Airports, Airlines, Aviation

Arriving in Bujumbura

It was a 30 hour journey from LAX to BJM (Bujumbura, Burundi) that started at 2230 Dec 26 and ended at 1500 Dec 28. Somehow we lost a day in there due to the time change and the 13 hour flight from IAD – ADD (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). All told we have 4 flights: LAX – IAD; IAD – ADD; ADD – KGL (Kigali, Rwanda); KGL- BJM.

I waved goodbye to my parents and my grandfather and I set off to LAX.

Bye Bye LA

We took a selfie at LAX.

Grandpa and me selfie

I was jazzed about the United LAX-IAD red-eye flight’s free blankets.Free blankets on United

And even more excited about the ambience of the Ethiopian Air flight to Addis (great colors, music, costumes, and smiling flight attendants). It also didn’t suck that I had an empty middle seat next to me for the next 13 hours.Ethiopian Airlines

I was not so jazzed about our delay in the Addis airport (note to tripchi – there’s nothing to do). At least I got to finish the book I was reading – “Princess” by Jean Sasson – about the life  of a royal princess in Saudi Arabia.

But, eventually we got to Bujumbura, Burundi, and had our tour guide Robert meet us as luggage claim, ready to whisk us away to Hotel Club du Lac on Lake Tanganyika.

The grounds here are a lush garden, and it has a private beach right on the lake. There are also some random cacti.

Garden Cacti Hotel flower Hotel flower

Here’s a few views from my room on the beach, the coconut trees, some wildlife, and the lake in the distance.The Pier African Relaxing from my bedroom patior Burundi Bedroom View

And what trip to Africa wouldn’t be complete without a mosquito net? It’s actually not very necessary this time of year (Winter), and the hotel has AC, but it was fun to sleep under nonetheless. I felt like I was sleeping in a canopy bed.Elegant Mosquito Net

After arriving to the hotel by 5PM, Leslie and I walked around the grounds and went down to the lake to dip our toes in the water. It was warm and inviting. We went for a short walk and ran in to a wedding party next door, so we stayed for a while and listed to the Burundi drumming.

We settled down for a Primus beer (tastes like a Heineken) and enjoyed the perfect Bujumbura sky, while eating dinner on the beach and enjoying our drinks. We ordered the local fish from the lake and grilled lamb, with lengalenga (vegetables like spinach or collared greens) and plantains, cooked in the French style. Yum. Leslie was also able to practice her French to both apologize for crashing the wedding, and to order beer and food.

Perfect Blue Burundi Sky

We went to bed at 2130, full and contented, but exhausted and jet-lagged, ready for the following day of adventure.

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