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Travel Advisory: Burundi – Level 3 (Reconsider travel)

Africa > Burundi

Reconsider travel to Burundi due to crime and armed conflict

Violent crimes, such as grenade attacks and armed robbery, are common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime.

There are ongoing political tensions in Burundi, and there has been sporadic violence throughout the country, including frequent gunfire and grenade attacks. Police and military checkpoints are common and can restrict freedom of movement. Police have searched the homes of private citizens as part of larger weapons searches.  

The provinces of Cibitoke and Bubanza are vulnerable to occasional cross-border raids by armed groups and mortar fire from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where violent clashes continue. The border may close without notice.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Burundi. U.S. embassy personnel are subject to restrictions when traveling in certain areas of Burundi and may be subject to other constraints as security conditions warrant. These restrictions include limitations on travel outside of Bujumbura between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and advance coordination for travel to the Bujumbura neighborhoods of Buyenzi, Bwiza, Cibitoke, Gasenyi, Kamenge, Kinama, Musaga, Mutakura, and Ngagara.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Burundi:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Avoid areas where there are large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations, and exercise caution in the vicinity of any such gatherings. 
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and be vigilant when traveling in unfamiliar areas or outside of cities and along border areas; take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security. 
  • Consider traveling in pairs and using convoys of multiple vehicles to mitigate the threat of roadside hoodlums when traveling outside of Bujumbura. Carry additional fuel, spare tires, and provisions. Include a satellite phone, map, navigation equipment, and first aid kit. Service stations are scarce in rural areas. Professional roadside assistance service is not available outside the capital. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Burundi.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.