Burundi is a landlocked country located in east-central Africa. It borders with Rwanda to its north, Tanzania to the east and south and to the west by Zaire.
Burundi is very mountainous, with a western range of mountains running north and south and continuing into Rwanda. The only land below 3,000 ft is a narrow strip of plain along the Ruzizi River which forms the western border north of Lake Tanganyika. From the mountains eastwards, the land declines gradually, dropping to about 4,500 ft toward the southeastern and southern border. The average elevation of the central plateau is 5,600 ft.
The major rivers form natural boundaries for most the country. The Akanuaru and the Kagera separate Burundi from Rwanda along many sections of the common border. The Kagera and the Ruvuvu are important as the southernmost sources of the Nile. Most of Burundi's southern border is formed by the Malagarazi River.