Burundi Safari Guide- Authentic Guide
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Location of Burundi
The Republic of Burundi is a small (27,834 km²), landlocked country located in eastern Africa, on the eastern arm of the western Albertine Rift Valley. It is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Lake Tanganyika to the west, Rwanda in the north and Tanzania to the east and south. It stretches 232 km from north to south between latitudes 02°45’S and 04°28’S, and 203 km from west to east between longitudes 28°50’E and 30°54’E.
Burundi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, with over 300 inhabitants/km² in some areas. The population was estimated to be 5.9 million during the mid-1990s. With an annual growth-rate of 3.2% per annum, the population is predicted to reach 13.7 million by 2020. The capital is Bujumbura, located in the west of the country, at the north-eastern tip of Lake Tanganyika. Administratively, the country is divided into 15 provinces.
Down the western side of the country lies the mountains which form the Congo–Nile divide. They consist of a series of elongated ridges and include many massifs above 2,500 m as well as the highest peaks in the country (Mont Teza, 2,665 m and Mont Heha, 2,670 m). Westwards, the land descends steeply some 1,500 m to meet, in the south, Lake Tanganyika or, further north, the Rusizi river, which forms the international frontier with DR Congo. The Rusizi and the northern margins of Lake Tanganyika lie in the narrow Imbo plain at altitudes of between 774–950 m, and are the lowest-lying part of the country. The eastern slopes of the Congo– Nile massif merge into the Central Plateau at around 2,100 m. The Central Plateau covers the whole of the centre of the country and, generally, slopes from west to east and from north to south. The average altitude of the plateau is c.1,450 m.
Burundi Vegetation Cover
It is estimated that between a third and a half of Burundi was originally covered in montane forest, mostly along the western highlands. These forests have been relentlessly attacked by man for timber and for land for agriculture. Two major montane forest blocks remain; Bururi in the south and Kibira in the north. Kibira is
contiguous with Nyungwe forest in Rwanda. One small patch (800 ha) of lower-altitude, closed forest survives at Kigwena, along the banks of Lake Tanganyika.
This is one of the easternmost patches of Guineo–Congolean rain forest and thus is of special interest. Burundi possesses extensive wetlands. The total area of marshland is more than 120,000 ha, almost 5% of the area of the country. However, a large part of this has already been drained for agriculture. There are also a number of small lakes in the mountains as well as four substantial ones, including Lake Tanganyika, about 8% of the surface of which occurs in Burundi.
Lake Tanganyika, the second-deepest lake in the world, contains an exceptional fauna, with more than 300 species of fish, 90% of which are endemic. Phragmites swamps are found in the Rusizi valley at the northern end of Lake Tanganyika. Swamps of papyrus Cyperus papyrus also occur here but are common in the north and east of the