Flag of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation in West Africa, bordered by six countries: Mali to the north and west, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west. The southern part of the country, less arid than the north, is wooded savannah, gradually drying out into sand and desert in the north.

Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country gained independence from France in 1960, and was renamed in 1984 to mean "upright land" in Mossi and Dioula, the major native languages of the country. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabé.

The capital, Ouagadougou, has an interesting Ethnography Museum containing a substantial collection of Mossi artefacts, the town being the centre of one of the many ancient Mossi kingdoms. The Moro-Naba ceremony, with traditional costumes and drums, takes place outside the Moro-Naba Palace early every morning. Bobo Dioulasso is the largest town inhabited by the Bobo people in Burkina Faso, with attractive streets and a bustling market, the Grand Marché.

There are some restaurants in Ouagadougou and in Bobo, with specialities including chicken dishes and brochettes (meat cooked on a skewer). Bobo Dioulasso also has a lively street-cafe scene.

Map of Burkina Faso