The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Burundi is a developing nation in the lowest 25% of the world's economies. Located between Rwanda and Tanzania in central Africa, its climate is tropical with 2 rainy and 2 dry seasons and considerable altitude variation. Temperatures are cooler in the mountains of the interior.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 1 year.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2016) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the whole country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Moderate.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 86%, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax 14% combined.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to political instability, civil unrest, and other ongoing security concerns, Canada (GAC) and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding all travel to this country. U.S. (DOS) advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to this country. U.K. (FCO) has a more limited warning.
Low risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, carjacking, and murder) exists throughout the country, especially on roads near Lake Tanganyika.
High risk of petty crime exists throughout the country.
Kidnappings by criminal groups may occur in areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Banditry, small arms trafficking, and violent clashes occur in the provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza, and Cibitoke. Attacks and ambushes by former soldiers, rebel forces, and youth gangs occur frequently.
There is a high risk of kidnapping near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Armed guerrillas operate in this area. Cross-border incursions by rebel groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo represent a risk.
Overland travel after dark should be avoided in the outlying districts of Bujumbura, as well as in northwest provinces, including Cibitoke.
Other Safety Threats
Land mines have exploded in areas frequented by travelers.
Corruption is endemic in Burundi and contributes to an environment where the rule of law is not respected. Government officials may ask for bribes for providing routine services.
Swimming in lakes and rivers is unsafe because of the possibility of being attacked by wildlife and the risk of catching water-borne diseases
National incidence data on traffic-related injury or death are not available.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
The rainy season is from February through May. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Burundi
- United States: [+257] 22-20-7000; bi.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+257] 22-24-58-98; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/burundi
- United Kingdom: [+257] 22-24-64-78; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-liaison-office-bujumbura
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Burundi.
Burundi's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.burundiembassydc-usa.org
- In Canada: ambassadeduburundi.ca
- In the U.K.: www.burundiembassy.org.uk/home
- In Australia: Burundi does not have an embassy or consulate in Australia.
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.