The ideal climate for travel stays from November to March, but the period from June to September is recommended to discover another, green and humid face of this Sahelian country. The landscapes are indeed of great beauty because the land covers abundant vegetation contrasting with the drought of the rest of the year. For this reason, tourism during the summer months (July and August) gradually tends to develop. In addition to climate, the main cultural events (which mainly occur between November and February) and nature can determine the choice of starting date. Those who come to Burkina to admire their wild wildlife will choose the end of the dry season, at the risk of having a little hot. January and February offer the best compromise between climate and visibility of wild fauna, but March and April offer even better visibility, because the vegetation is now scarce and the animals concentrate around the water points. For researchers of beautiful landscapes, dry season and rainy season both have their advantages in all regions. The contrast created by rain is surprising... From season to season some landscapes are unrecognisable.
Ouagadougou, capital of African craftsThanks to its considerable ethnic diversity, Burkina Faso has developed a diverse and high quality craft that is well beyond its borders. Over the past few decades, Ouagadougou has become the Capital of African Crafts, with the International Exhibition of Crafts (SIAO), which brings together thousands of world craftsmen every two years.An authentic destinationHere, not for tourists or holiday clubs, Burkina Faso is reserved for the world's travellers seeking humanity and authenticity. A local agency will be able to organise a tailor-made trip for an even more authentic stay.En route to adventureThe journey will take a lot on track, in relative comfort. Some accommodations offer a high standard, but the majority offer basic comfort. 4 x 4 or brousse, walking, boat or slug, this is a dynamic journey. Thanks to a trip organised by local travel agents, you will travel under the best possible conditions.Hospitable Country par excellenceIf there was only one word to describe it, hospitality would suffice to describe Burkina Faso. Hardly have we entered somewhere, here is that fuse the "Good arrival! " full of enthusiasm and warmth.Wilderness and landscapesThe splendid wilderness of West Africa is well represented in Burkina Faso. A safari in the south and east of the country is highly recommended.Meeting and ethnic mosaicMore than 60 peoples make up the population of Burkina Faso: Fulani, Tuareg, Mossi, Gourounsi, Gourmantché, Bobo, Marka, Lobi...The average standard of living of the population is relatively low. To get an idea of prices, a loaf of bread costs CFAF 125 (roughly 15 euro cents), a dish of fatty rice in a street restaurant costs CFAF 300 (less than 50 euro cents) and a soda-like soda in a maquis 400 MAQUIS (or just over 50 euro cents). Conversely, a good meal for four people in a large restaurant in Ouaga costs the monthly salary of the taxi driver who will bring these privileged eaters back home. It will rarely take more than two meals per day, and will see rice or tô (mil, sorghum or corn) very regularly displayed on its menu.So, in the eyes of most people, a tourist is rich. This can easily be understood, since the budget of a traveller for a stay of days will exceed, including flight, the annual income of the majority of Burkinabé. To be persuaded, you will suffice to compare his budget with the average monthly salary of a waitress in a maquis (between CFAF 20 000 and 40 000) or the daily salary of a driver (3 000 to 6 000 FCFA). Awareness of these differences in means is part of the journey and this must not discourage the traveller who contributes to the development and redistribution of wealth.FormalitésTo visit Burkina Faso, it is essential to be vaccinated against yellow fever (presentation of the vaccination booklet upon arrival) and to have a passport valid 6 months after the end of the stay, as well as a visa (70 euros for less than 3 months).
The official language is French. It also serves as a lingua between members of different ethnic groups who do not necessarily know the other languages. The majority of Burkinabé speak French well, except in very remote places in the country. In family and friends of the same origin, however, they express themselves in their mother tongue, which depends on their ethnic origin. These languages are divided into three groups: the voltaques language group, also known as gur, is spoken by Mossi, Lobi, Gourtmanché, Les, Gourounsi, Turka, Sénoufo, Bwa, etc. the group of summoned languages spoken by the Dioula, Bissa, Samo, etc; finally, a less coherent group that unites the language spoken by the Fulani, the foulfouldé and the language spoken by the Tuareg tamacheq, le. The latter, according to linguists, belongs to the Berber language group. The most spoken is mooré (by Les), but dioula, which is the language of Western African traders, is generally fairly well understood in the country's cities and markets, especially in the western part of the country.There are different ways to learn a few basics of language and the offer for self-learning can be done on different media: CD, DVD, exercise books or even directly on the Internet.
The currency of Burkina Faso is the Financial Community of Africa franc or, in short, FCFA. On the spot, it is simply called the franc. The tickets are issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). This currency is common to all Francophone border countries: Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Togo. So you can use the CFA franc in these eight countries. The ISO code is: XOF. All residents of these eight countries use the CFA franc. For tourists you must declare at the entrance as at the exit of the country in which you deliver the amount in CFA held.Subdivisions. The cuts are presented in banknotes of 500, 1 000, 2 000, 5 000 and 10 000 FCFA, and coins in parts 25, 50, 100, 200, 250 (rare) and 500 FCFA (parts and banknotes). The 5 and 10 FCFA coins are endangered. For normal transactions, 10 000 FCFA banknotes are not used. It is highly advisable to have currency on self, because in villages, in particular, making the exchange of CFAF 10 000 is often very difficult for traders.Other currencies. All major foreign currencies are accepted: dollar, euro, etc. Generally, payments in euros are accepted in hotels, car rental agencies and major purchases. However, it is necessary to have FCFA for daily purchases, meals, excursions and expenses in villages remote from large cities.
In Burkina Faso, as in many West African countries, the tourist season extends from November to March. During these five months, the climate is dry and pleasant, temperatures oscillating between 20 ° C and 30 ° C (with a few cool nights between December and January). From April to June, the dry season becomes very hot and temperatures surf around 40 ° C the day and around 30 ° C at night. From June to September, winter (rainy season) finds temperatures more bearable but makes trails impractical, and thus difficult tourism in some parts of the country (including the East).
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette