Last updated: 28 Oct 2020

Burundi

About

Go to the capital port-city of Bujumbura, a bustling town with a population of some 200,000 inhabitants. The area was colonised by Germany at the end of the 19th century, and there is still architecture dating from that period, including the Postmaster’s House.
Stare at a beautiful vista of central plains and the expanse of the former royal city, Gitega, from the mountaintops of the Congo Nile range. Gitega has an exquisite charm of its own, from the Chutes de la Kagera waterfall to its National Museum.

Be seduced by the scenic and fun pleasures of Lake Tanganyika, where (in normal circumstances) cafes and restaurants line the lake. Here, there are some opportunities for watersports, including sailing, waterskiing and fishing.
Capital:  Bujumbura (BJM)
Currency:  Burundi Franc (BIF)
Language:  French and Kirundi. English and Swahili are also widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA:  + 257
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020:

Jan 1; Feb 5; Apr 6; May 1, 21, 24; Jul 1, 31; Aug 15; Oct 13, 21; Nov 1, 2; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to go: May - August
Best For: Cultural Exploration, National Parks
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two rounded pins are usually used.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited and not recommended for international travellers. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social courtesies apply. Dress should be conservative. Outside of the major town, visitors are not common and may be treated with curiosity. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: There are no ATM’s in Burundi and credit cards have limited use, however you can use your bank card at some banks. Road travel can be difficult as most roads are sealed, particularly during military operations and during the rainy seasons. Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Burundi without incurring customs duty:
• 1,000 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco.
• 1L of alcoholic beverages.
A deposit may be required for items such as cameras, video recorders and laptop computers. You should declare currency and cameras upon arrival.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: All commercial flights have been indefinitely suspended. Travellers from affected areas must quarantine for 14 days. 

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of Burundi
20 Glyn Street, Colbyn, 0083
P O Box 12914, Hatfield 0028
Tel: (012) 342-4881/3 Fax: (012) 342-4885
E-mail: ambabusa2010@yahoo.fr  or ambabusa@burundiembassy-sa.org

Visa hours: Mon-Fri 09h00-12h00 for submissions and collections 

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by South African passport holders

• Valid Passport (valid for 6 months. Ensure there are 2 blank pages in the passport)
• 1 Application form (correctly filled)
• 2 passport size photos (recent)
• Valid international yellow fever certificate
• Letter of invitation from Burundi. letter and copy of ID to be certified.
• If travelling on business: A letter from the company in Burundi and SA is to be submitted

Visa Processing Time

No Emergency visas issued
15 working days 

Visa Validity

The visa is valid for one month from the date of entry

Visa Cost

(No SA rand accepted) PAYABLE IN USD CASH ONLY
US$40 - Transit visas
US$90 - all other types of visas

SA Representative

South African Embassy
PO Box 185, Bujumbura, Burundi
Tel: 00 257 222-48220-3 Fax: 00 257 222-49164
E-mail: maboyat@dirco.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever
Recommended:  Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk