Travel Advice

Travel Advice

New Zealand Government advice for Burundi

Flag of Burundi

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 Burundi due to the unpredictable security situation, potential for violent civil unrest, threat from terrorism and violent crime. We advise against all travel.

Political tension/Civil Unrest
The political and security situation in Burundi is uncertain and could deteriorate with little warning. 

A series of elections are to take place before September 2015. There have been violent protests and demonstrations recently in Bujumbura and other centres in response to local political developments, as well as reports of clashes between protestors and security forces. Further protests are likely and there may be an increase in violence or tension, particularly around the elections. 

We recommend you avoid all protests, demonstrations, political events, rallies and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. 

New Zealanders in Burundi are advised to avoid any unnecessary travel, keep a low profile and maintain a high degree of personal security awareness.  We recommend staying informed of potential threats to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources.  

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.  

Travel outside the capital Bujumbura and other major towns presents significant risks, especially after dark. Armed bandits are known to operate outside of Bujumbura, and travellers should be especially careful in remote areas such as national parks. There is also a risk of kidnapping in Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces. 

New Zealanders in Burundi should exercise a very high degree of personal security awareness at all times and seek local advice if travelling outside Bujumbura. 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 travel alone at night, or by road between the hours of 5:30pm and 8am. We strongly advise against using public transport. 

Border regions
Armed groups operate in Burundi and sporadic conflict and low-level violence between rebel and government forces occurs, particularly in Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces.  

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 who remain in Burundi against our advice 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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