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Geography of Burundi
Burundi
Continent Africa[1]
Region Central Africa
Coordinates 3°30′S 30°0′E / 3.5°S 30°E / -3.5; 30
Area Ranked 153rd
27,830 km2 (10,745.2 sq mi)
92.2% land
12.8% water
Borders 974 km (DROC 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km)
Highest point Mount Heha 2670 m
Lowest point Lake Tanganyika 772 m
Largest lake Lake Tanganika
Satellite image of Burundi, generated from raster graphics data supplied by The Map Library
Topography of Burundi

Burundi is located in central Africa, to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at the co-ordinates 3°30′S 30°0′E / 3.5°S 30°E / -3.5; 30.

Contents

Physical geography

Burundi occupies an area equal to 27,830 square kilometres in size, of which 25,650 km² is land. The country has 974 kilometres of land border: 233 km of which is shared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 290 km with Rwanda and 451 km with Tanzania. As a landlocked country, Burundi possesses no coastline, although it straddles the crest of the Nile-Congo River watershed.

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Climate

Burundi in general has a tropical highland climate, with a considerable daily temperature range in many areas. Temperature also varies considerably from one region to another, chiefly as a result of differences in altitude. The central plateau enjoys pleasantly cool weather, with an average temperature of 20 °C. The area around Lake Tanganyika is warmer, averaging 23 °C; the highest mountain areas are cooler, averaging 16 °C. Bujumbura’s average annual temperature is 23 °C. Rain is irregular, falling most heavily in the northwest. Dry seasons vary in length, and there are sometimes long periods of drought. However, four seasons can be distinguished: the long dry season (June–August), the short wet season (September–November), the short dry season (December–January), and the long wet season (February–May). Most of Burundi receives between 1300 and 1600 mm of rainfall a year. The Ruzizi Plain and the northeast receive between 750 and 1000 mm.

Terrain

The terrain of Burundi is hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in the east. The southern and eastern plains have been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion.

The lowest point in the country is at Lake Tanganyika, at 772 m, with the highest point being on Mount Heha, at 2,684 m. [2] Natural hazards are posed in Burundi by flooding and landslides.

Natural resources

Burundi possesses reserves of: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited) and vanadium. There is also arable land and the potential for hydropower. 140 km² of land in Burundi is irrigated. The table below describes land use in Burundi.

Land use
Use Percentage of Area
arable land 35.57
permanent crops 13.12
other 51.31

Environment

Current issues

Soil erosion is an issue for Burundi, and is as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands. Other issues include: deforestation, due to the uncontrolled cutting-down of trees for fuel; and habitat loss threatens wildlife populations.

International agreements

Burundi is a party to the following international agreements that relate to the environment: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes and Ozone Layer Protection. The following have been signed but not yet ratified by Burundi: Law of the Sea and Nuclear Test Ban.

References

  1. ^ CIA World Factbook
  2. ^ Burundi, land and resources

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