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Burkina Faso


Burkina Faso consistently produces silk purses from sows' ears; they come from one of the poorest countries in the world, but they are renowned for their don't-worry-be-happy optimism and have managed to fashion a beautiful and culturally sophisticated country out of the little resources they do have. November to February are the cooler months of the year, although the dusty harmattan winds might temper your enthusiasm between the months of December and February. Film enthusiasts won't want to miss Fespaco, Africa's premier film festival, which runs in odd-numbered years. The cultural festival begins early April. Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation 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.



Capital: Ouagadougou

Official languages: French

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)




Burkina Faso's tropical climate sees little relief from the heat, with dense humidity making things particularly squirmish from May to October. The dusty and dry months yield days above 40°C (104°F) and sandy harmattan winds blow incessantly between December and February. The hottest time of the year is between March and June when the mercury can rise well above 40°C in the capital.




Burkina Faso is made up of two major types of countryside:

The larger part of the country is covered by a peneplain which forms a gently undulating landscape with, in some areas, a few isolated hills, the last vestiges of a precambrian massif.

The south-west of the country forms a sandstone massif, where the highest peak is found: Ténakourou (749 m, 2,450 ft). The massif is bordered by sheer cliffs up to 150 meters (490 ft) high.

The average altitude is 400 meters (1,300 ft) and the difference between the highest and lowest terrain is no greater than 600 meters (2,000 ft). Burkina Faso is therefore a relatively flat country, with a very few localized exceptions.