Introducing Burkina Faso
Standing at the geographical heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso (formerly Haute or Upper Volta, or just Burkina to the locals) is the sort of place that captures the imagination – how many of your friends back home even know that Burkina Faso exists? – and wins the hearts of travellers with its relaxed pace of life, friendly people and wealth of interesting sights. From the deserts and unrivalled Gorom-Gorom market in the north, to the green countryside and strange rock formations of the country’s southwest, Burkina spans a rich variety of landscapes. The country, too, is home to a fascinating cultural mix, with the Burkinabé (people from Burkina Faso) almost as diverse as the terrain.
This may be one of the world’s poorest countries, but it’s also one of the most stable in the region and runs with an efficiency that’s the envy of many of its neighbours. Throw in the continent’s most important film festival, the delightful small-town atmosphere of Bobo-Dioulasso, wildlife safaris in the south, the enjoyable and gloriously named capital, Ouagadougou, and there’s enough here to transform Burkina from the country that no-one knows to an experience you’ll never forget.
Best places to stay in Burkina Faso
West Africa travel guide
West Africa has cachet and soul. Home to African landscapes of our imaginations and inhabited by an astonishing diversity of traditional peoples, this is Africa as it once was.
West Africa's best wildlife parks
Everyone knows about the great national parks of eastern and southern Africa – Masai Mara, Kruger and Serengeti all conjure up images of majestic landscapes, packs of lions lazing in the shade and herds of elephants roaming the savannah...
Africa - Burkina Faso (Chapter)
Burkina Faso invariably wins the hearts of travellers for the warmth of its welcome. Its other big draws are enchanting landscapes, from atmospheric Sahelian plains, to rolling savannah and surprising geology, and the lively cultural scene of...
Burkina Faso destination guides
West Africa: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s West Africa guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip. The following inspirational titles all range across more than one West African country. For travel literature about individual countries, please see the Directory section of each country chapter...
West African Kingdoms
The allure of West Africa is calling on this truly off-the-beaten-path adventure from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Accra in Ghana. Meet a wealth of fascinating locals, admire a host of unique wildlife and witness the ins and outs of Togo, Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso on this cultural journey through four of West Africa's most impressive countries.
The Voodoo Trail
Get off the beaten track and into the hills, forests and villages that make up the 'Voodoo Trail' of West Africa for an immersive experience that few travellers get to have. Meet African royalty and witness tribal dancers fall into trance-like states as you enjoy an authentic cultural experience like no other.