Country guides Africa
Its name meaning 'land of the upright men', Burkina Faso is a country of 60 different ethnicities and a diverse blend of cultures and traditions. Landlocked and bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire, the destination has a surprising number of attractions, despite the fact that very few tourists ever visit. The capital, Ouagadougou, is a welcoming city with excellent restaurants and entertainment options.
The most interesting place to visit is Bobo Dioulasso, known throughout West Africa for its music and nightlife and as the home of the djembe drum. The city's atmospheric Old Quarter and Grande Mosque are also well worth seeing. Another city, Gorom Gorom, is known for its Thursday market and for the Feminine Artisan Centre of Gorom, where the local women demonstrate their skill in art, sculpture, and pottery. Other sites that are sure to capture a visitor's imagination include the granite-sculpting artists of Laongo, the sacred crocodiles of Sabou, the mausoleum commemorating Princess Guimbi Ouattara, and the natural waterfall of Banfora.
Getting around Burkina Faso entails roughing it a bit, as infrastructure remains underdeveloped, but the adventure and scenery are compensation enough for the inconvenience of potholed roads and lack of basic facilities. There is a train service running from Ouagadougou to the other main towns, but flying is invariably the quickest travel option within the country. Travellers looking for a varied slice of West African life will have many incentives to find their way around.