Burundi

Be careful of kiosk foods and avoid unboiled water. Also ensure you have been vaccinated.

As in many other African countries, HIV infection is widespread.One source suggests 18.6% in the cities and 7.5% in the countryside as of 2002.

Although some semblance of normalcy has returned to much of the country with the conclusion of the nation's democratic transition and a democratically chosen head of state in August 2005, travellers should be warned to exercise extreme caution. The still active rebel group, Forces Nationales de la Libération FNL continues to attack government forces and civilians. Threats posed by banditry and armed robbery, as well as petty crimes, remain. Avoid travelling after dark; be aware of curfew laws. Many roads close at night as some villages and neighbourhoods, most embassies and some organizations have curfews. As in any other conflict or post-conflict situations, visitors should consult their embassy to be apprised of the latest local developments, and be sensitive to the changing needs regarding the security of the local environment.

respect

Respect for the Burundian Elders is a requirement. The younger people of the villages with kinship systems show respect to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and to strangers. The Burundians also show respect to younger and of same age. The Burundians show respect and appreciate it in return.

talk

Although most travellers will find that they can pass through with a working knowledge of French and/or English, some familiarity with Swahili or the related local language, Kirundi, is helpful, particularly in rural areas. The problem is that Kirundi is extremely difficult to learn. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda the official language in Rwanda are quite similar in their complexity.