Five kilometres north of Bujumbura lies one of Burundi’s hidden treasures, Saga beach. Previously, Plages des Cocotiers, Saga beach is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It was renamed Saga beach by locals to commemorate the popular bar and restaurant around.
Landlocked and one of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi is often overlooked when it comes to tourist destinations. In union with Rwanda and Congo, the three countries are known as the Great Lakes Countries. The civil war of 1993 dulled the tourism industry and after intervention from the UN and other African countries, Burundi was able to start rebuilding itself. Since then there has been a lot of political unrest, but this hasn’t hindered the discovery of touristic destination in Burundi.
The distance from Bujumbura makes it ideal for a weekend or day trip. Saga beach is generally underdeveloped. There aren’t many activities to do by the lake shores, but that could change over time as Burundi develops and invests more in the tourism sector.
At first glance, it may not match up to the white sands the likes of Zanzibar and Mauritius, but it is known to be one of the best inland beaches in Africa. The waters are safe to swim in, and it is ideal for a relaxing day away from reality. The setting reminds me of a scene from a Nicholas Sparks movie, and just could be the place you meet that stranger who changes your life forever.
Most of the activities at the beach include eating fresh fish at the restaurants and bars, swimming and the nightlife. Occasionally, boats will be available for fishing or to visit the other shore of Lake Tanganyika. Getting to Saga is relatively easy, as it is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Most of the minibuses, taxis and buses will get you to Saga.