Burkina Faso

Visited here April, July, & August 2014

Each visit was essentially just a pass-through, and visa prices are extremely varying. See the page on Visas for more info.

$1CAD = 465CFA

Getting into Burkina Faso (and out of Mali): Koutiala to Bobo-Dioulasso

  • Near to the Hotel Rose is a minibus station, where I found a car in the morning going to Bobo — 6000CFA
  • Transport routes in Mali are amazing, but are unbearably hot in March/April/May. Comfortable temperatures in August; cool in the evening with the rain, which would not affect these main routes.
Where to Stay
dbl room in Casa Africa
dbl room in Casa Africa
  • I first stayed at Casa Africa, which is known to be the least expensive option in Bobo, and is in a great location, in the neighborhood of Petit Paris, a 20 minute walk from the grande marche. Clean enough, with more effort put out when they have guest. But, I found there to be WAY too many mosquitoes on the property, due to a lot of trees and vegetation (which does keep the place nice and cool though!) – I could not be outside of the room whatsoever in the evenings, even with a ton of repellent and full-length clothes. I was still eaten alive. — 4000/dbl room. 2014-09-08 11.39.45
  • I met at Peace Corps volunteer who was in from his village and was staying at Auberge Villa Olivia, just around the corner from Casa Africa, which looked very clean, warm, and welcoming. And they have wifi. A huge step up from the Casa, but also a big jump in the budget — 9000/dbl.
  • The final time I passed through Bobo, I had a recommendation to stay at La Maison D’ Hotes Chez Sidibi (or something like that). It was definitely less mosquito-ey, and was on a road near the Maison de la Culture, with tons of maquis and places to eat, which is a big plus (and dang, the beers are cheap in Burkina!). Bathroom en suite was also nice, but could be a tad uncomfortable to share since there’s no door to it. Also backs onto a nightclub, which could be problematic if you’re a light sleeper (not a problem for me). — 5000CFA/dbl
Eating Out
  • Near to Casa Africa is a restaurant called Trois Karites which serves lots of local dishes for 500-600CFA. Many other options at 1500 and max 3000 (for like, an entire chicken). Everything I ever ordered came super fast; even the couscous, which was made on demand, only took 20 minutes.

Bobo-Dioulasso to Ouagadougou

  • The line of the train running from Ouaga to Abdijan (Cote D’ivoire) passes through Bobo, and you can board it to travel in either direction. Each passes by only 3x per week and you’ll have to check the time the day before.
  • There are many busses running between the two cities, but the best are TCV and Rahimo, both for 7000CFA (10000 return with Rahimo). New, clean, comfortable, with AC, and fast. But I recommend buying your ticket in advance, as I turned up on a Sunday and everything was full. If you take TCV or Rahimo, you’ll be there in 4 hours. If you take the shitty mini bus that I took, you may not arrive until 10 hours later, and only save yourself 1000CFA.
Where to Stay
  • In Ouaga, I stayed first at the Le Samaritan, in the city centre, near to the Cathedral. They do not have dorms, or even cheap rooms, and the rooms they have are very small and hot (the one I had also smelled like urine, as people seem to use the en suite shower as a urinal as well) — 7500CFA
  • I moved outside the city centre to Cocooning, which is more like a private residence in a quiet neighborhood, and was SO much better for me. Super clean and comfortable, with wifi! (226) 50 34 28 14/(226) 76 17 02 38 — 6500CFA

Bobo-Dioulasso to Banfora

  • I know that there are many beautiful sites in and around Banfora, but I only went for two nights, and just really enjoyed the town itself. A group of people went out on a day trip to see some waterfalls, but ended up being IN a waterfall; that is, an afternoon downpour. So, we had made a good decision and stayed behind.

    The lovely common area at Campement Siakadougou in Banfora.
    The lovely common area at Campement Siakadougou in Banfora.
Where to Stay
  • There are many hotels in the area, but I found the Campement Siakadougou (+226 76 43 30 89) to be extremely charming, comfortable, clean, and in a really nice quiet area, with the best price. Siaka is a great host and will pick up/drop off at the bus station, if you call him beforehand. –3000CFA (without shower), 4000CFA (with shower)

Getting out of Burkina Faso (and into Ghana): Ouagadougou to Tamale

  • See here for info on getting my visa for Ghana.
  • I got a ride with someone from the Ghanaian embassy from Ouaga to Tamale, so I’m really not sure about that section, though I suspect there isn’t much that’s direct.

Getting back into Burkina Faso (and out of Ghana): Wa to Bobo-Dioulasso

  • I thought there would be a more direct way of doing this, but I was told instead that I needed to take a series of tro-tros to make this journey, so that’s what I did.
  • Tro from Wa to Hamile at 8am took at an hour or two to fill — 12 cedis
  • Moto transfer across border (he brought me to each and every office that needed to check my passport) — 4 cedis
  • Minibus to Bobo (long and hot) — 5000 CFA
  • Note: if you have any remaining cedis at this point, change them at the border. I was unable to find a forex that would take them in Bobo; maybe in Ouaga, but doubtful.
  • See here for my time in Ghana.

Getting out of Burkina (and into Mali): Bobo-Dioulasso to Bamako

  • I found two bus lines which offer this trip. Both look like great quality and are the same price, but I recommend getting there early or purchasing your ticket in advance (I learned this the hard way). You should arrive mid-afternoon-ish.
  • Rakieta departs at 5am daily
  • TCV departs at 6:30am daily
  • both are 10000CFA, but it’s worth it.
  • See here for my time in Mali.

Getting back into Burkina (and out of Mali): Bamako to Bobo-Dioulasso

  • Many companies operate this route, but I went back to TCV. Unfortunately, they only had service with a partner company on that morning, and it did not have AC, even though we paid the normal TCV price. Then it broke down for 3 hours. But normally, if you get it with a real TCV, you should be happy. Leaves at 6:30, terminal is before the main gare routiere, but labelled as such with giant letters. — 10000CFA

2 thoughts on “Burkina Faso

  1. Hey,

    It’s all very useful. I’m travelling to BF in Feb 2015 for the FESPACO Festival. This will be my first time in West Africa and first time alone in Africa. Youhouuuu!
    I don’t know a soul in BF but I was able to organize a private accommodation in Ouagadougou. I was wondering if anyone can give me useful info abt the festival itself. Prices, festival pass, translations/dabbing, accessibility of the site etc.


    1. Hi there. I don’t have any information myself, but have you tried posting this on the Thorntree forum? It is a very useful resource for travellers! Good luck!


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