Probably the thing Burkina Faso is most famous for is its music and drumming culture. What a great country to visit if you are interested in learning West African drumming! As with music, art is also part of the culture of Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso has a primarily tropical climate with two very distinct seasons: the rainy season with between 24-35 inches (600 and 900 mm) of rainfall, and the dry season during which the harmattan blows, a hot dry wind from the Sahara. The rainy season lasts approximately 4 months, May/ June to September, and is shorter in the north of the country.
Ouaga, as it’s affectionately dubbed, is a thriving, eclectic arts hub, with dance and concert venues, live bands, theatre companies, a busy festival schedule and beautiful handicrafts. Its streets are a busy, dusty mix of concrete and red roads, thousands of mopeds, street-peddlers and general, exuberant life that more than makes up for the capital’s lack of major sights.
Sindou Peaks are one of Burkina’s most unforgettable sights. Millions of years ago, these brown, sandy cones were underwater, and they’ve been shaped by the elements ever since. It’s a great place for light hiking and exploring the different formations – you may notice in the shapes almost anthropomorphic features, as if all of life hides inside them. A sunrise and a breakfast here promise a magical experience
Some of the best wildlife areas in West Africa are found in north Benin, where Pendjari National Park and W National Park are located. The best time to see the Pendjari National Park’s wildlife is towards the end of the dry season. The park is accessible to travellers and accommodation is available. W National Park is located in Benin’s far north, and stretches across Burkina Faso and Niger.
Réserve de Nazinga
This reserve is one of Burkina’s most loved and accessible wildlife-spotting areas. The multitude of animals – among them antelope, monkeys, caimans and a variety of bird species – attract visitors, but it’s the chance to spot elephants that gives the park its special edge. The dry season is the best time to see these majestic animals, but it’s worth visiting the park at any time of year regardless
Banfora is a sleepy town in its eponymous region, one of the most beautiful areas in Burkina Faso. It makes an ideal base for exploring the lush surrounding countryside: scaling up the magnificent Dômes de Fabedougou and taking a dip in the Karfiguéla Falls are experiences that are bound to stay with you for years, and a boat ride on Tengréla Lake is the perfect way to spot hippos.
The town itself has a lively Sunday market, with plenty of goods from nearby Côte d’Ivoire – heaps of bananas, pineapples and great ceramics and textiles.
Other Places Of Interest
Bobo-Dioulasso – or Bobo, as it’s widely known – may be Burkina Faso’s second-largest city, but it has small-town charm. Its tree-lined streets exude a languid, semi-tropical atmosphere that makes it a favourite rest stop for travellers.
You’ll have plenty to do during the day in and around the city – hire a moped to see the surrounding sights – but save some energy for nighttime to enjoy Bobo’s thriving live-music scene and excellent restaurants.
Tiébélé & Kassena Country
Set in the heart of the green and low-lying Kassena country, Tiébélé, 40km east of Pô on a dirt track, is famous for its sukhala – colourful, windowless traditional houses. Painted by women in geometrical patterns of red, black and white guinea-fowl feathers, the houses offer an antidote to the monochrome mud-brick villages found elsewhere in Burkina Faso
This tiny settlement is a terrific place to experience traditional culture. The scenery is gorgeous, with a series of gray limestone hills, cliffs and escarpment formations that loom on the horizon. Then you can explore its beautiful ancient village, dotted with terracotta dwellings – this is where local customs and the vivid history of the villagers come to life