Where is Burundi Located? 10 Burundi Facts You Don’t Know.7 min read



Looking for where is Burundi Located? Here are amazing Burundi facts you probably don’t know. The flag of Burundi is divided into four parts by a white diagonal cross, the upper and lower parts are red in color while the left and right ones are green. The white color of the cross represents peace, the green represents the nations hope and endeavors for future development and the red symbolizes the suffering of the nation during the freedom struggle. The three stars in the triangular configuration stand for the three major ethnic groups of Burundi the Hutu, the Tutsi and the Twa. The three stars also stand for the three parts of the national motto “Ubumwe, Ibikorwa and Iterambere” which in the kirundi language means unity, work and progress.

Burundi is small yet compact and yet widespread. Burundi is one of the smallest landlocked African countries located in east-central Africa bordered by Tanzania to the east and south, Rwanda to the north and a comfortably narrow slot with the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north and west. The remainder of the western part of the country is surrounded by Lake Tanganyika which used to be the former name of Tanzania. Burundi is divided into 18 provinces each one named after the capital that resides in it except for Bujumbura Rural whose capital is Isale. Each province is populated with a near proportionate ratio of residents each one with about half a million residents.

The capital of Burundi is Bujumbura located on the northwest coast of Lake Tanganyika and a stone throw away from the Democratic Republic of Congo. A lot of Burundi’s borders especially with Tanzania are partial River borders in which they touch a river. Burundi’s borders are incredibly open to their neighbors, oftentimes unmarked and virtually invisible as it straddles farm fields and unified towns and communities that really don’t care about distinguishing their nationalistic separations.

Because Burundi is so small and compact, they have a wide web of road networks that search throughout every corner of the country many of which Google Maps does a horrible job at tracing and documenting. This makes them unique in that in Burundi pretty much all of the country’s accessible and navigable by Road. Burundi is pretty straightforward in its domain, small and compact. There are roughly five times more people in Burundi than Botswana and yet the country is 23 times smaller area wise. After Rwanda, Burundi is the second most densely packed land country in Africa this means Burundi actually has a lot more potential for dispersed cultivation.

Burundi lies on the East African Rift which includes the Kagera river the most remote headstream and speculative source of the Nile River. The land mostly in the west and north is hilly and mountainous and as you go to the east the area kind of drops into a plateau. The majority of the land is used for pasture and agricultural production. Due to the high population density and yet the widespread dispersion of the people, deforestation has actually been a major issue has only about 600 square kilometers of natural untouched forest remains in the country.

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Burundi has quite a lot of natural elements. The country has quite a few known deposits of elements like Vanadium, Niobium, Tantalum and a little bit of Molybdenum. The country has a little over 10 million people making Burundi one of the most densely populated countries in Africa and the majority of the population about 83% are from the Hutu tribe and about 16% are from the Tutsi tribe and there is a small minority of people from the Twa tribe whom are kind of regarded as the bush people and a couple thousand whites and Asian’s living in the country.

In order to understand how Burundi functions you have to know two things, one who exactly are the Hutus and Tutsis and two you have to know a little bit of their history.
Hutus and Tutsis are basically indistinguishable from each other and came from the same people group many Burundians and Rwandans will tell you that the perpetuated stereotype is that Hutus are a little bit shorter and stockier with wider built bodies used for manual labor while Tutsis are taller and leaner with tall physiques used for adorning themselves with beautiful garbs of the high-class.

It started with class and not ethnicity, hundreds of years ago anybody who pretty much built up wealth and status much just automatically became a Tutsi even if they affiliated with the Hutu tribe. Both Hutus and Tutsis speak relatively the same language the only difference is that Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis may have a slightly different dialect but it’s totally mutually understandable. After a short 20-year unsuccessful stint by the Germans Burundi was under Belgian colonization until independence in 1962.

Historically the Hutus always had larger numbers in population in Burundi however Tutsis retain most of the political dominance in the area and all had to do with the fact that the Tutsis had a kingdom. The Belgians kind of catered to the local social structures and enabled the Tutsis to maintain the ruling influence. When the colonizers left the country, things get pretty crazy fast and this led to the Burundian genocide. For twenty years it was the Tutsis pushing down the Hutus then for about ten years it was the Hutus pushing down the Tutsis and then finally in 2005 it subsided kind of but then it led to the most gruesome genocide ever.

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French and Kirundi are the official languages in Burundi however English and Swahili are widely taught. Most citizens are polyglot with trilingual or quadrant lingual capabilities learning all four languages in elementary and middle schools. For a long time, Burundi used to have a monarchy and today still kind of does even though most of the royal house is in exile. Princess Esther Kamatari ran for president in 2005 but it didn’t quite fall through and then you have the Hutu President Pierre Nkurunziza. Essentially, Nkurunziza broke the Constitution and went for a third term causing an uproar for both Hutus and Tutsis and this resulted in the exodus of over 100,000 Burundians.

Since independence from Belgium, Burundi has pretty much either been in a constant state of internal conflict or straight-up civil war although some years were a little bit calmer and more peaceful in comparison to others overall there’s this perpetual looming ambience of tension that covers the entire area to this day and this is partially the reason why Burundi doesn’t really have a wide tourism sector.

Burundi used to have pretty good relations with all of their neighbors but after the whole civil war thing hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled the country and scattered all over the world including their immediate neighbors where almost over 300,000 Burundians are in Tanzania. Belgium of course has relatively good relations with Burundi despite some unfavorable historical incidences that leave a sour taste in their mouths but then they’ve moved on. Embassies exist in both nations; numerous Burundians live abroad and are born in Belgium. Surprisingly South Korea is a good friend of Burundi.

After the genocide ended in 1993, Korea stepped in and tried to unite the country and since then they develop good ties and relations. In terms of their best friend however most Burundians would probably say its Rwanda. Rwanda is pretty much like the conjoined twin of Burundi. They share so much culturally, linguistically and diplomatically and it’s often hard to tell the two apart. The only difference is that Rwanda is currently led under a predominant Tutsi government and Burundi under Hutu but even then, it’s basically just like you’re going to your brother’s house. After centuries of kingdoms, empires Wars, colonies and drama these two countries have always been with each other and more or less love each other. In conclusion, Burundi does have some stuff they got to sort out however it’s not completely unredeemable and hopefully they get back on track.