Burundi, the heart of Africa
Burundi’s map has the form of a heart. That’s why Burundi people call it the heart of Africa. That African Great Lakes country located in Southeastern part of the African continent and member of the East-African Community. It shares its borders with Rwanda in the northern part, with Tanzania in the eastern and southern part, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in western part.
With its 27,834 km2, Burundi lies mostly on a rolling plateau in the center of Africa. Thus, it is called “the country of 1001 hills”. The average elevation of the central plateau is 5,600 feet (1,707 m), with lower elevations at the borders. The highest peak, Mount Heha at 8,810 feet (2,685 m) lies to the southeast of the capital, Bujumbura. The southernmost and furthest source of the Nile River is in Bururi province.
Burundi has 2000 km² of Lake Tanganyika with several breathtaking natural sand beaches.
Burundi is divided into 17 provinces and 117 communes, and 2,638 collines or hills. One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi is landlocked and has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the East African Rift.
Burundi’s lands are mostly agricultural or pasture. Settlement by rural populations has led to deforestation, soil erosion and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is almost completely due to overpopulation, with a mere 230 square miles (600 km2) remaining and an ongoing loss of about 9% per annum. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rain forest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Ruvubu River). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.