Flights to Gitega Gitega is located right in the centre of Burundi, and is their second-largest city. It was once the capital, and may once again be the capital city due to its central location in the country. Economically, Burundi is a poor country so you will not find luxury resorts during your stay in Gitega. People come to Gitega to see the history and culture rather than western-style attractions. The main language spoken here is French, though English is often understood in larger businesses (hotels and restaurants).
The local Gitega Airport (airport code: GID) doesn’t handle international flights to Gitega, so when travelling from South Africa you should plan to arrive in Bujumbura instead. It’s only 95 kiometres from the Bujumbura International Airport (code: BJM) so you could travel that easily with a rental car. A flight to Gitega arriving in Bujumbura is available with Kenya Airways who stop once in Nairobi, and you can also fly with Ethiopian Airlines and have connections in Lusaka and Addis Ababa instead.
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The Tourist Attractions of Gitega:
Burundi National Museum
The Burundi National Museum facilities are small and plain but the displays are very informative if you want to see more about Gitega and Burundi’s history. The exhibits have photographs, pottery, drums, basketry and examples of traditional buildings and clothing. They cover the monarchy period of Burundi as well as more modern events.
Ruvubu National Park
The long, narrow Ruvubu National Park follows the Rurubu River, and the southern end of the park is just a few kilometres from Gitega. It’s the largest natural park in Burundi. There are more than 50 kilometres of walking trails established through the area where you can see hippos, antelope, lions, several species of monkey, crocodiles and buffalo.
Kibira National Park
And another short drive from Gitega in the other direction will bring you to the southern tip of the Kibira National Park. Located along the mountains of the Congo-Nile divide, this park has a wide range of ecosystems to be explored. There are rainforest areas, bamboo groves and even some swampland. Hundreds of bird species live in the park, as do many primates like chimpanzees and colobus monkeys.
The capital city is about an hour’s drive to the west so you can see what that city has to offer while you are staying in Gitega. The Museum of Life, and the Burundi Geological Museum are two great historical attractions, and just south of the city is a monument where David Livingstone met with Henry Stanley. As a bigger city than Gitega, you’ll find additional opportunities for shops and restaurants though not a large number of tourist sites.
When Should You Visit?:
Weather in Gitega is always hot with almost no variation from one month to the next. It is generally 30C (86F), except in June and July when it is about 2 degrees cooler. It will also cool to below 20C (68F) in the evenings throughout the year. You may want to avoid April and May as that is the rainiest time of the year, though the rain is not excessive even then.