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Tourism in Burundi - History

Tourism in Burundi - History

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In 2017 184,000 people visted Burundi. This is an increase of 8.9% from 2016. 95,000 people work in the tourist industry, 4.7% of the work force. Tourism contributed 5.5% of the GDP of the country.

Unlike the borders of most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the boundaries of Burundi were not drawn by European powers. Rather, they reflect a state that was developed by the Burundian monarchy. The country was originally populated by the Twa, a Pygmy hunter-gatherer population. Beginning about 1000 ce , Hutu farmers, who now constitute the largest proportion of the population, arrived in the region. Sometime later the Tutsi entered the country, and a Tutsi monarchy developed in the 16th century, founded by Ntare Rushatsi (Ntare I). According to one tradition, Ntare I came from Rwanda according to other sources, he came from Buha in the southeast, from which he laid the foundation of the original kingdom in the neighbouring Nkoma region. The relationship between the different groups in the state was complex. The king (mwami) was Tutsi, but a princely class (ganwa), which consisted of the potential heirs to the throne, interceded between the king and the Tutsi and Hutu masses.

Identification as either a Tutsi or Hutu was fluid. While physical appearance did correspond somewhat to one’s identification (the Tutsi were generally presumed to be light-skinned and tall the Hutu, dark-skinned and short), the difference between the two groups was not always immediately apparent, owing to intermarriage and the use of a common language (Rundi) by both groups. Tutsis were traditionally cattle owners (cattle were a symbol of wealth in precolonial Burundi), while the Hutu were agriculturalists. However, by societal standards a rich Hutu could be identified as a Tutsi, and a poor Tutsi could be identified as a Hutu.

President: Evariste Ndayishimiye

Evariste Ndayishimiye took office in June 2020, a week after President Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ndayishimiye had won the May presidential election, and was due to take office in August.

The opposition condemned the election, in which Mr Ndayishimiye had the backing of his fellow former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza, as rigged. Mr Nkurunziza was the first president to be chosen in democratic elections since the start of Burundi's civil war in 1994.


The kingdom rejected all the incursions of the Zanzibar slave hunters before submitting to the Germans in 1897. Mwezi Gisabo surrendered on June 6, 1903, at Kiganda which eventually became an historical site.

Successively a German then a Belgian colony, Burundi became independent in 1962. The assassinatin of the national hero, Prince Rwagasore, on October 13, 1961, marked the end of the monarchy. In 1966, Michel Micombero became the first president of the Republic of Burundi.

The Burundian population is composed of three main ethnic groups (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa). However, unlike what is very often the case in Africa, these groups did not form different cultures. The language Kirundi, as well as most of the social customs, anchors the majority of the population to a territory united since the eighteenth century. Although Burundii has faced challenges in the recent past, the strong base of culture shared by everyone provides the foundation for a people moving forward. The cultural and historical inheritance of the country is extensively rich, especially since there is no written historical record.

In an oral civilization, a whole unique cultural universe reveals itself to those who listen to tales circulating in Burundi as well as to those who are interested in visiting ancient locations full of memories.

Tourism in the 1980s & 1990s

In January 1983, U.S.-based firm Sasaki Associates, assisted by several government agencies, concluded a six-month study dealing with the development of Aruba’s main tourism corridor—the coastal area extending from Oranjestad to California Point in the northwest corner of the island. With its wide beaches, warm ocean waters, and easily developable land, this area became the focus of Aruba’s tourism growth. Major investments by the government in roadways, waterlines, and other infrastructure facilitated large-scale resort hotel development.

When the new roadway network was developed, great care was taken to protect environmentally sensitive areas, including the unique geological formations and dunes of Arashi/California Point, as well as several salt flats that serve as home to wildlife during rainy periods. In general, the developers sought to preserve the beauty of the existing desert landscape and native vegetation.

By 1984, tourism was a well-developed sector of the Aruban economy, second only to the oil-refining industry in terms of its contribution to the gross domestic product. In 1985, the closing of the oil refinery, resulting from declining market value and cutbacks in the supply of Venezuelan oil, had a great impact on the Aruban economy. In 1986, Aruba achieved its Status Aparte, withdrawing from the Netherlands Antilles and becoming an autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was within this context that tourism took over as the strongest economic force of Aruba.

After the closure of the Lago Oil Refinery in 1985, the Aruban government decided to invest in tourism as the main economic pillar of the island and replaced the ATB with the newly created Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) in 1986. The ATA grew in importance, concentrating on opening new markets and expanding its marketing activities.

In the period from 1986 to 1996, tourism in Aruba grew at almost twice the rate of tourism in the entire Caribbean. From 1986, when the construction of hotels resumed, until 1991, the total number of rooms more than doubled from 2,776 to 5,625. During this period, the number of timeshares also increased about fivefold, from 337 units to 1,967 units. By the end of 1996, there were 7,103 rooms, of which timeshare units totaled 2,272.

The refinery was reopened in 1990 by Coastal, but tourism remained Aruba’s economic mainstay, generating the majority of the island’s export earnings. The government played a key role in the growth of tourism by devoting considerable resources to increase revenues and create employment, developing a basic infrastructure to serve hotels and other tourist facilities, and directly supporting the expansion of tourist accommodations through the partial ownership of three hotels totaling about 600 rooms.

