AS OF EARLY OCTOBER, BURUNDIAN AUTHORITIES ARE MAINTAINING THE SUSPENSION OF INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER FLIGHTS AT BUJUMBURA'S MELCHIOR NDADAYE AIRPORT (BJM) TO STEM THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19). CARGO AND HUMANITARIAN FLIGHTS ARE BEING ALLOWED TO CONTINUE. LAND BORDERS WITH THE DOMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO AND RWANDA ARE OPEN TO FREIGHT TRANSPORTATON. THE BORDER WITH TANZANIA IS OPEN. ENHANCED SCREENING MEASURES ARE IN PLACE AT PORTS OF ENTRY; ALL TRAVELERS MUST HAVE PROOF OF HAVING TESTED NEGATIVE FOR COVID-19 WITHIN 72 HOURS BEFORE ARRIVAL. ALL TRAVELERS MUST SPEND 72 HOURS IN QUARANTINE WHILE AWAITING RESULTS OF COVID-19 TEST TAKEN ON ARRIVAL. ALL PASSENGERS ARRIVING ON A GIVEN CONVEYANCE WILL BE PLACED IN QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS AT A HOTEL DESIGNATED BY THE GOVERNMENT IF ANY ONE OF THEM TESTS POSITIVE FOR TH VIRUS.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ISSUED A TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR BURUNDI EFFECTIVE JUNE 12, 2019 TO RECONSIDER TRAVEL TO BURUNDI DUE TO CRIME AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE.
Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at email@example.com(link sends e-mail).
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.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws, regardless of your nationality. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe and result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. You may be questioned by the police if you are unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S. regardless of local law.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.
Power Outages: Power outages occur frequently and may affect public services such as access to potable water.
Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and key infrastructure such as airports and border controls. You could be detained or arrested, fined, and have your equipment confiscated. Do not take photos of Burundians without their permission.
Phone Service: Cell phones are used extensively. SIM cards can be purchased locally and used with a compatible cell phone. Your must present a copy of your ID and/or passport for registering your SIM card.