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This pipsqueak of a country wedged between the DR Congo and Tanzania right in the very heartlands of East Africa may not be the most savoury of destinations for international travelers these days. Coups and counter-coups are the norm of the political sphere, while the memories of the particularly destructive civil war that only ended in the early nineties are never too far away. Still, there’s no suppressing the Burundian character, which comes with an earthy connection to the beautiful landscapes endowed upon this section of the African outback. Away from the lakeside capital of Buju (Bujumbura) where colonial edifices and Parisian-style vibes dominate, travelers can expect to find mist-topped mountain ranges, sleepy waterside hamlets all around Lake Tanganyika, primeval forests stalked by mountain gorillas, and the flood plains and savannahs of Ruvubu. Burundi tour guides in the meanwhile look forward to the day the present political conflict is resolved and they can embrace travelers again, touting their nation’s breathtaking backcountry and indelible African spirit as major draws.