Many might find difficult to pronounce the name, but no one can deny that 'Burkina Faso' sounds unique and fun. It means 'land of the upright/honest people' in the local tongue, making it a fine representation and an ideal to hold onto. Those going here will find a poor, yet well-endowed country in terms of culture, musical traditions, and beautiful handicrafts. These make up an interesting collage that makes up a multi-faceted identity for the Burkinabe.
Once ruled by various ethnic groups, the land was eventually conquered by the French in 1896. It gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960, but with a shaky political intervention that made the military intervene during times of crisis. This happened in various times in its history, with the most recent happening in 2014 when President Blaise Compaore is driven out of office. Tensions are rising, as the country is arranging for elections. Despite this, going to Burkina Faso is still fairly safe, although tourists must take all the necessary precautions.
What to see & do
Those visiting Ouagadougou might find it lacking in awe-inspiring visual appeal, but the city features a number of sights to look forward to. One is the Musee National, with its displays of masks, ancestral statues, and traditional costumes. These feature a number of the country's ethnic groups with other areas featuring rooms in the process of touching up. In spite of the unfinished exhibits, the museum is still a landmark to behold for its cultural significance. From here, tourists can turn to the Musee de la Musique, which features the people's love for music. Various instruments and other displays can be found here, letting one glimpse the local colour. There is also the Moro-Naba of Ouagadougou to see, a formal ritual where the emperor of the Mossi and the most powerful traditional leader in the country hears the pledges of allegiance from the senior priests.
Bobo-Dioulasso, the second-largest city of Burkina Faso, exudes a small-town atmosphere with a semi-tropical weather. Those going here will find a restful spot amidst the bustling cities of the country. An exciting nightlife and an excellent range of restaurants can also be found here. Some of the landmarks are most fascinating such as the Grande Mosquee. It is a fine example of Sahel-style mud architecture, with conical towers and wooden struts. The Kibidwe, a lively neighbourhood, is also pleasant to find here with various communities living apart yet happily trading with one another. The Grand Marche is also an enjoyable aspect of the city, where one can experience a typical day at an African market. Stalls here offer a wide variety of merchandise, from household wares to African cotton prints, as well as traditional masks, drums, and other objects.
Those who want to explore the countryside of the country can venture to Banfora, one of the most beautiful areas of Burkina Faso. The town features a range of eateries and comfortable accommodations, making it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding countryside. Goods from nearby Cote d'Ivoire can also be found here, which allow tourists to browse nice souvenirs.
How to get around
Travellers commuting in Burkina Faso will find various options. Many of the roads are paved in the cities are paved, but a large number of the secondary roads are still blocked. Those who need to visit far areas of the country can take the Mossi Railroad, which is part of the line that begins in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire and ends in Niger. Commercial vehicles also transport passengers in different parts of the country, which make it fairly and relatively easy to navigate various areas.
How to get there
Those out to visit Burkina Faso can look for connecting flights to Ouagadougou Airport. Airlines serving here include Air Algerie, Air Burkina, Air Cote d'Ivoire, Air France, Arik Air, ASKY Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Senegal airlines, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, and Westair Benin.