world map

Rwanda / Burundi

date of entry 06/03/1989
mileage 14,401

Rwanda

capital Kigali

area 26.338 km²

population 11,4 M.

GDP 7700 M. US-Dollar

official language French/Kinyarwanda/English

Burundi

capital Bujumbura

area 27.834 km²

population 10,5 Mio.

GDP 1001 M. US-Dollar

official language France/Kirundi

The two small countries in Eastern Africa have a German colonial history: for about 30 years they were ruled by "German East Africa". Then in the First World War they were placed under Belgian administration. Otto visited both countries early on in his tour, in 1989 and 1993, before the devastating conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis in which hundreds of thousands of people died.
Rwanda lies on the shores of Lake Kivu and is known as the land of a thousand hills. This very fertile country is densely populated. The country has a long history of ethnic violence between the two ethnic groups. In 1994 the Hutus committed genocide against the Tutsis there.
  • A vulture shielding the prey with its wings
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  • In mountainous regions tea flourishes over a wide area.
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  • Bananas are also grown.
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  • Gunther Holtorf was fascinated by the women ...
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  • ... who balanced heavy loads ...
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  • ... on their heads for hours ...
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  • ... and covered long distances in the process
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  • In the hilly terrain there was great poverty even back then, not least because the country was so densely populated
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  • Many of these children faced an uncertain future
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  • The people had no idea of the atrociites that lay ahead. Counted peanuts were being traded here.
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  • Hippopotami lived in the rivers
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Burundi is one of the smallest states in Africa and lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. A mountain range runs through the country. One of the Nile’s tributaries has its source here. Burundi also has a long tradition of ethnic violence, in this case, however, by the Tutsis against the Hutus.
  • ... called so because of the colour of their genitals
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  • In Burundi’s mountainous terrain the fields are terraced for cultivation
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  • Thanks to some 1,000 millimetres of annual rainfall Burundi has an ample supply of water for its population
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  • Deep in the bush Otto’s arrival always attracted hordes of enthusiastic children
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  • The tracks were often very muddy, ...
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  • ... the bridges had sometimes been washed away in the rainy season ...
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  • ... and the routes were rather overgrown
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  • The national parks in particular were still rich in wildlife
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  • Lions were a common sight in Burundi
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  • Gunther Holtorf photographed baboons ...
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  • ... vervet (green) monkeys, ...
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  • Video: Rwanda/Burundi – fascinating mountain scenery and wild animals