Getting there & away
The main border crossings are at Niangoloko for Côte d’Ivoire; Porga (on the Beninese side) for Benin; 15km south of Pô or Hamale (on the Ghanian side) for Ghana; Sinkasse (on the Togolese side) for Togo; east of Kantchari for Niger; and Koloko or west of Tiou for Mali. Borders tend to be closed by 5.30pm or 6.30pm at the latest. Remember that Benin and Niger are one hour ahead of Burkina Faso time.
A TCV bus runs every Sunday from Ouagadougou to Cotonou (US$36). The alternative is to take a bus (eg STMB) to Fada N’Gourma (US$7, five hours), from where infrequent bush taxis and minibuses lie in wait. Minibuses leave for Natitingou from the Total petrol station immediately north of Zaka on Ave Yennenga in Ouagadougou.
Passenger train services were suspended at the time of writing, cross-border traffic was minimal and the border frequently closed.
A Ghanaian Intercity STC bus leaves Ouagadougou’s main gare routière three mornings a week bound for Accra (US$29, 1000km) via Tamale (US$20, 363km) and Kumasi (US$23, 720km). Purchase tickets a day in advance.
The other frequently used border crossing is at Hamale in the southwest of Burkina Faso. Rakieta has a daily bus between Bobo-Dioulasso and Hamale (US$11.20), departing from Bobo at 2.30pm.
Almost every bus company offers a daily service to Bamako from Bobo-Dioulasso (US$16.50, 15 hours), leaving Bobo at 1pm or Ouagadougou (US$27) at 8am. All travel via Sikasso and Segou and arrive after midnight.
If you’re heading for Dogon country, STMB buses depart from Ouahigouya for Koro (US$4.50, two to four hours). From Koro you’ll need to connect by bush taxi to Bankass and then Mopti.
The Niger-registered SNTV bus runs between Ouagadougou and Niamey (US$18, nine to 11 hours) a couple of times a week from the gare routière. Minibuses from Ouagadougou to Niamey (US$14.60, 10 to 12 hours) leave from the Total petrol station immediately north of Zaka in Ouagadougou.
There are direct bush taxis from Ouagadougou’s gare routière to Lomé (US$27, 24 to 36 hours), but consider breaking up the journey en route. Minibuses to the Togolese border often leave in the morning from the Total petrol station immediately north of Zaka in Ouagadougou.
Afriqiyah (8U; 50 30 16 52; www.afriqiyah.aero)
Air Algérie (AH; 50 31 23 01; www.airalgerie.dz)
Air Burkina (2J; 50 30 76 76; www.air-burkina.com)
Air France (AF; 50 30 63 65; www.airfrance.com)
Air Ivoire (VU; 50 30 11 95; www.airivoire.com)
Air Sénégal International (V7; 50 31 39 05; www.air-senegal-international.com)
Ghana Airways (GH; 50 30 41 46; www.ghana-airways.com)
Point Afrique (50 33 16 20; www.point-afrique.com)