Animals and Plants
Deforested forest and many animals in national parks
Unfortunately, the forest stocks in Burundi have been greatly reduced because a lot of forest was cut down. However, there is still rainforest at high altitudes and also eucalyptus trees, acacias and oil palms.
The animals are protected in Burundi in national parks and nature reserves. In this way, the animal populations, which have declined sharply in some regions, can recover a little. Lions, elephants, hippos, zebras and leopards live in Burundi. Hyenas are also native here, especially the white horse hyena. Chimpanzees cavort in the Kibira National Park that you can get very close there. The green landscape and the climate of the rainforest are ideal for the animals here.
What’s flying in Burundi?
You can also discover many species of birds in Burundi. These include large numbers of African fish eagles, hammerhead birds and weaver birds, as well as vultures, crowned cranes and saddle storks. The diversity of animals is not quite as great as in Kenya and Tanzania. Birds can mainly be seen in the Ruvubu National Park, through which the Burundian River Ruvubu flows and which gave the park its name. Buffalo, elephants, lions and leopards also live here. You will find water birds above all in the Rwihinda National Park, which, due to the amount of water, attracts the water birds in the reed areas on the edge of the river, which hatch and raise young birds here.
Which animals still live in Burundi?
In the Ruzizi National Park you can also encounter crocodiles and hippos, although the hippos are ultimately the much more dangerous animals. If they feel threatened, and that happens very quickly, then they like to attack. That’s why it’s better to keep your distance from the rather cozy looking pachyderms.
The African tree snake lives on poisonous snakes, as well as the puff adder and various viper species, including the Gaboon viper. The pythons, which are also found in Burundi, are non-toxic, however.
One of the poorest countries in the world
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than two thirds of the population live below the poverty line. Even if the civil war was many years ago, it still left its mark on the small African country. Burundi’s economy is still weak today. Many of the refugees return and have to find their way back to their old homeland. To get more information on Burundi and Africa, check themotorcyclers.
Then there is poverty due to poor harvests. While the neighboring country Rwanda has now recovered somewhat – although it was also badly affected by the civil war – Burundi is stuck and is not making any headway. This is caused by famines and overpopulation in the country. Burundi is dependent on outside help, and without international support, the people were even worse off.
Coffee for export
Burundi has a number of mineral resources such as cobalt, gold, uranium, nickel and copper. They have even discovered oil. But these natural resources are only mined to a small extent.
Agriculture is still the most important. However, most people grow the products for their own use. 90 out of 100 people make a living from agriculture. They grow sweet potatoes, corn, rice and bananas, but also tea, cassava, millet and coffee, which is the only export item. The industry processes the food, but many goods have to be imported. Food is always in short supply.
What is a negative trade balance?
Fishing and keeping cattle such as sheep and goats do not play a major role, but to a small extent they meet people’s needs for meat and fish. Above all, the Tutsi breed cattle.
The road network is poorly developed and, unfortunately, electricity is scarce, which also hinders further development. One also speaks of a negative trade balance. This means that the country is importing more goods than it is exporting and that is mostly bad.
Eating in Burundi
What do the people of Burundi eat?
In Burundi, the main thing is to get full. That’s why the cuisine isn’t so varied. So people mainly eat the products that they grow themselves and that are also very nutritious, such as cassava, sweet potatoes, millet or the popular plantains. From these you cook a porridge. By the way, they don’t taste sweet at all. You also eat a sauce. The bananas don’t taste like bananas, they are reminiscent of our potatoes. By the way, bananas are also used to brew a type of beer, banana beer.
Beans, cassava and rice
Beans are a common food in Burundi. Just as typical is a porridge made from cassava or corn flour. In the meantime, rice has also found its way into Burundi. It is often served with a vegetable sauce.
Meat is expensive
Meat is expensive. Meat can only be afforded by those who keep cattle themselves and then slaughter them. Most people do arable farming and don’t keep animals, at most a few chickens. Cattle herds are almost exclusively owned by the Tutsi. However, cattle also show how rich you are and therefore not that many cattle are slaughtered.
On special occasions such as certain festivals, however, there is also meat and a beef is slaughtered for it. More common to eat is goat, which is made into a skewer called a brochette and grilled over a fire. Thus, goat meat is the most common type of meat that comes in Burundi on the table.
Fried foods are also popular
Those who live on Lake Tanganyika have the opportunity to eat fish. A specialty is a fish called Ndagara fish.
Since the Belgians administered the country for a long time, the customs of Belgian cuisine have persisted in Burundi. These include, for example, the popular French fries. This is how you deep-fry a lot in Belgium and you can also find this tradition in Burundi.