- Burundi  -

the heart of Africa




The Republic of Burundi lies in the center of Africa, at the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The country border Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south and The Democratic Republic of Congo to the northwest. The capital Bujumbura lies at the north-western shore of Lake Tanganyika. The closest city to Bujumbura is Uvira in Congo, across the lake. The country is divided in 18 provinces. It lies on a plateau with an average elevation of 1,707 m. The highest mountain is Mount Heha at 2,685 m, southeast of the Bujumbura.

The total area ot Burundi is 27,834 km2. According to the 2008 census the country had 8,053,574 inhabitants in  2008. Estimated increasing to 10,5 mill in 2015.

A classification of the inhabitants in the country as Hutus, Tutsis and Twa was not merely based on ethnic criteria. The differsiation of Hutu and Tutsi was more based on position in the society. The farmers was usually classified as Hutu, but farmers that managed to acquire livestock and wealth were granted the higher social status of Tutsi. The Tutsis were the herders. A Tutsi that lost all his cattle would subsequently loos his status a be called Hutu. During the earlier kingdoms in the country, the Tutsis served close to the roalties and under the German colony and later the Belgian Mandate period they continued to be used in administrative functons.     

The cow had and still has a high status in the socio-economic system of the country. Among the rich the cow was, an partly still is, essential in marriage negotiations. The dowry is estimated in the number of cows that follows the bride. This is probably why the Tutsis, as herdsmen and cow owners got a sort of upper class position.

The problem defining who is Hutu or Tutsi is also complicated by marriages between Hutu and Tutsi, so the distinction between Hutu and Tutsi is more a socio-cultural thing than purely an ethnic one.

Under the menu title Books you may faind relevant literature on Burundi.

And under History you will find the historical overview and stories and pictures from the history of Burundi.