In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #81: Burundi. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
Going to Burundi was very expensive. It cost me $222.48 CAD to get the visa to enter this country. Regardless; my main goal when I travelled to Burundi was to simply go in and out of the country. I wanted to tick it off as a country visited. Ironically, I accidentally visited the country twice which is a funny story on its own.
VIDEO – Country #81: Burundi
Blog post on Burundi
- Complete 9 Days Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda Spending Breakdown
- 9 Days of Travel To Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo
- Rwanda-Burundi Border Crossing From Start To Finish (Kigali to Bujumbura?)
Landing in Bujumbura instead of Kigali
One of the funniest thing about travelling in Africa is that there’s no rhyme or reason on this continent. Our flight was supposed to fly directly to Kigali in Rwanda when they decided they would fly to Bujumbura in Burundi instead. The first time I went to Burundi was purely accidental. Still, it was nice to be able to fly over the capital city of Bujumbura and take a glance at it from the plane window.
Driving from Kigali to the Rwanda-Burundi border
Later on, after finishing my travels in Uganda, I requested from the driver we hired if he can drive me to the Rwanda-Burundi border. It’s my goal to tick this country off as visited and get the passport stamp.
The drive was scenic and before long, we have arrived at the border.
The security at the border chatted with Emmanuel, the driver, and told him that the immigration staff needed to speak to me before I can proceed. The immigration officer was suspicious at my intent to enter Burundi when I said all I want to do was go in, take a selfie, then go back out.
After pondering my intent, he let me line up at the immigration windows.
Crossing over to Burundi
I think this immigration border is newly constructed as the Rwandans and Burundian immigration officers were working side by side. The people lining up with me were really friendly and guided me to the correct window.
They did things a bit weird at this border. Normally, you would get an exit stamp first before getting an entry stamp to the country you are entering. But in this border, you get an entry stamp first to the next country before getting an exit stamp in your previous country. Yes, nothing makes sense in Africa.
I showed them my visa and the entry process was relatively painless.
I was expecting corruption but it was fine and nothing happened to me during that border crossing.
Afterwards, I proceeded to take pictures and selfies after crossing over to Burundi.
Once I felt happy, I went back to get my exit stamp out of the country and back to Emmanuel to head back to Kigali.
Burundi is known to be in the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world (currently ranked at #5). That is why I decided I will just quickly visit and then get out. They also don’t have any major sightseeing sights that I know of. And finally, my vacation time was short and I decided I would allocate the bulk of my time travelling in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, when I crossed over the border or landed in Bujumbura, I didn’t sense the corruption at all and perhaps things are gradually improving.