Living in Ruyigi as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Ruyigi Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Ruyigi

Ruyigi is a city in eastern Burundi, located near the Tanzanian border. It is the capital of Ruyigi Province and has a population of approximately 30,000 people. The city is home to a diverse community, including a small expat population.

Tips for expats in Ruyigi

Visa requirements

Expats looking to live and work in Burundi must obtain a residency permit and a work permit. The residency permit costs around $500 per year, while the work permit costs around $1,000 per year. Visas are required for entry into Burundi and can be obtained at Burundian embassies or consulates.

Language resources

French and Kirundi are the official languages of Burundi. While some people in Ruyigi speak English, it is not widely spoken. Expats are advised to learn French or Kirundi to facilitate communication and integration into the local community. Language schools and tutors are available in Ruyigi and Bujumbura.

Cost of living for expats in Ruyigi


Housing in Ruyigi is relatively affordable. A room in a shared house costs around $50 to $70 per month, a one-bedroom apartment costs around $100 to $150 per month, a two-bedroom apartment costs around $150 to $200 per month, and a three-bedroom house or larger costs around $200 to $300 per month.


Groceries in Ruyigi are affordable. A week's worth of groceries for one person costs around $20 to $30. Local markets offer fresh produce, meat, and fish at reasonable prices.


Transportation in Ruyigi is inexpensive. A monthly pass for public transportation costs around $10, and a one-way ticket costs approximately $0.25. Taxis are also available, with fares starting at around $1.50 for a short trip.

Climate in Ruyigi

Ruyigi experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. The city has two main seasons: a wet season (October to April) and a dry season (May to September). The average temperature ranges from 20°C (68°F) to 27°C (80.6°F) throughout the year.

Job market in Ruyigi

The job market in Ruyigi is limited, with most jobs available in agriculture, education, healthcare, and government. Some opportunities may exist in NGOs and international organizations. Speaking French and/or Kirundi is often required for employment.

Healthcare in Ruyigi

Healthcare facilities in Ruyigi are limited, with only a few hospitals and clinics available. The city has one public hospital, Ruyigi Provincial Hospital, and several private clinics. Expats are advised to have international health insurance and may consider traveling to Bujumbura or neighboring countries for more advanced medical care.

Transport in Ruyigi

Public transportation in Ruyigi consists of minibusses and taxis. Minibusses follow set routes and operate on a shared basis, while taxis are available for private hire. The city has two main bus stations, one in Centre-Ville and one in Butezi, which connect Ruyigi to other cities in Burundi and neighboring countries.

Safety in Ruyigi

Ruyigi is generally safe, but petty crime such as theft and pickpocketing can occur. Expats are advised to take precautions such as locking their doors and windows, avoiding deserted areas at night, and not carrying large amounts of cash. The city has a police station and a gendarmerie, which provide emergency services.

Neighborhoods in Ruyigi

  1. Centre-Ville

    Centre-Ville is the city center of Ruyigi. It is home to most of the city's government buildings, banks, and markets. The neighborhood is bustling with activity and has a vibrant nightlife scene.

  2. Butezi

    Butezi is a residential neighborhood located on the outskirts of Ruyigi. It is quieter and more suburban than Centre-Ville, with wide streets and spacious homes. The neighborhood is popular with expats and local elites.

Attractions in Ruyigi

  1. Gitega National Park

    Gitega National Park is a protected area located approximately 90 kilometers northwest of Ruyigi. The park is home to various wildlife, including baboons, vervet monkeys, and antelopes. Visitors can go on guided tours, hike, and camp in the park.

  2. Rusumo Falls

    Rusumo Falls is a waterfall located on the Kagera River, which forms the border between Tanzania and Burundi. The falls are approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Ruyigi and are a popular destination for day trips. Visitors can hike, picnic, and enjoy the stunning views of the falls.

International Schools in Ruyigi

  1. Ecole Belge de Gitega


    Ecole Belge de Gitega is a Belgian international school located in Gitega, approximately 90 kilometers northwest of Ruyigi. The school offers a curriculum based on the Belgian system and teaches in French. It caters to students from kindergarten to secondary school.

Expat destinations in Burundi