The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- all areas within 1 km of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Cibitoke and Bubanza provinces
- Ruvubu National Park
- the road north of Bujumbura airport towards Cibitoke
- the main road running west from Kayanza through the Kibira National Park
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Burundi.
The FCO’s advice against all but essential travel to Bujumbura does not include airside transit through Bujumbura International Airport.
If you don’t have an essential reason to stay in Burundi, you should leave if the opportunity arises to do so safely by commercial means. The airport is open and commercial airlines have resumed flights. Land border crossings are currently open.
Parliamentary elections were held on 29 June and Presidential elections are planned for 21 July (having been postponed from 15 July). There have been violent incidents in some parts of Bujumbura city following the parliamentary elections. Reports indicate that up to 20 people have been killed in the Mutakura neighbourhood on 1 July. The period leading up to the proposed Presidential elections is likely to be tense. You should limit your movements, avoid large gatherings and remain vigilant at all times.
If you’re resident in Bujumbura, you should avoid travel outside Bujumbura. If you live outside Bujumbura, avoid leaving your home town, particularly on election day. See Political situation.
In Bujumbura you should take extra precautions in the areas of Kanyosha and Kamenge, where the risk to foreigners – particularly of opportunistic crime – is higher.
Avoid travelling by road outside Bujumbura after dark. This is due to the security situation and road safety concerns. See Local travel
If you travel outside Bujumbura, you should get up-to-date local advice before setting off. There are limited facilities up country with little French spoken, and limited infrastructure. Make sure you’re as well prepared and self-sufficient as possible. See Road travel
There’s a high risk of street crime, particularly while withdrawing money. There have been incidents of armed burglary. See Crime
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Al Shabaab has made public threats against Burundi because of its support to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
A number of grenade attacks have been reported since May 2015. They have taken place mostly in Bujumbura but also in Ngozi and Kayanza. The attacks appear to be random and do not appear to explicitly target foreigners. You should remain vigilant and avoid crowded areas (e.g. markets). See Safety and security.
A long running cholera epidemic in Burundi (including Bujumbura) caused several fatalities during 2013 and 2014. You should take necessary precautions and seek urgent medical attention if you become unwell. See Health
There’s no British Embassy in Burundi, but there is a Liaison Office in Bujumbura, which can provide limited consular advice and assistance. The Belgian Embassy is able to provide consular assistance to British nationals. All visitors or long term residents should register with the Belgian Embassy: Boulevard de la Liberté, 9, Bujumbura; telephone: + 257 22 22 32 66 or + 257 22 22 61 76; email: Bujumbura@diplobel.org. See Consular assistance
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.