Burundi Travel Information

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.

Crime

There’s a substantial risk of crime. Muggings at gun and knife point, bag snatching, pick-pocketing, burglary, car break-ins, and armed car hijackings have all been reported. Avoid walking in the streets or using public transport after dark, even in Bujumbura city centre, and don’t carry large amounts of money. Take care when withdrawing or exchanging cash, and avoid doing so at night.

Stay at hotels that have good security. Safeguard valuables and cash. Use hotel safes, where possible. Keep copies of important documents, including your passport and visa, separately. Be wary of who you plan to meet and where, and inform colleagues or family members of your plans.

Local travel

The security situation across Burundi remains changeable.

There have been armed incursions from eastern DRC into neighbouring border areas of Burundi. You should make contact with your destination before you set off and make sure that you allow enough time to complete your journey during daylight hours.

The FCDO continues to advise against all travel to Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces due to continued armed attacks.

Road travel

All land and maritime borders are closed, with the exception of goods and cargo.

Public transport vehicles are banned from crossing the border with Rwanda and there are restrictions on Burundian food products being exported into Rwanda.

You can drive in Burundi on a full UK driving licence for the first 6 months after you arrive. You’ll then need to get a Burundi driving licence. There are only a small number of tarmac roads and these are sometimes in poor condition. Driving standards are poor and there are frequent serious accidents. Keep car doors locked and windows closed when driving. Access in to and out of Bujumbura city is controlled by police at night. Avoid travelling by road outside Bujumbura after dark. This is due to the security situation and road safety concerns.

Road blocks and document checks are common, and not always official. Carry a copy of your passport and visa, but you may be need to produce the originals. Reports of attempted robberies at fake checkpoints have increased.

Avoid travelling on collective and public transport (buses and motorbike taxis), due to poor vehicle maintenance and low driving standards.

Road infrastructure is poor and roads are frequently blocked or damaged by landslides, especially after heavy rain. Landslides have destroyed road bridges, making some routes impassable. Check local advice on road conditions when planning travel by road and have a contingency plan in case your preferred route is blocked.

Air travel

Commercial flights to Burundi are now operating at a reduced capacity. Please check with carriers for more information. See Coronavirus.

A number of carriers normally fly in and out of Burundi including: Rwandair, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airways and Brussels Airlines.

The EU has published a list of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban or restrictions within the EU.

Political situation

There have been violent attacks, including on opposition supporters. Arbitrary arrests, detentions and disappearances of Burundians, most often from civil society, independent media and pockets of society perceived to be anti-government, continue. The police have used live ammunition and tear gas against demonstrators.

Whilst elections in May 2020 were largely peaceful, you should avoid all large gatherings and remain vigilant at all times given security and health (COVID-19) risks.

Consular assistance

There’s no British Embassy in Bujumbura. Consular support is not available from the British government in Burundi. However, the British High Commission in Kigali, Rwanda can provide consular support to British nationals.

Entry to Burundi

Commercial flights to Burundi are now operating at a reduced capacity. Please check with carriers for more information.

All land and maritime borders are closed, with the exception of goods and cargo.

All travellers to Burundi must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued in the last 72 hours. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Visitors to Burundi must get a visa before travel, via any Burundian diplomatic mission.

Quarantine requirements

All passengers arriving by air will have to undergo a quarantine period of seven days in a designated quarantine hotel. You will be tested at least twice: first on arrival at Bujumbura airport and then again on the sixth day of quarantine. If you test positive you will be transferred to a treatment centre, at your own cost. The first test costs US $100, which will need to be paid in cash on arrival at Bujumbura international airport. The second test is also likely to cost US $100.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

Visitors to Burundi must get a visa before travel, via any Burundian diplomatic mission.

For further information on visas, contact the Burundi Embassy in London or the Burundian Embassy in Kigali (telephone: +250 575512, fax: +250 576418) if you are travelling from Rwanda.

Carry a photocopy of your passport and visa at all times.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is needed.

Yellow fever

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website

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