- 15 October
- 18 February next year
- 13 October.
This neglected corner of West Africa is perhaps one of the continent’s undiscovered highlights, a land of incredible diversity from its scenery to its people, exemplifying the exotic and with hidden gems continually revealing themselves. Our small group tours and tailor made holidays to Burkina Faso have been the result of painstaking research and are carefully designed to showcase the very best of this country. We spend time camping in the Sahel, a vast semi-desert region with a thriving cultural heart, are guests of the local chief when we stay in a remote village, hike among amazing rock formations and search for Burkina Faso’s wildlife on safari.
Burkina Faso offers an adventure not easily surpassed in a land full of surprises – the biggest surprise being why more people don’t visit this enthralling country. A trip through the incredible diversity of this charming country. Visit desert markets in the Sahel and visit Tuareg and Fulani villages, stay in a remote village as guests of the chief, search for wildlife at Nazinga and relax in Bobo Dioulasso before heading west to hike through awe inspiring rock formations of the Sindou Peaks and meet the secretive Lobi people.
Day 1: Ouagadougou. Arrive in Ouagadougou, the lively capital of Burkina Faso. Overnight OK Inn or similar.
Day 2: Bani – Gorom Gorom. We take the dusty road north, to Burkina’s Sahel region, a magical land on the edge of the desert. En route, we stop at the village of Bani, renowned for its seven mud built mosques. We end up in Gorom Gorom, the last real ‘town’ before the desert, full of sandy streets and colorfully dressed desert tribes people. Overnight Hotel de L’Amitie or similar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Markoye. On our journey to Markoye we stop at tiny isolated settlements to visit Tuareg and Fulani families. The scenery here gives a sense of the foreboding Sahara beyond. On arrival in Markoye we visit the vibrant weekly market, a kaleidoscope of colour where nomads from miles around come to trade. We then meet our camels and camel handlers and set off into the desert. We camp tonight next to an oasis where local herders often bring their flocks to drink. Overnight bush camp. Please note that this trek is optional – if you choose not to participate then you will travel by 4wd to the overnight camping site. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Desert Camel Trek - Oursi. We continue on our camels through the beautiful but stark landscape of the Sahel, hoping to meet Bella, Fulani and Tuareg families on our way and learn how they manage to eke out an existence in this remote region. We end up in Oursi and depending on time can visit its small museum housing the remains of a 10th century settlement which was burned by raiders. Overnight bush camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Ouagadougou. Travel back to Ouaga. This evening we head out into the city to get a real taste of urban Burkinabe life at one of the many maquis (open air restaurants) that dot this city, and see if we can experience some of the live music that Burkina is renowned for. Overnight: OK Inn or similar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Tangossokkou. Heading south from Ouaga we go off road to the village of Tiebele, home to the Kassena people who are famous for their painted houses. We stop at the chief’s compound, a labyrinth of earth built dwellings enclosed within mud walls. The road gets worse as we travel to Tangossokou. Although the houses here are not as visually impressive as those at Tiebele, very few tourists make it here and the sense of breaking new ground is almost tangible. We have excellent local connections here and are welcomed as guests by the chief and his family, who allow us to sleep in their compound – an utterly memorable and quintessentially African experience. Overnight local houses/bush camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Nazinga. We say goodbye to our hosts and make a short journey to Nazinga, home to the highest concentration of elephants in West Africa. Game drives around the park allow us to get up close to these magnificent beasts, as well as buffalo and the many species of antelope that live here. Overnight Ranch de Nazinga. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Bobo Dioulasso. We take rough roads across little visited parts of Burkina and end up in its second city, Bobo. Quiet and leafy, Bobo is a fantastic place to wander around and soak up the local atmosphere. It also has an outstanding local music scene, with many live venues. Overnight L’Auberge or similar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Bobo Dioulasso. Visit the old quarter of the city, dating back many centuries and with separate quarters for the different religions, such as Moslems and animists, that live here. Bobo’s most famous landmark, and one of the most impressive in West Africa, is its Grand Mosque, a whitewashed mud built building with the typical logs jutting out from all angles. This evening we head out to join the local crowd at one of the city’s excellent live music venues. Overnight L’Auberge or similar. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Banfora. Journey to Burkina’s south west corner and the town of Banfora. This region is home to some of the country’s most spectacular natural sites, such as the enigmatic Domes of Fabedougou and the pretty Karfiguela Falls. We visit these before heading off to a nearby lake to look for hippopotamus, taking a pirogue out onto the water and getting surprisingly close to these enormous creatures. We spend the night camping near a village and have the chance to taste some of the local millet beer. Overnight bush camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Sindou Peaks. Out towards the border with Mali lie the Sindou Peaks, jagged fingers of rock pointing into the sky which are sacred to the Senoufou people who inhabit this region. Accompanied by local guides so as not to inadvertently break any local taboos, we take an easy hike through this awesome landscape and set up camp on the isolated plateau – an unforgettable evening. Overnight bush camp. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Gaoua. Drive to Gaoua, the main town in the Lobi region. The Lobi are a shy and secretive people but with the help of local guides we visit their fortress style houses dotted around this region, and perhaps see women panning for grains of gold in the rivers and streams. Overnight Hotel Hala. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 13: Ouagadougou. Return to Ouaga. Overnight Ok Inn or similar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 14: Ouagadougou. Tour ends. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Burkina Faso Local Culture Cultural Journey