Bujumbura Profile

The capital of Burundi, Bujumbura known locally as Buja, lies on the north eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Originally called Usumbura, it was founded as a small colonial town, however by independence from Belgium in 1962 it had developed into city and port and changed its name to Bujumbura.

During this development the city absorbed outlying villages and even recently the neighbourhoods of Gisenyi, Gihosha, Mutakura and Buterere Gikungu have become part of the city's administration. When the last census was taken in 1990 the population was noted to be 235,440, however with the absorption of these other areas, it is estimated that Bujumbura's population is now probably closer to 550,000.

Although a city, Bujumbura is reported to have a small village feel with a keen sense of disorder. Some of its architecture dates from its colonial past, including the 'Postmaster's House' and its also home to the University of Burundi as well as museums and the Islamic Cultural Centre, together with a vibrant market and of course the docks on Lake Tanganyika.

When visiting Bujumbura check out the Musee Vivant in the Quartier Asiatique and the craft market with its abundance of African art. Bujumbura is also well situated for trips to the hot springs at Rutovu, the Karera Falls, Kibira National Park and the tea plantations at Mount Teza. Bujumbura International Airport is a short distance away.

Check out our interactive map of Bujumbura below and zoom in on areas of interest then watch the video above or the slideshow bottom right to get a good look and feel of the city.

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Location of Bujumbura ~ This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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Bujumbura City is the capital of Burundi and has grown from a small market town in 1889 to now have a population of some 250,000 people then explore Lake Tanganyika and make a virtual landing at the city airport!


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