Boozy Bujumbura

IMG_4819Tora Bora? No that’s Afghanistan. Bora Bora, French Polynesia? No, this was Bora Bora bar Bujumbura, a large beach bar on gorgeous shores of lake Tanganyika, for the biggest night of the year. And thanks to our lady Mary’s assumption we had a long weekend to enjoy…

We drove down the Bugesera way to stop off at a friend’s factory to have a look round and drop of some cash in order to keep the cogs turning. The factory looked good, people were paid and we soon enough reached the Burundi border. This border has a one stop shop for both the Rwandan and Burundian paperwork, so we were hoping to waltz through. However as not everyone was playing ball. There was a constant stream so people pushing in. After 10 mins of not moving we sprang in action organising the whole situation and getting people into line. As we walked away with completed documents, we looked back with contentment seeing two perfectly straight and disciplined queues; if only all problems were this simple to fix.


IMG_47935 hours of keen driving later and after dodging a few bunnies, we arrived in Bujumbura to a smiling friend and cold beer. She took us to Cercle Nautique de Bujumbura, which is the old colonial boating club. The highlights were the adjacent wallowing hippos and our impromptu table right at the end of the breakwater at sunset. It was the perfect end to a long drive; no where in Rwanda feels so free and relaxed…

The next day began with the fabled Cafe Gourmand and it did not disappoint. Its opened at 10.30 and when we arrived at 10.48 it was already full! Once we were seated a plethora pastries, drinks, sandwiches and cakes were ordered and consumed with glee.

IMG_4768Barley being able to move, we rolled out of the cafe; we had a “National Park” to go to. We were told not to get our hopes up so brought along some port and vodka just incase. The Reserve Naturelle De La Rusizi is just past the bridge (you’ll know the one when you pass it) from Bujumbura. It’s $10 for residents, which we all said we were. We bounded though the gate and along track to the first viewing tower, tower number… 2. From there we could see the estuary with flocks of birds and hippos; rock and roll wildlife viewing! We drove and visited the second and third towers, tower numbers 3 and 4. We continued onwards from tower 4 and popped to DRC and then back again. After a mixed bag of wildlife viewing we went to plan B; back to tower 2 to consume port and pineapple infused vodka. This made the wildlife a lot more interesting…

IMG_4799The sun was going down, time was getting on and we had a party to get ready for, so we headed back to our mansion. At the mansion, we welcomed the entire Bujumbura anglophone community to have a pre-party pot luck, a drink and celebrate the birthday of one of our number.

Party time! The scene was apocalyptic as we approached. Cars and taxis at all angles and people everywhere. We parked up and fought the melee with the music getting ever louder as we became ever closer. Once we were in, Bora Bora had turned from a quiet beach bar into a riot! In the bar we could not move for people and the beach was as packed. What followed was a drink, African hit, Western hit, and the another drink in a mesmeric hectic circle. After a while the bonfires on the beach provide quality touch to chill and chat…

The next day at Cafe Gourmand (where else) the evening was re-constucted in vibrated detail. If you haven’t been to Bujumbura, you must go!!!


Bora Bora Beach Party 2014 Bujumbura, Burundi


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