The Bururi nature reserve is a natural rain forest reserve which is located in the south-western part of the Republic of Burundi covering some 15.35 km² of land. The Bururi city is also the capital of the Bururi province making access to the reserve very easy from the national capital Bujumbura.
The reserve was founded in the 1950s by the then colonial administrators from the Kingdom of Belgium (Belgium ruled Burundi from 1925–1962) but the forest is now being managed by the National Institute for Nature and Conservation of the Environment also known as the Institute National pour l’ Environment et la Conservation de la nature.
The Forest is precisely situated on the extreme edge of the Congo–Nile, dividing the 3,300 hectares of land and the remaining semi-evergreen forest covering only some 1,600 hectares of the remaining land.
Plants researchers say at least, 93 species of different trees are found in the forest with the dominant species include the Strombosia, Myrianthus, Tabernaemontana, Newtonia and Entandrophragma species.
The area of the reserve is also located at a biogeography intersection such that in addition to holding many plants and animal species of the montane forests of the Congo–Nile divide, it also contain some elements associated with the Zambezian region to the south transcending into the drier savanna land of the east as far as the lowland evergreen forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Zambezian region is flooded grasslands of area in southern and eastern Africa that is rich in various wildlife species.
Annual rainfall in the area varies from 1,200 mm to 2,400 mm making it one of the best places to be in the East African Region.
Statistically, there are about 117 different species of birds and 25 different species of mammals being been identified in the forestland surrounding the diverse vegetation of the reserve. Part of the reserve has been turned into a walking circuit which is along the created and decorated botanical lanes thereby trailing visitors and tourists with full joy and the wild coolness of mountains densely covered with trees of many different species.
The reserve has gained an international recognition from various institutions and organizations for research and studies purposes including the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The road from the Bururi Township to the reserve is wonderful and visitors start to get the idea of how the reserve will be like as a result of some wonderful scenes and breathtaking panoramas seen on the road before reaching the forest itself.
Also, one of the most outstanding features of the place is the expansion of the altitude in the reserve making the forest looking unique from afar like seeing the Ocean from afar.
The people in Bururi also offer visitors with a wonderful East African hospitality which is known to be one of the best on the African continent.
The official language of Bururi is Kirundi but other languages like Swahili are also spoken by the people and the city is home to various religious groups like Christians, Muslims and other minor religious group.
Tourists all over the world are welcome to see the point of interest in the Bururi nature reserve as the government has made tourism one of its major priorities to be able to bring transformation and development in the tourism sector in the country.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa Tourism News