"Burkina Faso -- The Charm is in its Villages" Top 5 Page for this destination Burkina Faso by atufft

Burkina Faso Travel Guide: 388 reviews and 2,058 photos

Mamoudou Cisse Best Bobo-Dioulasso Area Guide

Meet my friend Mamoudou Cisse at Bobo Art (see contact). He is charming, always helpful, and as reasonably priced a guide you'll ever get. He will take you around Bobo-Dioulasso and to villages, such as Koro and Koumi using local transport or his motobike. An easy thing to do is to rent a motor bike near the Market, but he'll do that for you at no charge. His uncle's shop is excellent, but the market at Bobo is another great place to bargain for masks and art from the entire West African region. Bobo itself is safe and shaded by trees in its center. At night, clubs feature live traditional music. Take care of my best West African guide (and argueably best I've ever had) as you enjoy the area.

Friendly Village Charm

Mamoudou took me out to some villages off the beaten path. There, I pulled out the camera and entertained some families who had nothing else to do but talk to an American like me. I loved the simple charm of these people. Koro and Koumi are must see activities in Burkina Faso. A day of simply visiting among the families here will entertain European and American visitors forever, despite the fact that these families have neither television, telephone, nor any other kind of electronic gadgetry whatsoever. Further south, near the junction of Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Ivory Coast, is the Lobi country. The town center is Gaoua, and there's a good hotel in which to stay the night. A day or two visiting the Lobi people is quite interesting.

Hippos at Banfora

We took the local bus for an hour or so from Bobo to Banfora. Then, rented a couple motor scooters for the trip into the park. The paths are sandy and flat, and the ride past all the folks walking to market was fun. The lake there has Hippos, and unlike our previous attempts along the Volta River, we found it easy to find them. The boatman knows exactly where to find them. See the Banfora tip for more details.

2014 Update for VT Readers: Traveled with Mamadou again but in Italy. He reported that Lonely Planet writers had found this post and sought him out for a feature in their book. So, check out the latest edition and see if he's there. See recent tip on masks I bought from him while in Italy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Burkina Faso is full of friendly villages and places to see wildlife
  • Cons:Without a guide, it's hard to find one's way around
  • In a nutshell:Burkina Faso is an easy and safe place for adventure tourists to visit
  • Last visit to Burkina Faso: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated Jan 8, 2015
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Reviews (11)

Comments (14)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2009 at 2:34 AM

    Very interesting page on a place I know little about. It sounds like you were lucky having found a good guide!

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    Interesting overview on Burkina Faso complete with fabulous photographs! Burkina villages sound interesting. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    wow, look at how green the grass is! Everything seems so much more ALIVE in Africa, in my opinion. I think it's where life really started....Norman :)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    Oh, yes, great experience! Thanks for your exciting stories!

  • sayville's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2007 at 8:45 PM

    Great information. My daughter is going there Oct 2007 for Peace Corp. As a mom I am nervous but your pages make me feel a bit better about her going there. You confirmed that the people there are friendly and it is safe. Thanks

  • ellielou's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    fascinating....thinking of going to Burkina next year for a festival, and for some reason, am really leery.....I need to read up & thanks for the tour!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2007 at 1:59 AM

    Great tips and beautiful photos of your Burkina Faso adventures! I love getting off the beaten path myself and it looks like you and your wife really enjoyed yourself in this part of Africa!

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    I like the way you mixed with the local people, not many tourists do that. Lots of practical information and interesting pictures on your page.

  • Anastasia73's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2007 at 7:59 AM

    HIPPOS! I wish I could see one in Uganda but they refused to meet me! Will be the third list of my next vacation after India and Galapagos!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 9:10 PM

    Thought Burkina Faso was all desert. Now I know better :) Thanks for sharing and enlightening. SL


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