Travel Guide Africa Burkina Faso Ouagadougou



Ouagadougou is the capital and largest city in Burkina Faso and has a population of about 1,2 million people. It is the political, administrative and cultural heart of the country and is very charming place for travellers as well. "Where people get honor and respect" is the literal translation of the name Ouagadougou. The site where the city is today, right in the centre of the country, has been inhabited since the 15th century by several different tribes. Nowadays, it is a very pleasant and safe city with lots to offer to keep you busy for a few days.



Sights and Activities

  • National Museum of Burkina Faso
  • Moro-Naba Palace
  • National Museum of Music
  • Many crafts markets



Events and Festivals

Festival International de la Culture Hip Hop

Otherwise known as Waga Hip Hop, this annual festival is one of the biggest of its kind in West Africa. This celebration of urban cultures is usually held in mid-October, attracting thousands of international artists and media. In addition to hip hop, the festival also celebrates beat-boxing and other forms of vocal tunes not only in Ouagadouga, but in other cities such as Bobo-Dioulasso, Koudougou, Fada N’Gourma, and Pô.

Festival Jazz

Held in Ouagadougou and Bobo, the Jazz Festival of Burkina Faso features some of the biggest names in music on the continent. It is marked by performances from established names, as well as rising stars.




Ouagadougou is hot year-round. The hottest months are March to May, when average daytime temperatures are around 38 °C and nights rarely drop below 25 °C. Temperatures are known to have reached close to 50 °C. The wet season lasts from the end of May well into September, early October. July and August are by far the wettest months and although temperatures are a bit lower, the high humidity makes this time even more severe to travel around. From December to February is the driest period of the year, but at this time the hot, dry and dusty Harmattan wind can make things feel uncomfortable. As you see, it can become difficult to choose a certain time of year, as there is almost always either heat, humidity/rainfall or dusty winds, or sometimes a combination. November might be the best month, when the rains are over, the Harmattan has to start and temperatures are not at their highest.



Getting There

By Plane

Ouagadougou Airport (OUA) receives all international flights, among which are those with the national airline Air Burkina.
Brussels Airlines operates direct flights between Brussels and Ouagadougou.
Destinations include Abidjan, Accra, Bamako, Cotonou, Dakar, Lomé, Niamey, Brussels and Paris.
Other destinations are Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc and Algiers with Air Algérie and Tripoli and Libreville.

Domestic services with Air Burkina are between Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

By Train

A twice weekly train operated by SITARAIL runs from the Ivorian capital Abidjan via Bobo-Dioulasso. First and second class carriages are available, the journey is supposed to take 36h but trains are often much delayed. Tickets are open for purchase a day before departure at the train station.

Ouagadougou's Gare de Centrale is located downtown just off Avenue de la Nation.

By Bus

There are frequent bus connections to neighbouring countries. Buses leave from Ouagadougou to Cotonou (Benin), Accra via Tamale and Kumasi (Ghana), , Ouagadougou to Bamako via Sikasso and Segou taking 15 hours to Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou to Niamey taking 10-11 hours (Niger, also minibuses available) and Ouagadougou to Lomé taking 18 hours (Togo, also bush taxi's available but this takes more time).

Ouagadougou is domestically connected to numerous cities and towns by buses and bush taxi's including Bobo-Dioulasso.



Getting Around

Ougadougou is a very orderly and clean city, and the traffic is very civilized. The city has a grid-based street system. There are traffic lights everywhere and motorists actually obey them. The people here are proud of their country and create a good impression.

Ouagadougou is serviced by two types of taxi: white and green. White taxis are rarer, more expensive, and exclusive. Green taxis are ubiquitous and of much lower quality, but are much cheaper to use. As there are no meters, all fees for all taxis are negotiated in advance, and you should not enter a taxi until you and the driver have agreed upon a price.

The small green taxi cabs should cost no more than XOF300 per person during the day for straight runs on main roads. Fees increase with distance or with departures from the main routes. Be prepared to share the cab with as many people as can be crammed in, or to pay a premium rate. Cabbies may attempt to charge foreigners far more. If you have a lot of baggage, expect to pay more as well.

Prices go up at night especially to the city center (centreville). You should never pay more than XOF1,500 per person, and this is negotiable if you have a lot of people in your group to share the cab.

Travel to and from the airport is always expensive, even if you are only going a short distance. Expect a minimum of XOF1,500, and do not be surprised at asking prices in excess of XOF5,000. Be firm, and you can negotiate the price considerably downward.

Although Ouagadougou is generally a very safe city, maintain the same caution that you would in any urban environment: only use green or white cabs, don't accept rides from drivers that appear to be drunk or who have cars that appear unsafe, and know that whites, obvious tourists, people with many bags, and people seeking rides at unusual hours are all at a higher risk of theft and other crimes.





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