Afrisonet: Universally African and Socially Responsible.
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Burundi, landlocked republic in eastern Africa, bounded on the north by Rwanda, on the east and south by Tanzania, and on the west by Lake Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire). Formerly ruled by tribal monarchies, the area that is now Burundi was colonized by Germany in the late 19th century and under German and then Belgian administration until its independence in 1962. Bujumbura is the capital and largest city.With an area of 27,834 sq km (10,747 sq mi), Burundi is one of Africa’s smallest countries. Most of the country is a hilly plateau region, with elevations ranging between 1,400 and 1,800 m (between 4,600 and 5,900 ft). Elevations decrease gradually to the east and southeast. The narrow western margin, bordering the Ruzizi River and Lake Tanganyika, lies in the trough of the Great Rift Valley. Southeast of Bujumbura, Burundi’s highest peak, Karonje, rises to an elevation of 2,760 m (9,055 ft).
The main rivers are the Ruzizi, Malagarasi, and Ruvuvu, none of which are navigable. Dominating the south and west of the country, Lake Tanganyika is shared by Burundi, the DRC, and Tanzania. In the northeast Lake Cohoha and Lake Rugwero straddle the border with Rwanda. Water from the Malagarasi and Ruzizi rivers is used for irrigation in the extreme eastern and extreme western lowlands.Savanna vegetation (grassland interspersed with trees) predominates in most of the country. Eucalyptus, acacia, and oil palm are the most common trees. Forests, once extensive, are now concentrated in national parks and nature reserves. The diverse wildlife is limited by dense human settlement and includes elephants, leopards, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, wild boars, antelope, monkeys, and flying lemurs. Birds, such as guinea hens, partridges, ducks, geese, quail, and snipe, are particularly plentiful around the northeastern lakes.Arable land and land used for permanent crops account for 43 percent of Burundi’s land area. Another 4 percent is covered by forest. The principal mineral resources are peat, uranium, nickel, petroleum, tin, bastnasite, and gold.