Burkina Faso, formerly referred to as the Republic of Upper Volta, is a landlocked country situated in West Africa. It is surrounded by Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Ivory Coast to the southwest. It has a land area of approximately 274,200 square kilometres and an estimated population of over 17.3 million in 2014. Its capital is Ouagadougou and the official language of businesses and the government is French.
What to see & do
Burkina Faso is known as one of the friendliest countries in all of Africa. Brimming with stunning West African sceneries, the country is also an excellent destination for those who want to explore African culture and music. In fact, Burkina Faso is considered as the home of music in West Africa. Some of the music festivals that you can attend include the Festival International de la Culture Hip Hop in October, Festival Jazz in April or May, Festival des Masques et des Artes in March, Festival Panafricain du Cinema in February or March, and Semaine National de la Culture in March or April. Aside from these music festivals, you can check out the thriving music scene in the country, which involves lots of reggae, salsa, soukous, and traditional orchestras and bands playing in a lot of venues. You can also take a camel ride out into the desert, from Gorom Gorom, and even sleep out on the sand. Take a hike alongside the waterfalls outside of Banfora. You can take a trip on a pirogue and see the hippos in a lake near Banfora. See spectacular rock formations in Sindou peaks, which resemble the North American hoodoos. You can also have your own African outfit made then and there; just buy a fabric. See the crocodiles at one of the crocodile lakes outside of Ouagadougou. Lastly, you can explore the mud mosque in Bobo-Dioulasso or the enchanting mosques in Bani.
How to get around within Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is served by buses and vans (cars) to and from Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo. There’s also a train service for the Abidjan-Banfora-Bobo-Ouaga route. If you opt to bike around, you can rent one, or a moto, for a price.
How to get there
There are several airports in Burkina Faso. The one located at the capital is Ouagadougou Airport, which handles about 98% of all scheduled commercial air traffic in the country. Air Burkina (the national carrier) and Air France handle about 60% of all scheduled passenger traffic. Air Algérie, Air Burkina, Air France, Air Ivoire, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian, Ghana Airways, Point Afrique, and Royal Air Maroc offer flights to and from Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Brussels, Casablanca, Dakar, Niamey, and Paris. Other airports in the country are Banfora Airport, Dédougou Airport, Fada N'gourma Airport, Gaoua Airport, Kantchari Airport, Nouna Airport, Pama Airport, and Sebba Airport. The country is also accessible by train through the Cote d'Ivoire border; and by bus, from the neighbouring countries of Ghana, Mali, and Benin.