Bujumbura

Overview

Introduction

Also known as Usumbura, Burundi's capital and largest city (pop. 367,000) is set at the northeastern end of Lake Tanganyika. Mountains (located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) are visible across the lake.

The city has enough of interest to fill a couple of days. There are a number of German colonial buildings built in the 1800s: The Postmaster's House is the best example. The Musee Vivant includes a reconstructed traditional homestead and a daily drum show. Other sights include the city market and the Parc du Reptiles, which features several of the infamous African snakes.

Lake Tanganyika, the longest lake in the world and second deepest (4,710 ft/1,436 m), affords opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming in select locations. Be aware that the parasite that causes schistosomiasis (bilharzia) is present in some areas of the lake. So are hippos, crocodiles and aquatic cobras—all very dangerous. Ask hotel personnel or tourism officials for suggestions on safe swimming areas.

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