Burkina Faso is underdeveloped African country that offers good opportunities for development of safari – tourism. The numerous national parks and their beautiful nature are irresistible bait for a growing number of visitors from Europe, America, Canada and elsewhere. The vast savannas and the impressive variety of predators and large herds of herbivores prove a magnet for tourists who want something completely different from anything they did so far.
Geographic location, boundaries and size. Burkina Faso is located in the western part of the continent of Africa. It is a small by African standards inland country. It is located nearly 500 kilometers from the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean).
It is situated between 9 and 15 ° north latitude and the Greenwich meridian crosses the country from north to south in the eastern parts. The area of Burkina Faso is about 274.200 sq. km.
The country has borders with Mali to the west and north, with Niger to the east and with Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire /, Ghana, Togo and Benin to the south.
Closest are transport links with Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire /, because between the capitals of both countries there is extremely important for the local economy railroad.
Relief. The majority of the territory of Burkina Faso is occupied by plateaus with little altitude. The country is dominated by plains and hilly relief forms. Higher altitudes there are in the southwestern parts of the country. There is located Tenakouru peak (the highest in Burkina Faso), only 749 meters high.
Climate. Burkina Faso falls completely within the borders of the subequatorial climate zone, but the climatic conditions in the country vary widely.
In the northern parts of the country climate is dry with tropical influences and therefore dominated by vast savannas and dry semi arid lands, covered mainly with scarce herbaceous vegetation.
The nearby Sahel desert strongly effect the weather in this part of the country. To the south the vegetation becomes more abundant and in the southwestern part of the country savannah gives way to not very thick subequatorial forests.
Temperature in Burkina Faso is high throughout the year and varies between 30 and 40°C depending on the season. The highest temperatures are usually recorded in November and March and the lowest temperatures – in July, August, September and January.
Rainfall is rare during the winter months from November to April. Sometimes there are no rainfalls for months. During the summer months precipitations are abundant, especially in August. Depending on whether the year is wet or dry can fall between 250 and 300 mm.
Economy. Burkina Faso has a growing economy. It is considered to be one of the poorest countries on the continent and in the world. Leading sectors of the local economy are primitive agriculture and extraction of minerals.
The main export goods are cotton, peanuts, and manganese. There are many unemployed people, but even those who work often live in abject poverty. The distance from the ocean shore plays a negative role in the local economy. The regular droughts are also dangerous, because they can destroy the meager crops.
Population. The population of Burkina Faso is more than 14,000,000 inhabitants and continues to grow rapidly. Burkina Faso is among countries in the world with the fastest growing number of population, assuming that in the coming decades (until the mid-21st century), the population will double.
The residents of Burkina Faso consist mainly of Muslims (Sunnis) and a smaller percentage (about 1 / 3) Christians (Catholics).
Because of the French colonial past, in Burkina Faso like in majority of the continent, today the official language is French, but here are spoken and many other languages, most of which belong to the Sudanese language family.
The ethnic composition of the country is quite diverse. Local residents are composed of many different tribes. Like other countries in Africa, many of the residents of Burkina Faso do not have access to health care and education.
Around 1.1 million people live in the capital Ouagadougou and about 400,000 in the second largest city Bobo Diulaso. The other cities in the country are relatively small compared with Ouagadougou and Bobo Diulaso and are evenly distributed on its territory.
Tourism in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso strongly relies on the development of the tourism industry. Throughout the country there are 23 reserves and other protected areas, including three national parks – Arli National Park, Kabore Tambe National Park and Deux Bales National Park.
In this country the thirst for adventure tourists will be able to see personally the African buffalo, hippos, elephants, various antelopes, zebras, chimpanzees, lions, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles and many others.
If you are planning to go on a safari you should be well-equipped with proper clothing, as sometimes terrain and conditions are more difficult, although guides are always familiar with the peculiarities of the area in which they usually take the tourist around.
You need to be prepared with enough sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect you from the blazing African sun. You’ll probably regret it if you do not obtain in advance with a good camera.
This is because sometimes here you can see spectacular pictures, but when some of the dominant African predators meet any of the numerous herbivorous just one moment can mean the difference between life and death!
And another tip – follow the instructions of your guide, because with so many predators around you could find yourself in an unpleasant situation!
It is important to know also that like in many other countries in Africa, in Burkina Faso there are also places that should be avoided because they are considered to be dangerous.
In addition, you should be aware of diseases during a holidays in Burkina Faso. A visiting of most countries in Africa requires immunization against various contagious diseases, including malaria, which is common across the continent.
It is better also to use preparation for protection against insects. If you take all precautionary measures, you can experience an extraordinary adventure!
When to visit Burkina Faso? When people hear that a country falls into the tropics they think that weather is always wonderful and suitable for tourism.
This is not always the case. In Burkina Faso for example, in March, April and May the weather is very humid and hot, while in November, December, January and February you will see this sunny African country in its best light. The temperatures are pleasant and the chance for rain is insignificant.