Tourism & Communications
The capital of Ouagadougou plays host to a number of cultural festivals and exhibitions throughout the year as a showcase for the country’s dance, theatre, poetry, film, art and music.
A large African showcase
The SIAO International Art and Craft Fair (Le Salon International de l' Artisanat de Ouagadougou) is an important African fair.
Tourists are also drawn by Burkina’s strong tradition of art and crafts, such as wood carvings, bronzes, textiles, pottery, leatherwork and jewellery. The modern art scene is particularly strong.
Out in the wilds
Burkina has some unusual landscapes for sightseers, such as the 'Domes de Fabedougou' near Banfora – see Map.
The country's national parks and reserves also attract many visitors.
The safari industry is still underdeveloped. Parks often lack good roads for easy access or the kind of luxury accommodation expected by some tourists. However, most visitors appreciate the friendly service offered by local people and the authenticity of the safari experience. Wildlife in Burkina has to be tracked – in other countries, gamekeepers use food as a lure – and animals are viewed in the course of their normal routines.
Travelling in Burkina
The capital has seen an explosion of cars in recent years. But though main highways have a tarmac surface, local roads are often poor quality. In more rural areas, private cars are less common (apart from old taxis).
Burkinabes call second-hand bicycles ‘France-au-revoir’, because they're often old bicycles shipped from France.
Many locals use bicycles or mopeds and donkeys are still employed in carrying goods and people.
The hunting debate
Hunting is an important draw for some foreign visitors to Burkina Faso. There are over 20 hunting zones across the country, as well as many private ranches offering big-game kills. The number of licences issued for killing animals such as lion and buffalo is tightly controlled.
Those in favour of hunting argue the activity brings vital local revenue to extremely poor communities. The industry also helps to control illegal poaching and funds breeding programmes to keep up the numbers of game animals.