Burundi is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Burundi occupies an area of 27,830 km2 and is one of the smallest countries in Africa. The terrain of Burundi is hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau with an average elevation of 1700m in the east. The country straddles the Nile-Congo watershed and is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the Great Rift Valley. The Kagera River, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile. Much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. Burundi is the second most densely populated country in Africa and has the second highest population growth rate in the world. It is one of the poorest countries on the planet with approximately 80% of Burundi's population living in poverty and has the lowest per capita GDP of any nation in the world. Burundi continues to remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors, while its economy remains predominantly agricultural.


The regional geology of Burundi is dominated by Proterozoic low grade (meta-)sediments with isolated inliers of Archean crystalline basement, and is mostly made up of rocks belonging to the Mesoproterozoic Kibaran Belt, also termed the Burundian Supergroup, and of the Neoproterozoic Malagaarasian Supergroup which is equivalent to the Bukoban System in northwestern Tanzania. Tertiary and Quaternary sediments fill parts of the Western Rift at the northern tip of Lake Tanganyika.