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Bujumbura is the capital and largest city in Burundi. It has a total population of about half a million people. The city is located at the northeastern corner of Lake Tanganyika and functions as the administrative, industrial and economic heart of the country. The city has become much more relaxed since the rebels and the government are living along in relative peace again, although very recently there was again some shooting by a rebel group which did not join this peace pact. It is not really unsafe for travellers though and the city has an attractive colonial centre, markets and both a cathedral and mosque and nearby is the Livingstone-Stanley Monument.
As of June 2009, there are no ATMs in Bujumbura accepting foreign ATM/credit cards, though Banque de Credit de Bujumbura offers credit card cash advances in the Western Union section. If you are heading to Tanzania, then the only place to obtain Tanzanian shillings is the market - none of the FX bureaux quote TSh.
Contrary to some guidebooks, Tourist Information is now (June 2009) on Boulevard de l'Uprona, a couple of hundred metres from the junction with Chaussee du Peuple.
Bujumbura has a tropical climate with generally hot and humid conditions. Daytime temperatures average 30 °C while nights are around 20 °C. December to February is the hottest time and also fairly dry, just like the slightly cooler and dry time from June to September. April is generally one of the wettest months.
Aéroport International de Bujumbura (BJM) is where the international flights arrive and depart. It is located near the capital Bujumbura and international destinations include Brussels with Brussels Airlines, Addis Ababa and Entebbe with Ethiopian Airlines, Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Kigali with RwandAir.
Several bus companies (e.g. Belvedere, New Yahoo) offer transfers between Bujumbura and Kigali in Rwanda. The journey from Kigali takes about 6 hours (including border formalities) and costs RWF6,000 (June 2009). Note that if you pick up a bus from Huye (aka Butare) in southern Rwanda, then you will pay the same fare as if you were coming from Kigali.
There are also buses on a bad road between Bujumbura and Cyangugu (Lake Kivu).
To and from Tanzania, there are also a number of options to cross borders. To head into western Tanzania, there is a Buragane minibus - their office in Bujumbura is on Rue Science, just west of the junction with Boulevard Lumumba. The departure time is at 7:00am and it costs BIF8,000 (June 2009). It takes about 3.5 hours to reach Burundi immigration, where you'll spend maybe 30 minutes, then another hour to reach Tanzania immigration, where it terminates. Minibuses can then be picked up from here to Kigoma.
Taxis between the centre of town and Saga Beach cost BIF5,000 (June 2009).
The cheapest accommodation appears to be next to Patisserie Trianon on Avenue du Commerce (go through the arch above which is written Ceprodilic) with rooms starting from BIF8,000 (June 2009).
as well as Hien (9%)
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