Must see attractions in Burkina Faso

  • Top ChoiceSights in Tiébélé & Kassena Country

    Cour Royale

    More than 450 people live in Tiébélé's royal court, a large compound of typical sukhalas, or traditional painted houses. Children live with their grandparents in octagonal huts, couples live in rectangular huts and single people in round ones. Painting is generally done in February/March, after the harvest. Each drawing, whether geometrical or illustrative, has a meaning (fertility, afterlife, wisdom etc).

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Grande Mosquée

    Built in 1893, this mosque is an outstanding example of Sahel-style mud architecture, with conical towers and wooden struts (which both support the structure and act as scaffolding during replastering efforts). Visits take you inside the building and onto the roof terrace, where you'll get a different perspective of the towers.

  • Sights in Niansogoni

    Niansogoni Village

    The old Niansogoni village is nestled in an alcove of the escarpment, where you can see old adobe granaries and dwellings that perch on the cliff side like a beehive. It's really a marvellous sight. The village – which dates back to the 14th century – was abandoned in 1980.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Burkina Faso

    Sindou Peaks

    One of Burkina Faso's most spectacular landscapes, the Sindou Peaks are a narrow, craggy chain featuring a fantastic array of tortuous cones sculpted by the elements; a 45-minute guided walk is included with admission. Located about 50km west of Banfora, this geological fantasyland is also ideal for hiking. Coming from Banfora, the main gateway is about 1km before the entrance to Sindou town.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Burkina Faso

    Réserve de Nazinga

    This 97,000-hectare wildlife reserve, about 40km southwest of Pô near the Ghanaian border, has become a highlight on many a wildlife-lover’s itinerary. The park has antelope, monkeys, warthogs, crocodiles and plenty of birds, but elephants are the stars of the show. The best time to see them is December to April, though your chances are pretty good year-round.

  • Sights in Banfora

    Dômes de Fabedougou

    These limestone formations were sculpted into quirky domelike shapes over millennia by water and erosion – an arresting sight. They're found 3km north of the Karfiguéla Waterfalls (off the N2 road to Bobo). Don't miss it.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Grand Marché

    Bobo-Dioulasso's centrepiece, the expansive Grand Marché, is hugely enjoyable and atmospheric, and a wonderful (and largely hassle-free) place to experience a typical African city market. The market spills over onto the surrounding streets in a chaos of mopeds, wandering traders and general clamour, which together provide a lively counterpoint to Bobo's otherwise tranquil streets.

  • Sights in Ouagadougou

    Moro-Naba Palace

    On Fridays at 7am the Moro-Naba of Ouagadougou – emperor of the Mossi and the most powerful traditional chief in Burkina Faso – presides over the Moro-Naba Ceremony at the palace. It's a formal ritual that lasts only about 15 minutes. Travellers are welcome to attend, but photos are not permitted.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Kibidwé

    Bobo's historical centre is a thriving neighbourhood. Little has changed over the centuries in terms of organisation: Muslims, griots (traditional musicians, storytellers or praise singers), blacksmiths and 'nobles' (farmers) still live in their respective quarters but happily trade services and drink at the same chopolo (millet beer) bars. Guided tours are not official, but unavoidable in practice – allow CFA2000 to CFA3000. They offer a great insight into local life, although the compulsory stops at craft shops are tedious.

  • Sights in Banfora

    Karfiguéla Waterfalls

    The Karfiguéla Waterfalls, where you can take a dip in the lovely natural pools on the upper section, are at their best during and just after the rainy season. Unfortunately, the dirt tracks leading to the falls via a magnificent avenue of mango trees can be impassable at these times. But if the track is open (you'll have to ask around), it's worth the journey. The site is some 11km northwest of Banfora.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Forêt de Kou

    The 115-hectare Forêt de Kou is an unexpected gem: the reserve includes three completely different ecosystems – tropical rainforest, teak plantation and wooded savannah – that visitors can explore through a small network of paths. The rainforest in particular is delightful, remaining blissfully cool even during the midday heat. The forest is about 18km west of Bobo-Dioulasso.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Koro

    Perched on the hillside, Koro's houses – built amid rock formations – are unique in the area, and there are fine panoramic views over the countryside from the top of the village. Koro is 13km east of Bobo, off the main Ouagadougou road.

  • Sights in Gaoua & Lobi Country

    Musée de Poni

    This excellent ethnological museum contains full-scale reproductions of Lobi and Gan compounds, as well as a wide range of photographs and artefacts. The guides really know their stuff, too; Golane Oumar is particularly recommended.

  • Sights in Banfora

    Société Nouvelle Sucrière de la Comoé

    On the road to the Dômes de Fabedougou from Banfora, this sugar factory is one of Burkina's more unusual sights. It produces 35,000 tonnes of sugar a year from 4000 hectares of sugar cane. You can visit the factory and attend the spectacular sugar-cane fires from November to April. Ring the factory for details of the visits.

  • Sights in Ouagadougou

    Musée de la Musique

    You don't need to be into music to enjoy this excellent museum: the Burkinabé live and breathe music and a visit to the museum serves as a great introduction to Burkinabé culture. The new building is a traditional adobe structure that gives the place a special atmosphere in which to soak up local music history.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Koumi

    The village of Koumi, on the Bobo–Orodara road (6km south of Kou), is well-known for its ochre-coloured adobe houses. Villagers run informative guided tours (CFA1000) touching on animist beliefs, architecture and local life.

  • Sights in Ouagadougou

    National Museum

    The national museum, almost 4km east of the city centre, has displays of the various masks, ancestral statues and traditional costumes of Burkina Faso's major ethnic groups.

  • Sights in Bobo-Dioulasso

    Musée Communal Sogossira Sanon

    A small museum that showcases masks, statues and ceremonial dress from all over Burkina Faso. There are full-scale examples of traditional buildings inside the grounds.