In Burundi, a country located just south of the Equator, the climate is mild to warm and varies according to altitude, while there is little seasonal variation in temperature. Much of the country is occupied by a plateau, at an altitude of around 1,500/1,800 meters (5,000/6,000 feet), but in the west, there is also a lower region, around 800 meters (2,600 feet), as well as a mountainous belt.
From June to August, i.e. the austral winter, is the dry season, during which cool breezes from the south-east blow, there is little rain, and the sun often shines. By mid-August, the temperature begins to rise, and in September and October, the highest values of the year are recorded. At the same time, however, the rains begin, which occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, and gradually lower the temperature, which returns to the values of the rest of the year, around 22/25 °C (72/77 °F) during the day on the plateau, and around 27/28 °C (81/82 °F) in the western lowlands.
If we exclude the three dry months, moderate rains fall in the rest of the year. Rainfall tends to increase with altitude, and it typically amounts to around 1,200/1,400 millimeters (47/55 inches) per year on the plateau, while it drops below 1,000 mm (40 in) in the west, which is the warmest and least rainy area of the country. In this area, we find Lake Tanganyika, whose banks are located at 770 meters (2,500 feet) above sea level. The lake moderates the climate especially at night, keeping the temperature somewhat higher and causing a bit of sultriness, but it also brings beneficial breezes during the day.


The capital, Bujumbura, is located along the shores of the lake. Here, it's hot throughout the year, but without excesses, in fact, the maximum temperature is around 29 °C (84 °F) all year round, except from mid-August to October, when it reaches 30/31 °C (86/88 °F). Here are the average temperatures.
Bujumbura - Average temperatures
Min (°C)191919201918171719191919
Max (°C)293029293030293031302929
Min (°F)666666686664636366666666
Max (°F)848684848686848688868484

In Bujumbura, 835 mm (33 in) of rain fall per year, with a peak in April and May, when rainfall reaches or exceeds 90 mm (3.5 in) per month, and a minimum from June to August, when the rains are rare and sporadic. Here is the average precipitation.
Bujumbura - Average precipitation

The amount of sunshine in Burundi is good in the dry season, especially in June and July, while it becomes just acceptable from November to April. A bit of cloudiness can occur in all seasons, especially at higher altitudes. Here are the sunshine hours in Bujumbura.
Bujumbura - Sunshine


In the west, the altitude goes below a thousand meters (3,300 feet) also along the border with Congo, where the Rusizi River flows, and where it can sometimes be very hot between September and March, with peaks around 35 °C (95 °F).
Still in the west, but to the east of the Rusizi River, there is also a mountainous area, where the altitude exceeds 2,000 meters (6,500 feet). The northern part is occupied by the Kibira National Park, while more to the south, we find Mount Heha, which is the highest peak of the country with its 2,684 meters (8,806 feet).


Here are the average temperatures of Rwegura, located at 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level.
Rwegura - Average temperatures
Min (°C)121212121111111112121212
Max (°C)212120201920202121212021
Min (°F)545454545252525254545454
Max (°F)707068686668687070706870

In this mountainous area, rainfall reaches 1,700 mm (68 in) per year, and it's abundant from October to April, although there is a certain decrease in January and February. Here is the rainfall in Rwegura.
Rwegura - Average precipitation

Best Time

The best time to visit Burundi runs from June to August, since it is clearly the driest and sunniest time of the year. Anyway, in this season, it can sometimes be cool or even cold at night, with temperatures around 12 °C (54 °F) in Bujumbura and even below on the plateau.

What to pack

In winter (June to August): in Bujumbura, Lake Tanganyika and the lowlands of the west, bring light clothes, a sweatshirt and a light jacket, and a light scarf for the breeze. On the plateau and in the mountains, bring spring/autumn clothes (light for the day), a sweater and a warm jacket for the evening, a sun hat, and hiking shoes.

In the rest of the year: in Bujumbura, Lake Tanganyika and the lowlands of the west, bring light clothing, a light sweatshirt for the evening, and a light raincoat or umbrella. On the plateau and in the mountains, bring spring/autumn clothes, being ready to remove the outer layer during the day, a jacket, and a raincoat for the evening; a sun hat, hiking shoes.

Back to top