arable land, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 44%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 36%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 8% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 140 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding, landslides
Environment - current issues: soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note: landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile.

People of Burundi

At 206.1 persons per sq. km., Burundi has the second-largest population density in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil. The population is made up of three major ethnic groups--Bahutu (Hutu), Batutsi or Watusi (Tutsi), and Batwa (Twa). Kirundi is the common language. Intermarriage takes place frequently between the Hutus and Tutsis. The terms "pastoralist" and "agriculturist," often used as ethnic designations for Watutsi and Bahutu, respectively, are only occupational titles which vary among individuals and groups. Although Hutus encompass the majority of the population, historically Tutsis have been politically and economically dominant.

Population: 6,370,609 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  46.82%
15-64 years:  50.37%
65 years and over:  2.81%
Population growth rate: 2.38% 
Birth rate: 40.13 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 16.36 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 70.74 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  46.06 years
male:  45.15 years
female:  46.99 years
Total fertility rate: 6.16 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundi
Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Religions: Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35.3%
male: 49.3%
female: 22.5% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Burundi Map Economy History