Burundi is small and densely populated Central African nation that lies just below the equator. The country’s capital, Bujumbura lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. IN size, the nation can be compared t Maryland in the US. Her neighbours include Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Burundi’s population is estimated to be 11 million.
Burundi Climate and Wildlife
The country occupies a high plateau in Central Africa divided by several deep valleys. The country has typical tropical highland climate. The lowlands near the country’s capital are relatively hotter and average temperatures are in the range of 30 degrees Celsius. In the highlands, the temperatures are much cooler averaging 20 degrees Celsius.
Burundi People and Language
The official languages of the country are Kirundi and French. In addition to this, large sections of the urban population speak Swahili and English. The country’s original inhabitants were the Twa (pygmies); migration saw this group moved further south following the entry of the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Today the Hutu are approximately 85% and the Tutsi 14%, the Twa and other nationalities make up the remaining 1%.
Other Facts from Burundi
Burundi, like Rwanda has suffered from ethnic conflict between the majority Hutu and minority Tutsi tribes. The Tutsi though only 14% of the population play a very major role in politics and the army. It is surprising to note that while two main ethnic groups maintain their uniqueness and identity, scholars and historians point out that they bear many similarities. They speak a similar language, they have intermarried for long and share several cultural characteristics. However, a difference can be seen in their traditional occupations; where Hutu’s are livestock herders, the Tutsi are traditionally farmers. Many of the country’s people are subsistence farmers. The land is very fertile and can support extensive agricultural activity.