#Ouagadougou, capital of African crafts
Thanks to its considerable ethnic diversity, Burkina Faso creates a varied and high quality craft industry renowned well beyond its borders. Wooden sculptures, bronzes, batiks, bogolans and other silver jewellery are the work of blacksmiths, weavers and goldsmiths from all over the country. Ouagadougou has become the capital of African crafts in recent decades, with the International Crafts Fair (SIAO), which brings together thousands of artisans from around the world every two years.
An authentic destination :
Here, few tourist palaces or holiday clubs, Burkina Faso is reserved for travellers from all over the world in search of humanity and authenticity. Rich in the ancestral traditions that make Africa a fascinating continent, Burkinabe society is moderately affected by Westernization. A perfect opportunity to see another vision.
On the road to adventure
Burkina Faso is not a destination for mass tourism... If the infrastructures are generally well developed, the journey will be done a lot on tracks, in a very relative comfort. Some accommodations offer a high standard but the majority offer basic comfort. 4x4 or bush taxis, walking, boat or camel rides, this is a dynamic journey. It is up to everyone to find their own rhythm and make time for a few naps in the shade of the mango trees. The journey to Burkina Faso is a continuous adventure, made up of unexpected events and chance encounters that guarantee a batch of unforgettable memories.
Hospital country par excellence
If there was only one word to describe it, hospitality would be enough to describe Burkina Faso. As soon as we entered some place, the "Good arrival! "full of enthusiasm and warmth. The welcome is essential for Burkinabe people who want above all the well-being of foreigners who have done the honour of visiting their lands. In this small country, the door is always open. It even seems to us that the more modest the home, the more open the door.
Scenes of folk life
A guinea fowl seller whose moped is lined with dozens of live poultry such as feather armour, the roof of a bush taxi-on which sits at the top of a jumble of flour bags, bicycles or cardboard, a herd of goats with their hair in the wind, the donkey pulling his wooden cart that elected the middle of the road to make his break... Here are some details that make the folklore of Faso, an unusual atmosphere outside of time in which everything or almost everything is allowed, except stress!
Wild nature and landscapes
At the risk of undermining a shortcut too often used to describe African tourism, it is wrong to believe that East Africa is the destination for safaris and West Africa is the destination for cultural trips. This vision is reductive and does not do justice to the peoples of East Africa or to the splendid wilderness of West Africa so well represented in Burkina Faso. A safari in the south and east of the country is highly recommended, although it remains true that the country's great tourist wealth lies in its population.
Encounter and ethnic mosaic
A trifle of more than 60 peoples make up the population of Burkina Faso: Fulani, Tuareg, Mossi, Gourounsi, Gourmantche, Bobo, Marka, Lobi... The sum of the stories, customs, music and arts still very much alive, has given birth to an inexhaustible source of cultural discoveries for the traveller open to others.
A smiling people
Despite or perhaps because of the poverty in which the majority of Burkinabés live, laughter and smiles are essential components of their daily lives and will be offered to the traveller as a gift of welcome and kindness in all circumstances. The resulting human warmth contributes to the joyful and relaxed atmosphere that animates the country.
Tourism and solidarity
In Burkina Faso, solidarity tourism or village tourism projects have been developing for several years. The idea, which is also widespread in other countries of the South, is simple: to enable travellers to meet the rural population in the best possible conditions (avoiding in particular the negative effects that tourism can have) and to ensure that the first beneficiaries of this new form of tourism are the populations themselves. To date, several camps are operational and it is more than recommended to experience them.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette