Burkina Faso Flag
- Location: Western Africa
- Capital: Ouagadougou (Wagadugu)
- Language: French, Bambara
- Population: 15,857,430
- Total Area: 274,200 sq km
- Currency: CFA Franc
- Curious Alcohol Fact:
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 6.98 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Banji (palm wine)
Burkina Faso is a landlocked nation and shares borders with Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Benin and Niger. Formerly known as the Republic of Upper Upper Volta, Burkina Faso (or simply Burkina) is a former French colony and became independent in 1960, the same year with many other African nations. Although landlocked, the country has three major rivers –Red Volta, Blue Volta and White Volta. Located in the Tropics, there are two major seasons –rainy and dry. Much of the country is referred to as the Sahel, a savanna (or grassland) found in the Tropics. However, the southern parts of the country are cooler and wetter, with thick forests.
One other interesting fact I observed with Burkina, unlike other nations on the continent is that there most of the people are referred to as Burkinabes and belong to just two (Nigeria has 250!) ethnic groups –the Mossi and the Mande. However, these two groups are usually divided into smaller groups such as the Gurounsi, Senufo, Busansi, Lobi and Bobo. Also unlike many other African nations where Islam or Christianity dominated, almost half of the population follow the traditional African religion (animism). Others are Muslims or Christians but the degree of religious harmony and tolerance is so spectacular that you will find it difficult to differentiate the citizens based on religion affiliations.
If you travel round Africa, one thing that will always keep you excited is the food. African dishes are exotic and tantalizing. In Burkina Faso, I was not disappointed. It was with relish that I devoured the plate of to that was specially prepared for me in Bobo Dioulasso, one of the largest cities in the country. To is actually slightly bitter to taste (or was it my tongue?) and it was made from boiled corn which was then mashed in sauce. With goat leg to go with it and a bowl of fresh juice extracted from baobab, I felt I was in heaven. However, my favorite Burkinabe food is poulet yassa, a chicken soup full of sauce and flavorings.
In many parts of the country, drinking banji (palm wine) is a very common sight. Apart from banji, there is also the dolo, a locally-prepared beer made from millet. You are most likely going to be presented with a cup of banji or dolo if you visit any of the villages. In other places, there is a reddish drink called bissap, and is made from hibiscus flowers; you will not forget its refreshing taste.
Football is the most popular sport in the country and there is virtually no city without its own local soccer team. There is even a national soccer team named ‘The Stallions’ and the country once hosted the African Cup of Nations.
Burkina Faso has a lot of fantastic places for tourists. These include the Grand Mosque of Bobo Dioulasso, Arly National Park, International School of Ouagadougou and the Tingrela Lake. You can also take a cruise down the Black, Red or White Volta!
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)
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