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Introducing Burkina Faso

Burkina may not have many big-ticket attractions yet it invariably wins the hearts of travellers for the warmth of its welcome. The Burkinabé are disarmingly charming and easygoing, and wherever you go you'll be greeted with a memorable bonne arrivée (welcome).

The country's other big draws are its enchanting landscapes – from atmospheric Sahelian plains, to rolling savannah and surprising geology – and the lively cultural scene. Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina's two largest and gloriously named cities, are famous for their musical traditions and beautiful handicrafts. Throw in Fespaco, Africa's premier film festival held in the capital every odd-numbered year, and there's enough to engage your mind and senses for a couple of weeks or so.

Tourism infrastructure is fairly limited, but there is a handful of gems, especially in Ouaga, Bobo and Banfora, as well as family-run, simple campements (guesthouses) in more remote areas.