Crime Information for Tourists in Burundi

Crime poses a high risk for foreign visitors to Bujumbura and Burundi in general. Due to insufficient resources, local authorities in any part of Burundi are often unable to provide timely assistance in emergencies. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from walking on the streets after dusk or using local public transportation. Foreigners, whether in vehicles or at home, are always potential crime targets. Common crimes, often committed by groups of armed bandits, include mugging, purse-snatching, pick-pocketing, burglary, automobile break-ins and carjacking. Don’t leave valuable items unattended in a hotel room. Many criminal incidents involve armed attackers. Criminals in Bujumbura often operate in pairs or in small groups involving six or more individuals.

The Department of State advises you to use caution when traveling, paying particular attention when traveling to and from frequent destinations including work, home, and popular shops or restaurants. You should also avoid establishing routines and vary routes between regularly-traveled destinations in order to reduce vulnerability to targeted criminal or terrorist acts. In general, you should pay close attention to your personal security at locations where foreigners are commonly known to congregate and avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. U.S. citizens living and working in Bujumbura should take this opportunity to ensure your security and emergency action plans are up-to-date.

Likewise, outside of Bujumbura, vulnerability to criminal attacks on the roads continues to be a serious concern. The U.S. Embassy strongly cautions against traveling outside of towns after nightfall. When traveling upcountry, the best practice is to use convoys of multiple vehicles to prevent becoming a victim of crime in the event of mechanical failure or emergency while traveling. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy recommends travelers be equipped with satellite telephones, maps, and navigation equipment, medical gear to include trauma supplies, and vehicle maintenance and recovery equipment, especially when traveling off main routes.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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2019 edition