Days
8
Price from
$2,645CAD

Experience one of West Africa’s hidden jewels

It’s no cliché to say that Burkina Faso dances to the beat of its own drum. Dancing is the national pastime and the djembe drum is the essential background sound of this proud country. You’ll feel this rhythm on an eye-opening weeklong journey around the south east of the nation. Delve into traditional culture and music in the lush green climes of Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s music capital, uncovering everyday life in the markets and workshops of artisans still practising ancestral methods. Discover the natural wonders of the country in the pretty town of Banfora, where rock spires rise to the sky, water falls to the earth, and sacred hippos wallow in lakes. Encounter the locals in the villages surrounding Gaoua, visiting the remote Lobi, exploring the unique architecture of the Kassena people, learning about traditional chiefs, and uncovering local religion, sacred rights and beliefs with a traditional ‘fetish’ man. Experience the West Africa that has long captured adventure travellers’ imaginations.


Start
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Finish
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Country
Burkina Faso
Style
Peregrine
Code
PFBF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why we love this trip

  • West Africa is a world of colour, rhythm, festivity, dance – experience how music vibrates through Burkina Faso like the beat of the Djembe drum. A night of dinner and dancing is a night to remember.

  • Uncover Burkina Faso’s answer to Stonehenge in the geological wonderland of rock cones that is Sindou.

  • Look out for hippos (believed to be sacred in this area) on a boat ride with local fisherman on Lake Tengrela.

  • Encounter the remote Lobi people, unused to foreigners, and learn about their long-unchanged way of life.

  • Visit a plastic bag recycling project to see how a local environmental initiative is changing the lives of underprivileged West African women.

  • Witness the stunning intricate ornamentation of the pottery-like houses of the Kassena people in Ouagadougou and the nearby village of Tiebele.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please be aware that due to local custom it is not uncommon to see animal sacrifices in these areas.

  • Accommodation in Banfora and Gaoua are below the usual Peregrine standard, but are the best in their respective areas.

