On the face of it, there may not be enough reasons that makes Burkina Faso a compelling destination to visit. But only if you dig in deeper, will you find that this land-locked West African country has a plethora of attractions that enlightens visitors and educates them about the beautiful and fascinating culture and music of Africa. Currently, there is some civil unrest in this beautiful country. So kindly keep your safety as top priority before planning for a holiday in Burkina Faso.
Kick-start the trip by straight-away heading to the country's capital - Ougadougou. Renowned to be a major cultural centre in West Africa and sports a lively and buzzing night scene. It is also home to the nation's major ethnic tribes. Some of the notable highlights in the city are Bangre-Weoogo urban park that offers several trails for walking and running. Another incredible park is the Unite Pedagogique which protects animals in a semi-free state. Stretching over 8 hectares (20 acres), this botanic garden/biosphere system also serves as a museum for the nation's history. Be sure to catch a glimpse of Naba Koom - a statue showcasing a women handling a calabash to pour water.
Spend some time at Bobo-Dioulasso, one of the top tourist attractions in Burkina Faso. One can learn a lot about African culture as well as view a plethora of historical monuments. Witness a plethora of architectural styles prevalent there - a delicious blend of French and Sudanese designs. Some of the local attractions is the Great Mosque as well as the train station. Dig into regional culture by heading over to Grande Marche, which showcases artworks of tribes from all over West Africa.
Be sure to visit the ruins of Loropeni for they are believed to be about 1,000 years old. Archaeologists are still unsure of what they are but they are rumoured to be the former settlement of the Koulango or Lohron tribes. Hikers will love going on a beautiful hike alongside the Karfiguela waterfalls outside of Banfora. Be sure to head over to the Tengrela lake near Banfora where one can drift on the pirongue to view the hippos.
Be sure to trek over to the Sinou peaks, housed couple of hours West of Banfora. They are a fantastic place for a hike or a family picnic. When in Gorom Gorom, don't forget to take a camel ride out in the desert and even sleep in the sand. Wild-life enthusiasts would be delighted to spend a lot of time at W National Park - a trans-border park which comprises areas of three countries: Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso. The park is renowned for its huge mammals including baboons, buffaloes, caracal, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, leopards, lions and warthogs. The park is home to some of West Africa's last wild African elephants. The area is also renowned for its bird populations, particularly migrants, with over 350 species housed in the park.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for wooden statuettes, bronze models, masks, worked skins from the tannery, jewellery, fabrics, hand-woven blankets and leather goods and crafts ranging from chess sets to ashtrays. Don't forget to head over to the Gorom Gorom Market where market sellers of varied ethnicities visit every Thursday from all over the nation to sell their wares. As for cuisine, be sure to gorge into few of their delicacies such as sorghum, rice with sauce, beef and aubergine with sauce and Brochettes (meat cooked on a skewer).
The stay options in Burkina Faso are abundant with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap lodgings available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and tastes.
The climate of Burkina Haso is dominated by two large seasons - rainy season as well as the relatively dry tropical savannah. The best time to visit the country would be between November and February when the weather is most temperate.