Bujumbura was formerly called Usumbura. It is the capital and largest city in Burundi on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake.
FROM THE AIRPORT
Bujumbura International Airport (Airport code – BJM) lies 11km from the city centre. It’s a relatively hassle-free experience to get into town: just be sure to use an official taxi, which should cost around BIF 15,000 (€8.40).
Choices include the Roca Golf Hotel (Boulevard de la Tanzanie, 22277100, rocagolfhotel.bi), Club du Lac, (Chaussée d’Uvira, 22250220, hoteltanganyika.com), and Hotel Dolce Vita Resort (Kigobe south, 2225856, bujadolce.com)
Greek and French cuisine is prepared with fine local produce at Restaurant Oasis (12 Boulevard de l’Uprona, 22223116), while at La Citronelle (In Galerie Alexander, Boulevard de la Lieberte, 78444444), Thai chefs prepare genuine dishes from their homeland. For home-roasted Arabica coffee, sandwiches and pastries, visit Bujacafé, (32 Avenue du 18 Septembre, 78782080, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Ubuntu Residence, (Avenue de la Plage, 22244065) has a view over Lake Tanganyika and includes apartments, a bar offering the local brew, Primus on tap, a gift shop and grill restaurant named Kiboko’s – it means ‘hippo’, because these creatures can be spotted while dining.
If its hip fashion accessories and handcrafts you’re after, you can visit Kaz’O’zah Art (5 Avenue de la Justice, 78508507).
Tone your body in a trendy gymnasium, dip into a large trendy pool bar afterwards and, towards midnight, the doors open to a spectacular disco with up-to-the-nanosecond lasers, lights, theatre smoke and DJs. The complex also has a Greek restaurant. All of this at the Kiss Club (24 Avenue Muramvya, 78399999, facebook.com/kissclub.bd)
INTO THE WILD
The National Park of Ruvubu, just over 200km east of Bujumbura, is the largest protected area in Burundi. Another option is Kibira National Park, north-east of Bujumbura, atop the mountains of the Congo-Nile divide
The local “tapas” in Bujumbura is a popular snack with sundowners called ‘Ndagala’, which is small deep-fried fish caught by local net fishermen in Lake Tanganyika and is similar to ‘white bait’. It is enjoyed with tartar sauce.