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City Guide: OuagadougouBurkino Faso is one of the most hospitable countries in West Africa. Despite having a multitude of neighbors, it is quiet and peaceful; in contrast to other African countries. The country shares borders with Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo. The capital city of Burkina Faso, which used to be called Upper Volta, is Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso, which holds a top spot in the ranking of world's poorest countries, broke free from being a French colony and declared its independence in 1960. People traveling to Burkina Faso need to get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to departure and bring their certificate of immunization with them. Three seasons are observed in the country. The optimal time for a visit is between November and February, when the temperature is milder. Between March and June is the period when it is the hottest. Between June and October, on the other hand, is the season with precipitation.
Tourist AttractionsOuagadougou, locally called “Ouaga” for short, is one of the cities that do not disappoint its visitors. Compared to other African cities, you can comfortably walk around on the streets. Tourists are approached with hospitality. Place de la Revolution (Revolution Square) and Place des Nations Unies (United Nations Square) form the city center. The busiest time of the year for the city is during February and March, when the international film festival called Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) takes place. The festival will take place this year on February 23-March 3rd 2013.
Culture & Entertainment
Museums, Public Squares, Historical Locations, Monuments
The best way to get to know Burkino Faso is to start the city tour from the National Museum. The museum, which has recently been moved to its new place, is located 10 kilometers north of the city. You can conveniently reach it by using a taxicab. Special sections for every region in the country were established. Here, clothing and traditional items of the ethnic groups are displayed. The sculptures and handmade plates are especially interesting. It is open to visitors seven days a week.
The National Museum of Music is a popular spot to visit for music lovers. Instruments from all around the world are on display in the exhibition space which was designed very creatively. Drums, harp, and castanet are only a few of them. Let us remind you that the informative notes are in French.
Moro-Naba used to be one of the most powerful and important leaders of Burkina Faso. The palace which was built in his name is the most monumental structure in the city. Every friday morning at 07.00, a 15-minute-long official ceremony takes place in front of the palace. Still, according to tradition, the government consults with the wise leader of the Mossi ethnic group before making an important decision. When the leader arrives at the ceremonial ground, everybody greets each other and is seated according to their rank. Moro-Naba wears white, as a symbol of peace. This ritual is performed in order to strengthen communal bonds and peacefully resolve conflicts between local ethnic groups. Photography is not permitted during the ceremony.
History enthusiasts can visit the tomb of Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, located 6 kilometers away from the city center. Sankara, known as the Che Guevara of Africa, was the country's president between 1983 and 1987. He did many things for his people and became the hope of Africa. He was the first president to see AIDS as a major threat to Africa. However, he was killed in a coup.
The cathedral of the city is also among structures worth seeing. The building is one of the largest of its kind in West Africa. You can visit the cathedral, outside of church service hours.
Bangr-Wéoogo is the largest park in the city. It is a lush green area where you can take a short break. Here, you also have the opportunity to see wild animals.
Oluroun is a meeting and exhibition area for artists. Here, you can see hundreds of works of art by local artists in forms such as painting, sculpture and many more.
Kwame N'Krumah, on the other hand, is a meeting point for local musicians, especially during the weekends. Here, you can listen to live music on the streets.
OUAGADOUGOU IN ONE DAY
In one day; you have the chance to see not all of the capital city Ouagadougou, but the important places. You can continue your day, which you have started by visiting the national museum, by visiting the public squares and the biggest park of the city called Bangr-Wéoogo. Grand Marché is a must-see spot in the city. However, as it is very busy and colorful here, you lose track of time and suddenly evening comes around. The number of good hotels in the city is higher than you are accustomed to seeing in many African cities. To take a break, you can make use of the restaurants and swimming pools of these hotels.
CITY TOURS AND TRANSPORTATION
The system of public transportation is relatively more organized, compared o other African cities. Nevertheless, the most convenient mode of transport for visitors is once again taxicabs. Share taxis make up an alternative mode of transport. Bicycles and motorcycles are commonly used in the city. Women mostly use motorcycles.
The village of Kassena is interesting, especially for the ladies. Many houses in the village have been built and painted by women.
The village of Possoumtenga is a center of weaving. Every single one of the fabrics that the local women have woven is a work of art.
The zoo located in Ziniare, 30 kilometers east of Ouagadougou is especially interesting for visitors with children.
Located 30 kilometers west of the capital city, on the other hand, the crocodile farm in Bazoule is the right address for those interested in wildlife.
The village of Laongo, 60 kilometers northeast of Ouagadougou, is interesting with the granite sculptures it harbors.
Furthermore, Kokologho can be visited 50 kilometers west of the capital city, to see the typical village houses.
Food & DrinkDishes containing heather, corn, rice, peanuts, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are common in Burkina Faso. Meats and rice are cooked with rich sauces. Rice dishes that are prepared with a peanut butter sauce are quite widespread.
ShoppingDays are needed to fully visit the market -which dates back hundreds of years-called Grand Marché. Here, you can find everything you may look for and feel the soul of the city. In the market, which still preserves its old atmosphere, you can find anything you can think of including masks, local clothing, fabrics, and leather goods.
On the other hand, in the Artisan Market; wooden statues, masks, ceramics and jewellery made by local artists are for sale.
Ticket Sales Offices: Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou: Airport Map Information
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Ouagadougou: Airport Map Information
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|Phone Code||:||+226 50|
|Language||:||French as the official language; also Mossi, Dioula and other local languages|