Package Tours

Discover Greenland from the sea

The coastal ship Sarfaq Ittuk sails from southern Greenland up along Greenland’s west coast to Disko Bay.

Plan your own holiday in Greenland

Are you dreaming of going to Greenland and would you prefer to plan your own trip?

Disko Bay from South to North

A trip to Greenland where nature goes hand in hand with culture under the midnight sun.


The dining and shopping scene in Nuuk is the most diverse in the country, a veritable melting pot of original Greenlandic character with fresh global influence.

Stroll the pedestrian walkway in city center to window-shop at boutiques, souvenir shops, and Nuuk Center. Relax with a cup of strong coffee (and the obligatory piece of cake) in one of the city’s many bustling cafés. And make reservations at one of Nuuk’s fine dining restaurants where the only thing that rivals the intense flavors of Greenlandic delicacies is the chef’s artistic presentation.

You can also rent a bike in the sports-shop Pikkori Sport that is located in the centre, and bike around the city.


Nuuk Fjord is sometimes overlooked in favor of its icier neighbors to the north, but this intricate water system is the second largest in the world, packed with inlets and islands open for exploration by boat or kayak.

Local boat trip operators provide access to this vast backcountry with a small settlement and huts offering the opportunity to stay and explore. Along the way, refreshing waterfalls and probable summer sightings of faithful humpback whales keep eyes and cameras entertained.

The solitude and scenery provide a perfect backdrop for hiking, angling for Arctic char, hunting or kayaking. The deep waters of the fjord teem with flavorful cod and redfish, delivering a bounty for both fishing and eating. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the Narsap Sermia glacier flows directly into the fjord filling the headwaters with the sought-after icebergs, afterall.


Burundi is a tiny country in the eastern part of Africa, inhabited by approximately 9 million people with an estimate of $5 billion in 2012. It comprises of elements of a young nation with ancient traditions constituting to its rich culture such as music, dance and handicrafts.

The country was dominated by a sect of people known as Twa, Hutu and Tutsi, for over 500 years, and was first colonized by Germany, while Belgians later took over after the First World War.

Though the country is tiny, it is endowed with soaring mountains and fantastic lakeside beaches that have plunged for years in the region. Visiting Burundi is viable and alluring prospect for travelers for the first time. Whether you intend to lounge on the beaches of the amazing Lake Tanganyika or setting eyes on one of the country’s enormous parks, it might just be a suitable vacation destination.

There are lots of attractions in Burundi, and the country ranks among the significant countries in Africa that offer exquisite holiday opportunities for all tourists. The amazing landscapes, forests and various tourists site make the country a hot favorite hangout for tourists. Lots of visitors come to this exotic nation as it possesses a distinct mysticism.

10 of the Safest Places to Visit in Africa in 2020/2021

Heather Richardson

Heather Richardson is an award-winning travel writer, based in South Africa. She is interested in conservation stories, emerging destinations and adventure travel.

All travel comes with some risks, but many African countries are far safer than people might imagine. These are 10 of the safest places to visit in Africa:

1. Rwanda

Rwanda is arguably the safest country in Africa, which is immediately apparent upon arrival in the relaxed and sophisticated capital Kigali. Though there’s a lot of security around, this doesn’t add tension rather, the opposite.

    Safety: In 2017, Rwanda was listed as the ninth safest country in the world. Rwanda’s response to the genocide of 1994 was to pull the country together, rather than further dividing it. Today this has the effect of a solid safety record for tourists and Rwandans, with an emphasis on security. : June to September is the dry season, though you can travel to tropical Rwanda at any time.

2. Botswana

It’s rare for tourists to experience crime in Botswana, largely due to the political stability of the country. Maun – the gateway to the Okavango Delta – experiences low levels of crime. Safaris are well-managed and highly experienced guides keep guests safe in potential wildlife encounters.

    Safety: Travelers will usually be heading to wilderness areas with very few people. There is little corruption and the tourism industry is well-established. : Wildlife viewing in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park is during the dry months of May to October. You can witness the zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the green season of December to March.

3. Mauritius

One of the safest places to visit in Africa, this island nation is perfect for relaxed holidays where security is of minimal concern. It’s a multicultural country where people live happily side by side. Families love Mauritius and the many beach resorts also help nervous tourists to feel safe.

  • Safety: Port Louis is one of Africa’s top 10 wealthiest cities – less poverty traditionally means less crime. Throughout the island, a shared history (most people’s ancestors arrived here as slaves or indentured laborers) has helped Mauritians bond as a country, creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
  • When to visit: May to November are the driest and coolest months. December to April is hot and humid, with most rain falling between January and March.

4. Namibia

A country of vast deserts, Namibia is popular for epic road trips, stargazing, wild safaris and adrenaline experiences from sky diving to quad biking around the adventure capital Swakopmund. The crime rate is low throughout Namibia, and few tourists experience any issues, which makes it ideal for those seeking safe places to travel in Africa.

