Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19
Reconsider travel to Burundi due to elections, crime, health, and political violence.
Country Summary: General elections in Burundi are scheduled for May 20, 2020, which may be subject to change. There is a heightened risk of violence during election periods, and during past elections there has been election-related violence. The Burundi government may impose travel restrictions as the elections approach, sometimes without notice, which may affect travel plans. Expect additional police and military checkpoints and possible roadblocks throughout the country during elections.
Violent crimes, such as grenade attacks and armed robbery, occur frequently. Though Westerners are unlikely to be targeted, the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time is high. Local police lack the resources and training to respond effectively to crimes.
Medical services in Burundi fall well below U.S. standards, and there are no adequate trauma services in the country. Emergency medical and fire services are limited or non-existent in some areas of the country. The CDC has also issued a Level 1 Travel Notice on Malaria in Burundi.
There are ongoing political tensions in Burundi, causing sporadic violence throughout the country. Police and military checkpoints are common and can restrict freedom of movement. Police have conducted weapon searches in the homes of private citizens. In the provinces of Cibitoke and Bubanza, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, as well as Mutimbuzi commune in Bujumbura Rural province, there have been armed attacks primarily conducted by groups operating from the eastern DRC. The border may close without notice.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout 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 during hours of darkness (typically 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) and prior approval for travel to the Bujumbura neighborhoods of Cibitoke, Gasenyi, Kamenge, Kinama, Musaga, Mutakura, and Ngagara.
Due to travel restrictions on U.S. Embassy personnel, the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the following areas: the provinces of Bubanza and Cibitoke, Kibira National Park (including the park’s southernmost part in Muramvya province), and Ruvubu and Buriri Forest. Embassy personnel are also prohibited from transiting through Kibira National Park to reach Kayanza via the RN-10.
Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page.
If you decide to travel to Burundi:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to the Risk Indicators, and U.S. government restrictions on personnel.