Burkina Faso Fast Facts

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. The country is one of the poorest countries in the world. It borders Mali to the east, Ivory Coast to the south and Niger, Benin, Togo and Ghana to the west. It is particularly interesting because of its cultural diversity. See andyeducation for education in Burkina Faso.

Capital City Ouagadougou
Size 267,950 km²
Resident 18,900,000
Official Language French
Currency CFA Franc BCEAO
Time Zone UTC
Telephone Area Code +226

Fast facts to know

  • Culturally very diverse country.
  • Ten percent of the population live in the capital, Ouagadougou.
  • The Mossi, who live in the center of the country, are the largest ethnic group.
  • Around 60 percent are Muslims and around 25 percent are Christians.
  • There are warnings about the tense security situation in the country. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Due to the increased risk of armed robbery, travel to the “W” nature reserve is generally discouraged until further notice.
    • Greater caution is generally advised when traveling overland. Even driving in daylight and in a convoy only offers limited protection.
    • Night driving is strongly discouraged.
  • The national currency is the CFA franc, which is linked to the euro in parity (1 euro = 656 FCFA).
  • According to the WHO, Burkina Faso is a yellow fever infection area.
  • Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory. Proof of vaccination must be shown upon entry.
  • Other medical risks: dengue fever, malaria, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, cholera, worm infection when bathing in fresh water, bird flu.
  • German nationals require a visa to enter Burkina Faso. This must be applied for at the Embassy of Burkina Faso before departure.
  • Homosexuality is considered a “disorder of public order” or “an offense against good morals”, is prosecuted and can be punished with up to three years in prison.
  • One of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Hardly developed for tourism.

Exciting cities in Burkina Faso

  • Old town of Bobo Dioulasso
  • Capital Ouagadougou
  • Gorom-Gorom
  • Fada N’Gourma
  • Sabou

History of Burkina Faso

  • About 14,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers lived in northwestern Burkina Faso.
  • Between 3600 and 2600 BC Neolithic cultures practiced agriculture.
  • Dogon, Bobo and Senufo are among the oldest ethnic groups still living in Burkina Faso.
  • French colonial period in the 19th century
  • Declaration of Independence in the “African Year 1960”.
  • One-party dictatorship of the RDA.
  • Coup attempts, military dictatorships & chaos follow.
  • Revolution 1983.
  • Liberalized economy and facade democracy under President Blaise Compaoré from 1987 to 2014.
  • The conflict over the civil war in Ivory Coast was settled in 2007 by the Ouagadougou Treaty.
  • 2015 military coup by the Presidential Guard against the incumbent interim government and interim president.
  • After the failed coup: reinstatement of the transitional government with subsequent presidential elections in the same year.

Climate & travel weather in Burkina Faso

  • Flat landlocked country with a changing tropical climate.
  • Belongs to the periodically humid tropics.
  • Very hot climate all year round.
  • Change between dry and rainy season (2 months in the north, up to 6 months in the south).
  • March to May are the hottest months with temperatures up to 45°C.
  • Rainy season is usually between June and October.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • December to February, as it is dry and a little cooler.

Ideas for trips in Burkina Faso

  • National Museum of Burkina Faso.
  • Musée de la Musique de Ouagadougou.
  • Pan-African Film and Television Festival FESPACO.
  • Deux Balés National Park near Boromo.
  • Ruins of Loropéni.
  • Kassena villages on the border with Ghana.
  • Gourounsi huts in Tiébélé.
  • Land of the Senufo.
  • Hippos on Lake Téngréla.
  • Rock formations of Fabedougou.

Eating & drinking in Burkina Faso

  • Millet, rice and corn are the main foods.
  • Further basis: yams, sweet potatoes and cassava.
  • Chicken and beef very popular.
  • I like extremely spicy sauces.
  • Typical spices are chilies and soumbala.
  • Tamarind and ginger juices, hibiscus tea common.
  • Bissap”, a drink made from roselle leaves.
  • Domestic beer Dolo made from millet.
  • Only drink bottled water!
  • Typical dishes:
    • Aloco (fried plantains).
    • Tô (polenta made from millet or corn).
    • Dégué (sweet dish).
    • Brochettes (meat on a skewer).
    • Riz grass.
    • Ragout d’Igname.

Particularly scenic

  • Arly National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
  • National Park W
  • Cascades de Karfiguéla waterfalls in the Cascades region.
  • Waterfalls on the Comoé River.
  • Mare aux Hippopotames Nature Reserve (UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve).
  • Kaboré-Tambi National Park.
  • Ranch de Nazinga.
  • Pics de Sindou (Aiguilles de Sindou).
  • Wide savannah landscapes.

Burkina Faso Fast Facts