Itinerary

Welcome to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. On arrival at Ouagadougou International Airport, you will be met by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel (approximately 20 minutes). There will be a meeting sometime this evening, or first thing tomorrow morning (depending on what time the group arrives), where you’ll meet your Peregrine tour leader and your fellow travelling companions. If you arrive with time to spare, there’s much to soak-in in Ouagadougou (pronounced waga-doo-goo). The surprisingly modern capital of Burkina Faso has a population of approximately 1.5 million and is one of the cultural centres of West Africa. If you feel like a bit of a party then the nightlife in Ouaga (as it’s affectionately known) is famous throughout West Africa, with excellent music, bars and nightclubs and the music goes on all night. Otherwise simply pull up a chair by an outdoor eatery and watch the colourful local scene unfold.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Palmiers or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Travel into the green, lush and cooler climes of the west today to the town Bobo-Dioulasso (approximately 5 hours), where you will spend the next two nights. No highlight in Bobo-Dioulasso is greater than its music, with the town known as the Music Capital of Burkina Faso. The country boasts folk music from over 60 different ethnic groups, and this afternoon you’ll visit the music museum to learn about the traditional instruments used by the different groups. There is also a listening area to hear local artists and get in touch with the musical side of Burkinabe life. After dinner this evening you will experience the romance of live Djembe (a goblet shaped drum) music at one of the several local marquees. In Burkina Faso an instrument is about more than the sound it creates – it carries a deep cultural and spiritual significance, and drums are the base of all music in the country.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les 2 Palmiers or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Music Museum Visit
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Djembe Music Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Bobo’s tree-lined streets give it a calming feel, but at its centre lies the busy, bustling Grand Marche, renowned as the crossroads of numerous tribes and an excellent place to experience the colour and atmosphere of a typical city market. It’s filled with everything one could ever think or want to buy, from food and clothing, to household goods and a great selection of tribal arts from all over West Africa. You will also visit a women’s plastic bag recycling project, which combines environmentalism with employment creation. Purses, clothing and dolls are created from plastic yarn that has been spun from the plastic bags that once littered the ground and were a danger to livestock. In the Kibidwe District, the oldest part of town, you’ll visit skilled blacksmiths, potters and weavers using ancestral methods. Here you’ll be treated to a musical performance. Later perhaps visit the Grande Mosque, which is a fine example of Sudanese mud-brick architecture and holds a dark, austere interior.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les 2 Palmiers or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Grand Marché Visit
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Kibidwe District Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will take a short drive (approximately 3 hours) to one of Burkina’s prettiest towns – Banfora. This serene, sleepy town is set against lush greens hills of sugarcane, surrounded by waterfalls, small lakes and wonderful natural places to visit. You’ll spend the day visiting the attractions in the surrounding area, including some incredible rock formations. Take a short hike to a narrow three-kilometre chain of sandstone hills – the Sindou Rock Formations. This is a geological wonderland of rock cones stretching towards the sky, shaped and sculpted by the elements. After taking in this stunning moonscape, you’ll continue on to Lake Tengrela, known for being home to more than a hundred hippos. Climb aboard a boat to sail across the tree-fringed lake and search for the wide variety of birdlife and for hippo families, and meet with local fishermen who know exactly where to spot the huge animals. You’ll then make your way though an impressive avenue of mango trees and negotiate a chaotic jumble of rocks to reach the magnificent Karfiguela Waterfalls, another sight that’s worth the journey no matter what the season. Then it’s back to Banfora for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Canne a Sucre or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banfora - Lake Tengrela Boat Ride
  • Banfora - Rock Formations
  • Banfora - Karfiguela Waterfalls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive south-east (approximately 3 hours) towards Gaoua, a place of secret rituals, wooden fetishes (objects believed to have supernatural power), and steeped in ancestral significance. It is home to the guarded Lobi people, and is a fascinating and culturally distinctive area known for its unique architecture and age-old traditions. Today will be a full day of sightseeing and regular stops as you drive through the various villages, before finally settling at Gaoua in the late afternoon. On the way you will come into contact with the Lobi; living in these remote rural areas, the Lobi are not used to foreigners, and may feel nervous when you visit. Please refrain from taking any photos here without permission. You will see Lobi homes, made with high brick mud walls and have small slits for windows, not unlike a miniature fortress. Visit the ruins of an actual fortress in Loropéni, a World Heritage site that’s at least 1,000 years old but whose origin remains a mystery. Discover the role of traditional chiefs in modern Africa with a visit to the Gan Kings, and then discover more about the local religion, sacred rights and beliefs by meeting with a traditional ‘fetish’ man.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hala or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gaoua - Gan King visit
  • Gaoua - Loropeni Ruins
  • Gaoua - Lobi Fetish Man Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will return to the Burkinabe capital (approximately 5 hours), arriving in Ouagadougou in the early afternoon. Check into your hotel and freshen up before visiting the local cultural centre. Here you can learn more about the culture of Burkina Faso and purchase excellent quality carvings, brass work and other handmade pieces.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Palmiers or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ouagadougou - Cultural Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning set off for a full day excursion to the unique village of Teibele, close to the Ghanian border and home to the Kassena people (approximately 3 hours). The town is known for its unusual architecture – pottery-like mud houses that are elaborately decorated. Variously square, round, or figure-eight shaped, the houses have stunning intricate ornamentation on the outside, geometric patterns of black diamonds and stripes, illustrations of snakes, crocodiles or perhaps a tortoise, the sacred totem of the royal family. While the men do the building, women are in charge of the painting. The geometric patterns represent the calabash – the multi-use skin of this vegetable is a lifelong kitchen companion for women and is the only object authorised for worship. You will spend several hours exploring the fascinating architecture and culture of the Tiebele compound and its surrounds before returning to Ouagadougou for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Palmiers or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ouagadougou - Tiebele Village Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This journey through Burkina Faso comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Bobo Dioulasso - Music Museum Visit
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Djembe Music Experience
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Grand Marché Visit
  • Bobo Dioulasso - Kibidwe District Visit
  • Banfora - Lake Tengrela Boat Ride
  • Banfora - Rock Formations
  • Banfora - Karfiguela Waterfalls
  • Gaoua - Gan King visit
  • Gaoua - Loropeni Ruins
  • Gaoua - Lobi Fetish Man Visit
  • Ouagadougou - Cultural Village Visit
  • Ouagadougou - Tiebele Village Guided Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please contact your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

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