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Travel Advice

New Zealand Government advice for Burundi

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When travelling to Burundi, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Burundi.

There is extreme risk to your security in Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces, due to civil unrest, armed banditry, kidnapping and the potential for fighting between the government and rebel forces. We advise against all travel to these provinces.

There is high risk to your security elsewhere in in Burundi due to the unpredictable security situation and threat from terrorism and violent crime. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.

Civil Unrest
Sporadic fighting between rebel and government forces occurs in Burundi. While the security situation has improved in recent years, it remains tense and unpredictable, and could deteriorate with little warning.     

New Zealanders in Burundi are advised to stay informed of potential threats to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources.  We recommend you avoid all protests, demonstrations and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. 

Terrorism
There is a threat from terrorism in Burundi.  The terrorist group Al-Shabaab has made public threats to conduct attacks in Burundi, specifically in Bujumbura.   

New Zealanders in Burundi are advised to exercise a high degree of security awareness, particularly in public places and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. 

Violent Crime
Violent crime, including armed robbery, mugging and carjacking is common throughout Burundi and the risk increases significantly after dark.  Foreigners are often targeted due to their perceived wealth.  Armed bandits are known to operate outside of Bujumbura, and travellers should be especially careful in remote areas such as national parks.  

New Zealanders in Burundi should exercise a very high degree of personal security awareness at all times. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence. For security reasons you should not walk alone at night, or travel by road between the hours of 5:30pm and 8am. We advise against using public transport. 

Border regions
There is a significant risk of kidnapping and armed banditry by rebel groups in areas close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.  We strongly advise against all travel to this border area.   

General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Burundi, the ability of the New Zealand Government to provide assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited. 

New Zealanders travelling or living in Burundi should have a comprehensive  travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Burundi are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See our regional advice for Africa

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