Burkina Faso

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West Africa > Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso , formerly Upper Volta, is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west. Many experienced travellers consider Burkina Faso to be one of the most friendly and inviting countries in Africa. However Burkina Faso is also a very poor country.


It is by all means possible to hitch hike in Burkina Faso, but naturally the experience is pretty different from the one you might have in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East. In Burkina Faso the majority of people who travel do so by bus and there are few cars on the road. However, it won't take to many of the sparse cars passing before someone will stop, usually curious as to why you are standing by the road with your thumb or finger out. When the situation is ecplained, more often than not, the driver will be only to happy out a traveller and will probably be excited to meet you!

As with hitching in general, it is better to be outside of the bigger cities, mainly because you will attract alot of taxis. Getting out of the two sprawling bigger cities (Bobo Dialasso and Ouagadougou) can be a bit of a mission on foot, so it might be worth taking a shared taxi or bus (in Ouaga) a little way along the road. As a traveller, you may be in for some hassle if you stroll past the 10 or 20 bus companies and stations that line the exits of the cities, as they'll wonder why you are walking (and saying "I fancy hitching", even in French) probably won't staisfy them).

A word of warning. Whilst hitching in many countries is a great way to get to the underbelly of a culture and experience some hospitality, in Burkina Faso car drivers tend to be businessmen with a business reason for their trip or or other travellers. (Not to say that both of those won't be wonderful, interesting, generous people but rather that you might not get the random cross section of society that you're used to).

The biggest roads in Burkina are generally pretty well maintained, promptly repaired after the rainy season, particularly the route between Bobo-Dialaso and Ouagadougou.

Most Burkinabe you encounter will speak at least some French and some people will speak English.

Applications-office.png This article is a stub. This means that the information available to us is obviously insufficient. In these places little information is available or the description is severely outdated. If you have been there, whether hitchhiking, for travel or as part of an organized tour − be sure to extend this article!