flag Burkina Faso Burkina Faso: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Immigration services
Diplomatic Missions of Burkina Faso
For Further Information
Latest Travel News in connection with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (International Air Transport Association)
 
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.
 

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Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Car rental services are available at Ouagadougou’s airport and in major hotels. The quality of the roads is generally poor. Taxis and shared taxis are available in major cities, prices often have to be bargained. Buses run in major cities.
Maps of Urban Networks
Ouagadougou map

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Ouagadougou Airport (OUA) 2.5 Km/ 1.5 miles Taxis max negotiable, max XOF 5,000 10 mins No offical bus lines but hotels operate courtesy shuttle services -

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
The most common mean of transport in the country are buses, which connect major towns. Remote communities are connected through the so called “taxis-brousses” (bush taxis), and their fares can usually be negotiated.
Train services are limited, with 622 kilometres of railways in Burkina Faso which run from Kaya to the border with Côte d'Ivoire. Sitarail operates a passenger train three times a week along the route from Ouagadougou to Abidjan, with second and first-class seats.

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air Burkina yes yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Most roads in Burkina Faso are in bad condition and only the major routes are paved. It is thus recommended to use a 4-wheel drive and avoid driving at night: in fact, roads do not have street lights and some vehicles do not have headlights. Petrol is not widely available, so it is better to fill the tank whenever possible.
However, there is a risk of kidnap and banditry throughout the country and it is restricted to travel to certain parts of the territory.
Road Maps
Detailed Map of Burkina Faso
Road network map
Ezilon road network
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin Burkina Faso Road Map

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
The ruins of Loropéni, In southern Burkina Faso, are the country's first World Heritage site, with an array of stone walls and its ancient fortress.
Other interesting archeological sites can be found in Kirikongo (in the west area of the country) and the so-called Bura culture in the lower Niger river valley.
Cultural
In Laongo a variety of local and international artists created a sculpture symposium.
Burkina Faso is also famous for its many cultural festivals, like the Festival des Masques et des Arts (FESTIMA) and the Pan-African Cinema Festival (FESPACO).
In Ouagadougou, there is the National Museum of Burkina Faso.
Nature
The Sindou Peaks, located about 50km west of Banfora, are a narrow chain of soft rocks that have been eroded by the elements into unusual needle-like rock formations.
The country has several national parks, like the Deux Balés National Park, the Kaboré Tambi National Park, the Mare aux Hippopotames and the W National Park.
Religious
Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque - built in the end of the 19th century in Sudano-Sahelian architecture - is a must see. The mosque is built in mud.
Thermal
Burkina Faso is not rich in mineral and thermal water.
Beach
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country, thus does not have beach destinations.
Winter Sports
The climate of Burkina Faso is not suitable for winter sports.
Outdoor Activities
Next to Gorom Gorom, it is possible to organize camel tours to the desert. The waterfalls of Banfora are also a tourist destination: visitors can enjoy a hike around the waterfalls and swim in the natural ponds (though the water may have bacteria).
Shopping
Burkina Faso is famous for its traditional dresses and for its tailors. In many towns it is possible to buy fabric that will be then sewed by local taylors.
Tourism Organisations
Burkina Tourism

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
There are no specific vaccination requirements to enter Burkina Faso (except for vaccine against yellow fever which is required from travellers over one year of age arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission). Nevertheless, WHO and foreign ministries of various countries recommend the following vaccines before entering the country: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Malaria and Rabies.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
CDC - Health Information for Travelers to Burkina Faso
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
U.S. Department of State - Burkina Faso Travel Information
Government of Canada, Burkina Faso Travel Advice
OSAC - Burkina Faso Crime and Safety Report
 

Emergency Numbers

Polic 17
Ambulanc 112
Fire 18
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Ouagadougou (GMT+0)
Summer Time Period
None
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Burkina Faso is a landlocked African country with primarily a tropical climate, characterized by a rainy season in summer (May/June to September) due to the African monsoon, and a dry season in winter in which a hot dry wind from the Sahara – the “Harmattan” – is often blowing. The country has three main climatic zones: the Sahel, the Sudan-Sahel, and the Sudan-Guinea. Temperatures are generally high year-round (between 30-42° Celsius) and humid. The South of the country is generally warmer.
For Further Information
National Agency of Meteorology
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Burkina Faso's cuisine is similar to that in the other West African nations. It is based on staple foods of sorghum, millet, rice, fonio, maize, peanuts, potatoes, beans, yams and okra. Fish, beef and mutton are also common. Main dishes include:
Tô: cooled polenta-style cakes made from ground millet, sorghum or corn, served with a vegetable sauce
Babenda: stew of fish, cabbage and fermented beans
Riz gras: a rice cooked with tomatoes, onion and meat
Brochettes: meat skewers
Fufu: a porridge made by mixing and pounding cassava and green plantain flour thoroughly with water
Sauce gombo: a sauce made with okra.
Drinks
Typical beverages in Burkina Faso include:
Bissap/Bisap: made from Roselle (Bissap) flowers, it has a bitter taste but it is sweetened with sugar
Dôlo: a beer made from pearl millet or sorghum
Degue: a drink made from pearl millet and yogurt
Gapalo: a drink made from soured milk and millet grains
Toédo: a juice of the Baobab fruit
Yamaku: a beverage made of ginger
Zoomkoom, a soft drink made from millet flour, ginger, amarind and lemon juice
Dietary Restrictions
Some old dietary superstitions are still enforced (though they are becoming less common), like prohibiting a family’s eldest daughter from eating chicken, forbidding pregnant women from eating eggs, as it is believed it will let their children become thieves, or reserving the liver for the head of the family.
The majority of the population are Muslim, and hence do not eat pork meat (unless it is “halal”, which means it is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) nor drink alcohol.

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Paying

Domestic Currency
CFA Franc BCEAO
ISO Code
XOF
To Obtain Domestic Currency
ATMs are available in cities. Currency exchange services are available in major cities and at the airport. Currency can be also exchanged in major hotels and in most banks.
Possible Means of Payment
Credit cards are not widely accepted. Visa cards or "CarteBleu" are the most commonly accepted cards. Travellers' cheques (mainly in EUR) can usually be cashed at local banks in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, but with high change fees.

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Speaking

Official Language
French
Other Languages Spoken
It is estimated that 70 languages are spoken in Burkina Faso, of which about 66 are indigenous. The main languages are Mossi, Dyula, Fulfulde and Gourmanché.
Business Language
French
Getting Some Knowledge
Please visit the website of Omniglot for an introduction to the Mossi language
Free Translation Tools
Mossi phrasebook :

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Useful Resources

To Find an Apartment
4321 Property
Realigro

To Find a Job
Glassdoor Burkina Faso
Indeed Burkina Faso

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Latest Update: November 2022