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Burkina Faso

Main attractions

House in Tiébélé, Burkina Faso
House in Tiébélé / GuideStephane, , CC BY-SA 3.0

This large country is comparatively little known but nevertheless - charming and with numerous interesting mysteries.

Most interesting landmarks in Burkina Faso are:

  • Archaeological monuments - abandoned towns, fortifications, necropolises and sanctuaries. In earlier times Burkina Faso was important source of gold, ivory and other valuable goods, here evolved smaller kingdoms and trade towns.
  • Traditional architecture - Burkinabé (people of Burkina Faso) have their own style of architecture which is very unusual and beautiful. Some of most interesting buildings are found in Tiébélé village, impressive are the mosques in Bani.

Natural landmarks

Fabedougou Domes, Burkina Faso
Fabedougou Domes / Marco Schmidt, , CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Fabedougou Domes - Cascades. Amazing limestone formations which in some places look like numerous domes located close together.
  • Sindou Peaks - Cascades. Group of spectacular sandstone cliffs which resemble ruins of giant structures.
  • Tengrela Falls (Kerfiguela Falls, Banfora Falls) - Cascades. Waterfall with many cascades, total height - some 50 m.

Man made landmarks

Rock paintings, engravings

  • Maadaga rock paintings - Est. Two rock shelters with abstract rock paintings.
  • Markoye rock engravings - Sahel. Group of sites (Sorbaïa , Tondo Banda and Béribéra) with rock engravings, created in the time period between the 7th and 12th centuries AD.
  • Pobé Mengao rock engravings - Sahel. Group of archaeological monuments - rock art (before the 12th century AD), group of mounds and other monuments.

Ancient burials

  • Bourzanga necropolis - Centre-Nord. Several groups of burials, which include large jars made by Dogons, 109 steles.
  • Kampti shrines - Sud-Ouest. Site with numerous fetish statues, centre of local animists. Cult of sacrifice still continues, locals have numerous stories of apparitions and unusual events.
  • Obiré sanctuaries - Sud-Ouest. Group of 27 rectangular sanctuaries - burials of Gan kings.
Granaries in Old Niansogoni, Burkina Faso
Granaries in Old Niansogoni / Marco Schmidt, , CC BY-SA 3.0

Ancient settlements

  • Douna Caves (Turka de Douna) - Cascades. Group of small caves with archaeological importance. Some caves are sacred and uninitiated visitors can not enter them. Caves are differentiated - some were used as dwellings, some - for the rituals of sorcerer.
  • Loropéni Ruins - Sud-Ouest. Ruins of fortified settlement. This gold trade town existed since the 11th century or earlier and was abandoned in the early 19th century. Area is enclosed by a stone wall which is up to 6 m tall.
  • Old Niansogoni (Niansoroni) - Cascades. Ancient village which developed since the 12th century AD and is abandoned since the 1980s. Under the rock overhang have been preserved granaries and other structures made from clay. Some of these giant "ceramic vessels& are ornamented.

Contemporary settlements, cities

  • Lobi soukala - Sud-Ouest. Group of traditional mud buildings in large, rectangular compound, reinforced with high wall. Here live members of one family. Village has even its own sanctuary with fetish statues.
  • Sya - Hauts-Bassins, Bobo-Dioulasso. Historical centre of the Bobo-Dioulasso, with many structures built in local style. Includes several interesting features including Dafra - sacred pool, where the offerings are consumed by giant catfish.
  • Tiébélé - Centre-Sud. Village with typical, highly unusual architecture. Contains Tiébélé Royal Court - area which is encircled with a wall and contains altar of ancestors, sacred stones, cemetery of ancestors and other important features. The contrasting colors of walls are repainted every year after the harvest - this design was created in the 16th century or earlier.

Mosques

Bani Grand Mosque, Burkina Faso
Bani Grand Mosque / Chiappinik, , CC BY 3.0
  • Bani Grand Mosque - Boucle du Mouhoun. Large and ornate mosque in Sudano-Sahelian style. There are seven wonderful mosques in Bani.
  • Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque - Hauts-Bassins. Large mosque in Sudano-Sahelian style, built in 1882 (1883?).

Other man made landmarks

  • Bobo-Dioulasso train station - Hauts-Bassins. Ornate train station, built in Sudanese style in the 1930s.
  • Manega Museum - Plateau-Central. Museum of African mysteries, including artefacts of unknown cultures, tools of sorcerers and similar items.

List of described attractions by regions

Burkina Faso is divided into 13 regions.

Boucle du Mouhoun
Cascades
Centre
Centre-Est
Centre-Nord
Centre-Ouest
Centre-Sud
Est
Hauts-Bassins
ArrowBobo Dioulasso Grand MosqueIslamic shrines
Nord
Plateau-Central
Sahel
Sud-Ouest

Map of Burkina Faso

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