Living Museum of Bujumbura
The Living Museum of Bujumbura: A Gateway to Burundi's Wildlife and Art
Embark on a journey into the heart of Burundi's cultural and natural heritage at the Living Museum of Bujumbura (Musée Vivant de Bujumbura). Nestled in Burundi's largest city and erstwhile capital, Bujumbura, this cherished institution is a unique blend of a zoo and a museum. It serves as one of the country's leading public museums, dedicated to showcasing the diverse wildlife and rich artistic traditions of Burundi.
From Humble Beginnings
The Living Museum of Bujumbura came to life in 1977. Encompassing a 3-hectare (7.4-acre) park, it is conveniently located on the rue du 13 Octobre in the heart of downtown Bujumbura. Over the years, the museum has become home to an array of indigenous animals. As of December 2016, the zoo hosted six crocodiles, a monkey, a leopard, two chimpanzees, three guinea fowls, a tortoise, an antelope, and an assortment of snakes and fish, each contributing to a fascinating glimpse into the country's fauna.
A Living Canvas of Burundian Craftsmanship and Tradition
The Living Museum of Bujumbura is not merely a sanctuary for animals. It also offers a platform for local Burundian artisans to showcase their craft, with several workshops dotting the museum premises. Here, visitors can witness the creation of traditional Burundian art and perhaps even take a piece home as a tangible reminder of their journey.
The museum's surroundings are as intriguing as its exhibits. The park is adorned with a variety of trees, providing a serene and verdant backdrop for exploration. A key attraction within the museum grounds is a reconstructed traditional Burundian house (rugo), offering a window into the nation's architectural heritage.
A Jewel Amidst Adversity
The 2015 Burundian unrest led to a sharp decline in the number of tourists visiting the country, and consequently, the museum witnessed a steep drop in its visitor count. However, the Living Museum of Bujumbura remains a symbol of Burundi's resilience, preserving its wildlife and cultural heritage amid challenging times. This living testament to Burundi's past and present continues to welcome visitors, enticing them with its rich offerings and fascinating stories.
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