OverviewRusizi National Park is the most famous of all Burundi National parks and reserves at the same time being the most visited of all. Since Burundi’s official language is French, this park is commonly referred to as is the Parc National de la Rusizi. The park is sectioned into two significant areas which are separated by the Bujumbura-Uvira road. The larger part of the park lies on the Eastern bank of Rusizi River. This flood plain is 2km wide and 45km long with acacia trees, shrubs and grasslands dominating the wild vegetation. This Burundi National park is located 15km the North-West of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi and a few kilometers to the border with DR Congo. The Bujumbura- Uvira highway crosses the park, dividing the park into two sections. South of the highway (another section of the park) is the delta of Rusizi river which drains into the Lake Tanganyika. The river delta is dotted with small islands, water streams, channels and papyrus beds. Rusizi National Park was formerly gazetted to protect the Hippos that live on the river delta and other wild animals such as hippopotami, antelopes and monkeys among others. There an estimated 200 birds that are residents in Rusizi Park and these include cisticola, sharpe’s pied babbler, red-chested sunbird, Angola weaver, Baglafecht weaver and the yellow browed cistril to mention a few. Some of the migrant birds to the wetland include the white winged tern and the African skimmer, among others.
Activities The park is great for bird watching and game walks. Local groups and people use the park for Honey bee harvesting while fishing is a major activity on Rusizi River and on lake Tanganyika. Conservation groups are encouraged in the local communities to preserve this natural habitat. The dry season is June to September and is practically the best time to have safari walks although wild fires are common. The rainy season takes on for the rest of the year since the country lies in the equatorial belt of Africa.