1. Locals in small towns and villages are very welcoming, they are happy to meet the few tourists who make it there
2. The colorful, elegant traditional dresses of the women in the markets and in the streets
3. You can buy lovely folklore items, souvenirs
4. The impressive mosques of Bobo Diolulasso
5. The huts in some villages are stunningly adorned
6. I loved the red color of the sandy roads
7. The rocks around the village of Sindou
8. We were surprised to see tourists biking around in such a risky country (they had a local guide though)
9. Nice landscapes with ricefields
10. Watching hippos at Tengrela
There are a lot of elephants. Any place that has elephants is OK with me.
There are also horses, nice to look at not so much fun to fall off. The people love the horses here. The White Stallion is the country’s national symbol. The indigenous people consider the horse to be a best friend, a wife, a colleague, and a car. Brings a whole new concept to the idea of a horse's head under the duvet.
If you like craft type of stuff there is a very good market in Ouagadougou. In particular, there are very interesting masks. Don’t forget to haggle I generally aim for at least a third of the asking price. There are tons of stuff that look great there and like crap when you get home.
Burkina Faso is a majority Muslim with also Christians and Animists. There are weird adobe mosques made from mud and wooden logs that are well worth a visit. They sort of varnish them to help with waterproofing. You don’t want your mosques to end up as a pool of mud. The Great Mosque of Bobo-Dioulasso sits in the center of Ouagadougou. Take a look.
When entering don’t forget to observe local customs, if in doubt, ask.
The country’s history dates back to pre-historic times. There are artifacts proving that it is actually home to one of the oldest human settlements in West Africa. Some of the bedding looked original.
Its interesting that we never get taught this stuff in school.
One of the indicators of an ancient and developed culture is the fact that you can always get a beer in Burkina Faso. The local people manage to go through a lot of it regardless, it would seem, of religion. So, fear not when it gets hot, which it will.
Arli National Park the national park is spread over a huge space and has some of the best species of plants and animals. You can spot elephants, hippos, lions, baboons, buffalo, western hartebeest, ( hartebeest is like a wilder beast that plays rugby), warthog, boar, waterbuck, duiker, roan antelopes, bushbuck, and the red & green monkeys endemic to the forests.
We saw everything in Nazinga, (Nazinga_Game_Ranch). The elephants are the star attraction. When, however, an elephant gives you a funny look you realize the importance of packing spare underwear. (Alan Durant, 2020)
1. The permanent (and legitimate) worry about a possible terrorist attack or kidnapping, efforts finding the safest itinerary
2. Landlocked country, no seaside experience
3. Struggling with an army of begging kids
4. Forget about any decent culinary experience
5. Ouagadougou is a shabby town, locals are tense and brutish, we had quite a few irritating altercations with them
6. There are strict rules about taking photos
7. Women at the market yelling at us even as we were politely asking permission to take pictures of them
8. Trash everywhere, locals do not care about that
9. Damned mosquitoes
10. The frequent harassment of guys who offer themselves as guides
The food is pretty simple and often not that great, although of course there is an element of luck in this. Lots of vegetable stews with hard to identify ingredients.
Malaria, always sleep under a mosquito net. What I don’t understand is why when you first get under a net there is always at least one mosquito waiting for you. You can have hours of fun trying to convince them to leave. It can put a damper on your love life as well.
Gold is produced in BF, lots of it but often under conditions of near slave or actual slave labor. If you want to look flash perhaps better to buy a Fedora instead.…….
In Burkina Faso, forced marriage is still rampant. They always say you should respect local customs, but……….
Burkina Faso is poor even by West African standards. Even though its got gold, things will grow and it has potential for tourism like most developing countries it gets screwed by the big powers, big companies, and its own elite. The GDP per capita is just $1,400 and 80% of the population are farmers. I could go on about the high fertility rate and increasing population, the move to overcrowded cities, poverty, and exploitation but for those of you with delicate constitutions, I won't.
Burkina Faso is one of Africa’s least urbanized societies. Despite plagues of locusts, catastrophic droughts, desertification, and the fatal effects of US cotton subsidies (Burkina produces cotton at one-quarter the cost of American cotton, but subsidies mean US producers can undercut Burkinabe farmers), over three-quarters still live in the countryside. You see I said I wouldn’t go on then I just went ahead and did it.
There is a Jihadist insurgency in the north. I have never understood why people need to use violence to defend a god or gods that are supposed to be omnipotent and all-powerful and should be able to defend themselves. See what I did there?
Depending on what you’re used to market and city centers can seem like high-pressure environments and you need some downtime at regular intervals. I mean how many masks can I really get in a backpack? (Alan Durant, 2020)