Burundians like to have fun and there is no shortage of places to indulge in. for a central African lake, Lake Tanganyika for starters has too pristine a beach, though artificial compared to say Lake Victoria or Lake Kivu.
Never mind that lakes really don’t have beaches, but lake shores. Natural beaches are a creation of nature on the boundaries of an ocean. But who cares, if you cannot go to the beach, especially if the beach can come to you?
That is the idea behind Borabora beach. At Borabora, you will be forgiven for thinking you have just landed on a Caribbean island.
An all-white wooden structure suspended above the sand just next to the water just out of the landscape. A set of cozy white settees with a collection brightly colored pillows offer comfort as one enjoys the splash of the afternoon tides in the lake.
It looks like a read paradise on earth, a wooden hammock next to the bar marks the owner’s dreamy domicile.
If Borabora is a water paradise, the New Parador Hotel is a paradise away form the waterline but with an imposing view of Bujumbura, with the lake a distant but refreshing break from the mountainous horizon that marks the beginning of Congo.
But Bujumbura is not about Lake Tanganyika. In Havana, not the capital of Cuba, but one of the most happening joints in the middle of Africa, literally.
A classy bar with short comfy leather settees, a wall decorated by beautiful pictures of the real Havana, and one of a human which a face of a hybrid dog feeds you artistic imagination as you engage in the business of harming your livers.
Behind the bar is a club, in which whoever had the job of purring it together takes the credit for a good sense of innovation. A metallic scaffolding that accrues fluorescent lights, suspends the deejays box above the dance floor and provides a frame for the nice white rotating club seats.
Archipel is another one of the signature Bujumbura hanging out joint – a bar, cum open air disco plus fried chicken and fish affairs (the cuisine is fodder for another Saturday). To complete the picture, huge screens grace the walls to satisfy the craze for European soccer.
And so is the Aosto, another bar cum club affair perched on the second floor on Bujumbura’s most happening street where the choice of wine or spirit is better left to the alcohol aficionados.
Yet, this is just a tip of the iceberg. One thing for sure is that if you are the type who fancies a place that never goes to sleep especially on weekends, Bujumbura’s nooks might just be the perfect place.