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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES, DAY 1&2

Dublin – London – Nairobi – Bujumbura

The most expensive hotel room in the poorest country. It was only yesterday I was sleeping in my bed at home and now I’m in one of the hardest to reach countries in Africa, oh the joys of international travel!

BURUNDI…ha…IRELAND…ha…BURUNDI…ha…IRELAND

The flights weren’t that bad, apart from the fella snoring beside me but he slept well I think. Then it was Nairobi’s turn. I’ve dabbed in and out of airport lounge cards but recently took one up again and have been making great use of it.

WHERE IS BURUNDI?

Burundi

Government entry advice

AIRPORT LOUNGE

However, you’ve got to be careful and make sure you have searched the app properly before drawing any conclusions. I had a 7 hour layover and although there are recliner chairs, they are beyond impossible to sleep on.

5 hours of dead legs and fidgeting later I had enough and marched on in search of a better spot and eventually came across an Aspire Lounge where I had a blissful 2 hours kip. It could have been 7 hours!

DAILY INFO… DAY 1&2

  • HOTEL – Olivia Hotel $140, 7/10
  • RESTOS – Olivia Hotel
  • FOOD – Veg soup & Grilled Chicken & Rice 7/10
  • ATTRACTIONS – Rusizi National Park

BUJUMBURA AIRPORT

It is well documented that Burundi is the world’s poorest country so I wasn’t expecting much of an airport, but the organisation was wild.

Firstly you fill in an arrival card, then queue to have your visa processed before going to another queue to pay for it and your covid test ($100 & $90) before going back to the first window to have someone print and apply it onto your passport. That’s not all though. Then you queue up again and hand a guard your visa process paper before proceeding through and getting your arrival card processed. This doesn’t even start with the covid test which was actually fairly straight forward.

DAILY TRAVEL STATS….

  • STEPS – 5,272 & 5,545
  • FLIGHTS –
    Dublin – London
    London – Nairobi
    Nairobi – Bujumbura
  • MILES COVERED – 7451.8 miles

PICK UP

Pretty sure my ride was waiting for me I made my way outside only to be met with a sea of faces, not one of them looking out for some white backpacker.

Finding it impossible to get connected to the WiFi I knew there was some at the covid building back in at arrivals. The thing is due to stringent aviation laws, it is basically impossible to get back there. However, this being Africa nothing is ever taken that serious so after talking my way through it was no time before I was texting my ride and on my way to the hotel. Credit to the guy at the front door who insisted on that the women lets me through.

The most expensive hotel room in the poorest country

FLAG….

  • The white of the saltire represents peace.
  • Green represents the nation’s hopes.
  • Red symbolises the suffering that the nation endured during its freedom struggle.
  • The three stars stand for the country’s ethnic groups: Hutu, Twa and Tutsi.
  • The same three stars also represent the three elements of the national motto: Unité, Travail, Progrès (“Unity, Work and Progress”), These are also shown on the coat of arms of Burundi. And finally they also represent the loyalty that the citizens of the nation have pledged to their God, king and country.

RUSIZI NP

After dropping the bags off at the hotel we made our way to Rusizi NP where I had a pleasant boat ride alongside some hippos, pelicans and crocodiles to name a few. It’s amazing how close you can be to some wild animals in some of Africa’s cities!

I was then given a show from young Burundian drummers who were incredible but more on that tomorrow.

OLIVIA HOTEL

This wasn’t a hotel that was recommended to me by my guide but rather one I had chosen myself for the first night and for one very simple reason; it is the most expensive hotel in all of Burundi. Now this isn’t a gloat, my room was 120£ odd but I wanted to see the presidential suite which is available for around $2000/night, yes per night!

Sharmam who was more than nice enough to show me around also showed me the $550 a night honeymoon suite, a bit better value but stick to Cancun folks.

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – The security guy at Bujumbura airport who got me back in to arrivals to use the WiFi . The lady at the hotel getting me in to see the presidential suite.
  • HIGHLIGHT – The flight (I enjoy sitting up front as you get heaps done (inc better shut eye). The drummers 😳

The most expensive hotel room in the poorest country

The most expensive hotel room in the poorest country

FINAL THOUGHTS

Back on the road again and I actually feel very at home here in Burundi, it’s got an unfair reputation as being the poorest country in the world because I’ve seen much worse.

NEXT UP

Drummers and Pygmy’s!!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
153/229

This post is episode 1 of The East African Series, for the entire series click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Have you heard of Burundi?
  • What comes to mind?
  • Would you want to visit?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

Send this to someone who might like it
THE THAILAND SERIES REFLECTION POST
A RIOT WITH THE ROYAL DRUMMERS AND BATWAS OF BURUNDI

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