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Burundi's small capital lies on a mountainside on the northeast of Lake Tanganyika. From the city you can see a vast range of mountains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the other side of the lake. There are wide sprawling boulevards lined with huge colonial buildings in Bujumbura as well as dirty, crowded suburbs such as Buyenzi and Mbwiza, and shantytowns as seen in many African cities. The capital also has one of the main ports on Lake Tanganyika.

The most unusual feature in the city are the coconut palms growing everywhere, considering Bujumbura is situated more than 1000 km from the nearest ocean. People in the city are quite tall, they are mostly Watusi. Be very cautious walking around in the city as there are a lot of thieves and muggings are common even during the day.

The Islamic Cultural Center and adjacent mosque were donated by Colonel Ghadaffi from Libya. The large buildings are located near the main square and they are beautifully decorated. Performances are held there sometimes. Other cultural centers include the American Cultural Center on Chaussée Prince Rwagasore and the Centre Culturel Française which is across the street.

On Ave. du 13 Octobre, leading down to the Cercle Nautique on Lake Tanganyika, you will find the Musée Vivant, a village, showing the traditional way of Burundi life. Next door is the Parc des Reptiles, where many different reptile species can be seen. Opposite the reptile park is the Musée de Géologie du Burundi (Burundi Geology Museum) that has a good collection of fossils.

There is a public swimming pool in the stadium on Ave. du Stade.

Accommodation has always been difficult to find in the capital, but there are several places where you can set up your tent, such as the Cercle Nautique (yacht club) 15 minutes walking from the center. Bujumbura has many hotels, but aid workers permanently inhabit most rooms. In the area of Mbwiza there are loads of food stalls and restaurants. Nightlife is concentrated along the lake shore.

The airport is about 10 km from the city.

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Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    3 22 S
Longitude: 29 19 E
Elevation:  n/a

Population: 220,000
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: 122%

Hours from UTC: 2
Daylight savings time: n/a

City phone code: 22
Country phone code: 257

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