Little landlocked Burkina Faso is one of West Africa’s hidden jewels. It’s one of the world’s poorest countries, but that doesn’t stop the Burkinabes walking with pride. Some of the friendliest faces you’ll see are in the streets of Burkina Faso’s villages and towns. Dancing is a favourite national pastime and centuries-old traditions are part of everyday life. There are hippos to be spotted, waterfalls to be admired, markets to be explored and songs to be sung.
Burkina Faso Tours & Travel
About Burkina Faso
At a glance
|Capital city:||Ouagadougou (population 1.45 million)|
|Language:||French, More, Fulfulde, Lobi|
|Time zone:||(GMT) Casablanca|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)|
Best time to visit Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso has a tropical climate which can mean some serious extremes between the wet months and dry months. The best time to visit is between October and December. From June to September the rains set in and days can be very hot and humid. The weather cools from December to February but harmattan winds bring dusty air. If you like your weather super hot then March to early June are the months for you with averages soaring into the 40s (Celsius).
Geography and environment
Top 5 Quirky Places in Burkina Faso
With a name that just rolls off the tongue, Ouaga (as the locals call it) is a fascinating city. It may be the capital of the third-poorest country in the world, but the town lives up to its name: ‘Where people get honour and respect’.
So much fun to say, and even more fun to visit. Home to the Bobo tribe, this town has vibrant markets, and music and dancing wherever you go.
3. La Mare aux Poison Sacres de Dafre
Not far from Bobo-Dioulasso is the ‘sacred fishpond of Dafra’. Locals come here to sacrifice chickens to the fish, which have, understandably, grown huge.
Home to beautiful waterfalls, Karfiguela offers visitors a glimpse of tropical paradise. Walk through an avenue of mango trees and over a jumble of rocks to see the falls.
5. Lake Tengrela
Bring your camera for some serious hippopotamus spotting. Locals believe the hippos are sacred and therefore won’t attack humans. Bring a long lens, just to be on the safe side.
FAQs on Burkina Faso
You are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or at the border for Burkina Faso. Allow US$20 cash. For Australian passport holders, the French Consulate in Sydney is authorized to issue short stay visas on behalf of Burkina Faso & Togo for tourism. Applications can be made on-line via their website: http://www.ambafrance-au.org/france_australie/spip.php?article1100
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 3 Anniversary of the 1966 Coup d’Etat
Jan 24 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammed)
Mar 8 International Women’s Day
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 9 Ascension Day
Aug 4 Revolution Day
Aug 5 Independence Day
Aug 8 Aid El Segheir (End of Ramadan)
Aug 15 Assumption
Oct 15 Anniversary of the 1987 Coup d’Etat
Oct 15 Aid El Kebir (Feast of Sacrifice)
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Nov 4 El am Hejir (Islamic New Year)
Dec 11 Proclamation of the Republic
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Burkina Faso Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Burkina Faso
1. Be considerate of Burkina Faso’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
|Exchange Is Not Robbery||John M. Chernoff|
|The Bobo Marche||Curtis Cushman|
|The Parachute Drop||Norbert Zongo|
|Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso||Alain-Joseph Sissao|