    Safety: Namibia benefits from a sparse population and most tourists head to safer areas well outside the cities. Namibia is free of conflict and politically stable. : The weather is fairly consistent all year and there’s nowhere near as much rain as in other Southern African countries. For Etosha wildlife viewing, visit in the dry winter season from July to October.

5. Seychelles

An idyllic cluster of biodiverse islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles has always been considered a very safe destination for travelers and one of the safest countries in Africa. There is little crime experienced by travelers, especially away from the main islands. Be wary of riptides when swimming in the sea.

  • Safety: The government is stable, and tourism is an established industry. Most people stay in beach resorts, which vastly decreases the chance of encountering any petty or serious crime.
  • When to visit Seychelles: April/May and October/November are best, outside the rainy seasons and when underwater visibility is best.

6. Ethiopia

For tourists, Ethiopia is one of the safest places to visit in Africa. Serious crime is rare and petty crime rates are low, especially outside the capital Addis Ababa. Although it was associated with famine for years, Ethiopia is now stable and has established much better levels of food security (though it is still one of the least developed countries in the world).

  • Safety: Economic growth has been strong since 2007. The tourism industry has also grown in recent years, which has led to an easier experience for travelers.
  • When to visit Ethiopia: The driest months of October to April are best, though the rains that fall from May to September do not particularly hinder travel.

7. Morocco

Morocco has a good safety record, with few tourists falling victim to serious crime. It has been unaffected by the turbulence seen in many other North African countries and has benefitted from a stable political system. Travelers may, however, experience petty crime such as pick-pocketing and scams in major cities such as Marrakesh, so vigilance is required.

  • Safety: A stable government and lack of conflict within the country helps keep crime in Morocco to a low level. Tourism is also a major industry, so it’s in the citizens’ interests to keep tourists safe.
  • When to visit Morocco: Morocco gets blazing hot over the summer, so visit in April/May or September/October for some relief from the heat.

8. Lesotho

This little, mountainous country is land-locked within South Africa. Travelers in Lesotho usually spend most of their time in the rural areas where crime is unusual, making this a destination that will appeal to those specifically looking for safe places to travel in Africa.

  • Safety: The relaxed and easy pace of life in Lesotho’s countryside make it a pleasant place to visit. Crime in these areas is rare. The cities are not as safe, so practise caution when travelling through. It’s best to hike in groups.
  • When to visit Lesotho: March/April is cool but pleasant for hiking June to August is best for skiing.

9. Zambia

Travelers in Zambia rarely experience any problems, often because they fly straight into wilderness areas. As with most cities, there is potential for theft in hubs such as Lusaka and Livingstone, but the vast majority of tourists are unaffected by this and Zambia is considered one of the safest places to visit in Africa.

    Safety: The political situation is relatively stable and there has been little conflict. On safari, an experienced guide will know how to maximize safety. : Wildlife viewing is best from May to October. Visit Victoria Falls from June to September when the water volume is lower, allowing better visibility.

10. Kenya

Though Kenya has been in the headlines over the years for political conflict or issues along the coast, the country is largely safe for the million-plus visitors it receives each year. The safari industry is the most established in Africa, and an excellent infrastructure enables travelers to easily get around the country. Even within cities such as Nairobi, crime is not an issue for the vast majority of tourists – though, of course, it pays to be cautious. There are travel warnings associated with the Somalian border area and the northern coast, though it’s easy to avoid these regions.

  • Safety: Travelers will generally be on safari in wilderness areas where the only risks are associated with wild animals (and with a good guide, these risks are minimal).
  • When to visit Kenya: Wildlife is best viewed July to October when it’s dry, which also coincides with the wildebeest migration arriving in the Masai Mara.

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What is Heritage tourism?

Historical or heritage tourism means traveling with the primary purpose of exploring the history and heritage of a place. It may mean simple sightseeing of renowned historical architecture, visiting local museums that document the past through artifacts, art, and literary remains, or even something as quaint as sampling authentic historical recipes in their place of origin.

People often combine their love of history with other tourist delights like shopping, amusement park visits, and luxurious resort stays. So places that have a rich heritage and have, at the same time, designed a fine tourist infrastructure to cater to all categories of tourists get rated the highest in terms of popularity as tourist destinations.

Take for an example Budapest – the city offers some marvelous delights including architectural grandeur and historical baths that take one back in time – and all this becomes all the more alluring when coupled with the fantastic nightlife, of which its trademark ruin pubs are a prominent part.

Epic Scenery

Rwanda’s dramatic vistas are endless, with a fresh perspective around every corner.

Our country is full of beauty and managing to explore it all is easy, thanks to an excellent road network linking the core areas.

Visitors can rest assured the country is safe as well as stunning – Rwanda was ranked the 9th safest country in the world by the World Economic Forum.


Watch the video: History of Burundi (June 2022).


  1. Hesutu

    the Authoritarian message :)

  2. Patwin

    Very good !!! 5+

  3. Heathley

    your idea is useful

  4. Keefer

    Not badly written, REALLY ....

  5. Yogi

    I congratulate, your thought is useful

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