48 Important Facts About Burundi

Last updated on December 16th, 2018

Burundi’s culture and people

26. Burundi has been home to The Twa, Hutu and Tutsi peoples for at least five hundred years.

27. There has been continual dispute and conflict between the majority Hutus (85%) and minority Tutsi (14%) in the country since its independence. A cease-fire agreement was signed in 2003 to settle the dispute.

28. Hutus were agricultural people who were short and square, while Tutsi were the cattle-owning elite who were tall and thin.

29. Cows play a significant role in the national culture. A typical Kirundi greeting, “Amashyo,” translates as “May you have herds of cattle.” Cattle are a symbol of health, happiness, and prosperity.

Burundi on the map

Burundi facts for kids

30. The people of the country are called “Burundians.”

31. Burundi became independent on July 1, 1962.

32. “Mount Heha” is the highest point in Burundi. It is 2684 m, or 8,806 feet high.

33. Football (soccer) is the national sport of Burundi.

34. After Mauritius and Rwanda, Burundi is the third most densely populated country in Africa.  

35. The country has two official languages – French and Kirundi.

36. People belonging to both Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups can speak Kirundi.

37. There were a total of 144,550 internet users in the country in 2014.

38. There are seven airports and 12,322 km of total railway in the country.

39. The official currency of Burundi—the Burundi Franc—was first issued in 1963.

40. Burundi is also a member of the United Nations.

41. It is a landlocked country and is about the size of Belgium.

42. The country is also one of the few republics in Africa to have a female prime minister (Sylvie Kinigi).

43. In the past decades, the country’s rainforests housed one of the world’s biggest crocodiles.

44. The country receives an average rainfall of 848 mm every year. It experiences its driest weather in July and wettest weather in April.

Facts about Civil war in Burundi

45. An estimated 200,000 people were killed during the 12 years of the civil war in Burundi.

46. The civil war started as a conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups of Burundi after the assassination of the country’s president–Melchior Ndadaye–in 1993.

Also, learn facts about The Rwandan genocide

47. The war caused severe economic disruption and dislocation. During the period of dislocation, affected people became dependent on international humanitarian assistance.

48. Because of the ongoing civil war, hundreds of thousands of Burundians fled to neighboring countries.

Burundi – country at a glance

Independence1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
Table last updatedJuly 5, 2019
Capital CityBujumbura
(3°30′S 30°00′E)
Largest CityBujumbura
(3°30′S 30°00′E)
Areatotal: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,680 sq km
water: 2,150 sq km
Population11,844,520 (July 2018 est.)
Official LanguageFrench and Kirundi
BordersRwanda, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
CurrencyBurundian franc
ReligionChristianity, Islam and Ingenious belief.
Life expectancy at birth61.4 years (2018)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
DemonymBurundian
Mean elevation1,504 m
National anthem"Burundi Bwacu" (Our Beloved Burundi)
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentPierre Nkurunziza
National symbolslion
National colorsred, white, green
Terrainhilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
Mean elevation1,504 m
Lowest pointLake Tanganyika 772 m
Highest pointHeha 2,670 m
Climateequatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees Celsius but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)
Literacy85.6%
Natural resourcesnickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone
Agricultural land73.3%
Birth rate40.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Industrieslight consumer goods ( sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
Exports$119 million (2017 est.)
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Imports$603.8 million (2017 est.)
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
GDP - per capita (PPP)$700 (2017 est.)
Internet country code.bi
Time ZoneCAT (UTC+2)
Calling Code+257
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia