Burundi baby! We stayed at the Urban Lodge Hotel in Bujumbura in Burundi and during our short time there, we also visited the gorgeous Lake Tanganyika. It was a tough visa to secure and in the end it was well worth it. Plus it added a new country to my waning desire to reach 200 countries within the next 23 months.
Burundi is crying out to be found. It just doesn’t have enough tourists. But it should. We had a great time here, despite me getting ill for a short while (alcohol mixed with my Doxycycline to prevent malaria added to the heat on the beach). I’ve had better travel days than this one…self deserved, self achieved bed time due to illness…
However we still toured some bars and cafes and it has been ages since I did a Thirsty Thursdays so here goes…hardly a top 5, rather the only 5 we were in.
1.Kiboko Grill Bar, Bujumbura
I wanted a sunset beer overlooking Lake Tanganyika and this dream became a reality as we visited the trendy outdoor hangout known as Kiboko Grill and Bar. It is part of the Hotel Ubuntu complex.
Beer is brewed in Burundi and there were three to try here, but it all seemed less real since all three had the word Amstel on them. First I tried Amstel Royale (Malt), then Amstel Extra Matured (Darker) then Bock (also by Amstel). Malina, Val and I chatted here, put insect repellent on and watched the sunset over Lake Tanganyika.
3, avenue de la plage
0000 Bujumbura, Burundi
2.Hotel Club du Lac, Lake Tanganyika
We headed by tuk tuk to the wonderful Lake Tanganyika. Here we kind of visited two bars but they were part of the same complex I believe – the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika and Klub Atlantik. This was nothing short of a paradise. it also felt so so safe.
We had police and army on the beach around us, many holding guns and so it was so easy to relax here as we had heard about corruption, bribery and theft in Burundi. We didn’t witness any of that in Burundi however. We walked through the hotel complex to the tranquil beach.
We had two deckchairs here. I went for a swim, we ordered some coffee and just relaxed here. It was one of the more relaxing moments on our trip to East Africa in April 2019.
3.Mount Zion Hotel / Airport Bar
Who goes all the way to Burundi and orders a DickMonalds?? Yes it was me. I craved a Burger, a Chip and a Coke so I ordered the Burundian equivalent of a Big Mac meal! Outrageous, right.
It’s no secret that I am no fan of global chains like DickMonalds but this meal was delicious. A well needed dish too before I headed onwards to Kenya (by flight). The Mount Zion Hotel in Bujumbura, Burundi also controls the restaurant and bar at Burundi’s tiny (I mean very very small) international airport. One gate, 4 counters, no exchange point, two shops, one bar. We didn’t visit the main Hotel Zion so I had to do with the airport option, but it was great food from the same menu.
4.Arena Bar, Bujumbura
I arrived in Bujumbura the same day that Barcelona were playing Manchester United and Ajax were playing Real Madrid. Our hotel owner Val knew of a cool bar which would show both games simultaneously, so we headed there to Arena Bar. I had a great night out meeting a mix of immigrants (mostly from Belgium and Greece) and locals, but it did feel like a bar for the richer folk, even though any beer would hardly stretch over a dollar.
Arena Bar also had a swimming pool and a great selection of cocktails. I stuck to beers though and didn’t eat enough or drink enough water that evening, hence my morning in bed just after it…we live and learn. I still loved Arena Bar though.
6, Avenue De La RDC
2755 Bujumbura, Burundi
+257 76 39 99 99
5.Urban Lodge Bar, Bujumbura
Our superb accommodation also had a great bar and restaurant, as mentioned we just loved the Urban Lodge in Bujumbura – please stay here in Burundi! Obviously we had our breakfast here but I also enjoyed the beers and chat in the bar at night with Val and his wife.
38 Avenue Kunkiko, Bujumbura, Burundi
I should really cover my most recent trips more, as I always used to do that back in the glory days of travelling and blogging, but I just don’t want to any more. The lies and deception from Ola Mueller are still a thorn in my side and it’s a depression I fight every day to keep myself alive, happy and healthy. Maybe one day, the blog will return to what it once was. Either way, these quick 5 bars / cafes in Burundi were great! A few more photos…
Here are some videos from the bars and cafes during our trip to Burundi: