Tour to Burkina-Faso: Tribal Art

Enjoy a trip that will take you to meet the populations of Burkina Faso who continue to perpetuate their ancestral traditions everyday:

  • The Gurunsi women, who paint beautiful frescoes on the walls of their houses;
  • The Lobi, who still build fortified houses;
  • The tiny villages where the Bwa people dance covered with spectacular flat masks up to two meters high.

The natural environment is also exceptional, especially in the area of Banfora where we will have a nice walk to the peaks of Sindou to discover the limestone rocks with their fantastic shapes.

We will also stop at Bobo-Dioulasso, the city where the streets and buildings date back to the colonial period.

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Guide: English speaking
Price from 1790 € Send request
Day 1

Arrival in Ouagadougou

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be assisted with your baggage and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

SAHELIAN TOWN

We will start a day with a city tour of Ouagadougou.

Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, is situated in the Middle West African savannah. Life goes on in the streets in a unique fusion of village and town ambiances: old taxis, bicycles, scooters, donkeys pulling chariots and porters caring loads on their heads… On either side of the street informal traders offer colorful goods, we can enjoy open-air small restaurants with beer and music, and everywhere there are chickens and goats eating any food that happens to fall. A colorful painted board advertises a local «coiffeur» that barbers his clients in the shade of a mango tree. In the street markets the colors are brilliant; perfumes and smells are very strong (but not bothersome).

In the outskirts, a large area is dedicated to craft expositions that allow people to appreciate the skills and the products of African artisans and artists.

Then, we will drive to the south.

Day 3

AFRICAN FRESCOES

In the southern savannah, we will meet the Gurunsi people, who live in colorfully decorated fortified houses. The Gurunsi society is organized around gender: the men are in charge of building, while the women are in charge of painting and decorating the home. Women create beautiful “frescoes” using natural colors: red, white and black on an okra background.

The Gurinsi build their houses by layering clay over support pillars and arches. To make the walls and terraces waterproofed, they spread zebu dung. Over the zebu dung the women paint amazingly intricate frescoes, sometimes using black and white patterns, other times red and white patterns, that flow over the houses and slope down to the surrounding walls. These beautifully patterned designs are an excellent example of African art and architecture merging into a masterpiece of style and substance. The intense beauty of these works of art can only be truly appreciated first hand.

We will drive to Leo, visiting villages on the way.

Day 4

FORTIFIED VILLAGES

We will drive along a region rarely visited by tourists where we will meet the Dagarti peoples.

The Dagarti share the same environment with the Lobi, having learned to build fortified houses from them. Nowdays they keep strong ties with the invisible world of the spirits, represented by fetishes, altars and sacred sites.

We will reach Gaoua, a region inhabited by the Lobi.

The Lobi of Burkina peoples the shiest group of this population, spread throughout Burkina, Ghana and Ivory Coast. They also have the most characteristic villages and, thanks to their shy behaviour, have maintained their traditions intact. Each family lives in a big fortified building made of clay. Even nowadays, the Lobi carve wooden statues for the cult of their ancestors. During our visit, a guide who speaks the Lobi dialect will accompany us, a need, in order to allow us to overcome the innate distrust of these people.

Day 5

TRADITIONAL CHIEFS

On the way to Banfora we will stop at the Loropeni ruins: The site, surrounded by mystery, spans 11,130 square meters (119,800 sq ft) and includes an array of stone walls. Loropéni is the best preserved example of a fortified settlement in a wide part of West Africa, linked to the tradition of gold mining, which seems to have persisted through at least seven centuries. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009.

At Obire, close to Loropeni, we will meet the traditional Chief of the Gan dynasty, as well as his court. A great opportunity to talk directly about the role of the traditional Chiefs in modern Africa.

During the journey, we will meet communities of gold miners who dig deep tunnels looking for the precious minerals.

Day 6

 HIPPOS

On this journey, we will enjoy the wonders of the Banfora region, rich in beautiful landscapes and charming remote villages.

We will start the day with a cruise on Tengrela Lake where we may see hippos, a calm and beautiful place, very green despite the surrounding arid savannah.

 

 

 

Day 7

ROCKS AND WATERFALLS

The region of Banfora keeps surprising us.

To arrive to the “domes” of Fadébougou, we will cross huge plantations of sugar cane. Here, water and wind have formed rocks in the shape of a dome overlooking the plain. From the top, we will enjoy a beautiful panorama.

In the same region, the Kerfiéguela waterfalls will offer the opportunity to make a splash into the water, always appreciated in this land of arid savannah.

In the afternoon, we will drive to Bobo Dioulasso.

 

Day 8

SUDANESE AND COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE

Although Bobo is the second largest city in Burkina after Ouagadougou, life still moves at a slow pace.

A charming African city, it is certainly the greenest city in the country. Many of its neighbourhoods have maintained a particular colonial atmosphere. The train station was built in Neo-Moorish style. The mosque, instead, was built in a radically different style, a pure Sudanese style (built in 1880 according to some, 1893 according to others). We will also discover the interesting old areas of the town.

In 1891, the French explorer Crozat described the importance of trade in Bobo Dioulasso: “The caravans coming from the south bring cola nuts and fabric, the northern ones come loaded with salt and iron tools, glass beads come from the east, and gold arrives from the Lobi country”.

Free time to visit the antique shops that offer wonderful examples of wooden masks: butterflies, owls, alligators, the sun…

 

Day 9

BWABA MASKS

We will leave early in the morning for an interesting journey.

In a small village we will attend to an exhibit of Bobo-Bwa masks. More than two meters high with beautiful inlays, the “flat masks” of the Bobo-Bwa have white, black and red geometric designs and are among the most spectacular of Burkina Faso. Some masks are made in the images of real people of the theatre.

The Bwa of the Burkina Faso are the farmers of the savannah. Their society is comprised of clannish corporations: the peasants, blacksmiths and griot (people in charge of the transmission of the events of the past). The greater part of the Bwa has remained faithful to the traditional religion. The masks are regularly employed in the mythical celebrations.

We will arrive to Ouagadougou in the afternoon.

Day-rooms available until 6 p.m. before the final transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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