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Burkina Faso & Benin – An 11 Day Exploration

Burkina Faso and Benin are West Africa’s well-kept secrets. There is a rich cultural heritage in both countries where you can still find traditional architecture and have the possibility to interact with the warm, friendly people of several ethnic groups and learn about their daily life.

Here also are the best national parks for wildlife viewing in this part of the continent. People, wildlife and natural wonders are amongst the ingredients that make a great holiday destination and will give you experiences to remember forever!

Benin’s shore includes what used to be known as the Slave Coast, from where captives were shipped across the Atlantic. Elements of the culture and religion brought by slaves from the area are still present in the Americas, including voodoo.

Itinerary Summary:

  1. Arrival in Ouagadougou
  2. Ouagadougou – Bobo Dioulasso
  3. Bobo Dioulasso – Banfora
  4. Banfora and surroundings
  5. Banfora – Koupela
  6. Koupela – Natitingou
  7. Somba & Taneka Country
  8. Park Pendjari – Tanguieta
  9. Tanguieta – Kompienga
  10. Kompienga – Ouagadougou
  11. departure from Ouagadougou

Full Itinerary

Day 1 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Arrive at the international airport of Ouagadougou where your guide and driver will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation. If time allows, a visit to the National Museum is planned. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Auberge du Grand Calao or similar

Day 2 Ouagadougou – Bobo Dioulasso

Your journey through Burkina Faso starts with drive from Ouagadougou, the capital city, to the country’s second capital: Bobo Dioulasso, about 385 kilometers to the West. You can get an impression of Burkina Faso’s daily life as you travel along the road in a landscape that is dominated by savannah.

Stops will be made for lunch and to visit Dafra’s sacred fishes. A hike through the rocky surroundings leads to the site. People come from all over the place to make offerings to the sacred catfishes and to ask them for help with problems or with what they would like to achieve in life. Visiting Dafra is like a pilgrimage for Africans it is a truly local and special experience.
Arrival at your hotel in Bobo Dioulasso is in the late afternoon.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Hotel L’Auberge or similar

Day 3 Bobo Dioulasso – Banfora

The morning you visit Bobo Dioulasso’s old neighborhood and mosque, accompanied by a guide it may be possible to visit the interior and the rooftop of the mosque.

In the afternoon your journey continues to the beautiful natural surroundings of Banfora.
Enjoy a short visit to Banfora’s colorful and lively Sunday market, held in the streets and in the market building.
Then continue on to the Karfiguéla Falls, an excellent place for a refreshing swim, so make sure to have your swim wear and towel at hand!

From the Falls a pleasant hike leads to the nearby Domes de Fabedougou. These impressive rock formations have an almost identical geological feature as Australia’s Bungle Bungles, however the Domes are still rather unknown. In the light of the setting sun the Domes will show their most beautiful earthly colors.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Hotel La Canne à Sucre or similar

Day 4 Banfora area

An early start to the day in order to get to Lake Tengréla, near Banfora, at sunrise. Here you set out on the lake with a local fisherman in his pirogue – a traditional wooden boat – to search for the lake’s population of hippos.

Then a drive of about 50ks takes you to Sindou, where a well-deserved breakfast will be awaiting you at one of the village’s camps. After breakfast visit the stunning Sindou Peaks – an impressive formation of rocks that were seen as you were arriving.
Lunch will be taken in the camp, and you have the chance to relax in hammocks underneath the mango trees, before exploring, with a local guide, the ancient village and the small weekly market of Sindou.

In the afternoon drive of 40ks takes you to visit Niansogoni, home to an ancient tryglodyte village on the mountain. In the late afternoon, when the temperatures are dropping, a local guide will escort you on the climb up the mountain to visit this ancient village, situated at an altitude of about 400 meters. The surrounding rocks give the village protection but the people of the village in the valley also preserve the village, as they still use part of it for their animist ceremonies. As the sun sets you descend for the drive back to Banfora for overnight.

  • Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Hotel La Canne à Sucre – or similar

Day 5 Banfora – Koupela

Today is a long drive of about 600 kms that will take you across Burkina Faso – via Ouagadougou – to Koupela. You pass through interesting landscapes and traditional villages. A stop will be made en route for lunch in one of the villages/towns.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • White Stone Hotel – or similar

Day 6 Koupela – Natitingou, Benin

From Koupela the journey continues southwards to the border with Benin. After the border crossing formalities have been taken care of, you travel to Natitingou. where a small museum has an interesting array of objects telling the story of the region’s inhabitants. Then enjoy a refreshing swim at the Kota Falls.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Hotel Tata Somba or similar

Day 7 Somba & Taneka Country

Today is dedicated to ancient tribes and their traditions, including their traditional architecture. In the morning you visit the famous Somba Country, home to the Somba people and their tatas. The tata, as their houses are called, is the safe haven for a family. In the past it was designed and built this manner to protect families against wild animals and enemies, including the slave hunters, who left their traces throughout the country. Nowadays protection is not needed for these reasons, but over the years the houses have become part of the tribe’s culture. Recently some people tended to a more modern, and cheaper, style of building, but most of them have returned to the traditional tatas.

Guided by a local Somba (pay attention to the facial decorations matching the decorations of the tatas) visit a village and some of the family tatas. Lunch will be taken in the village, where several women have been trained in cooking meals for guests.
The journey then continues into the rural habitat of the Taneka – an ethnic group that is not widely known and has kept its traditional way of living. Parts of their culture are the King and spiritual leader, both play an important role in the community and you will pay them courtesy visits.

Before arriving in the village a stop will be made at the cultural bank. This small museum hosts objects that belong to villagers. In return for putting their items on display these villagers have been granted a small loan, perhaps to start their own business. Once they have repaid their loan, their objects – often part of their family’s heritage – will be returned and another villager can apply for a loan.

The day with the Somba and Taneka will give you a deep insight into the cultures and way of life of these warn and friendly people.
Continue on to Tanguieta for overnight.

  • Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Hotel Baobab or similar

Day 8 Pendjari National Park

Today you are on Safari. Another early start for the drive from Tanguieta to arrive at the gates of Pendjari National Park by sunrise. (Booklets with information on the animals in the park are on sale here).

Pendjari Park is often mentioned as West Africa’s most interesting park. Wildlife to be found here includes :- Elephants, buffalos, warthogs, crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks, lions, leopards, baboons, red monkeys, hartebeests, roan antelopes, several other antelope species. There is also a large number of bird species that can be seen in the park.

Spend the day travelling through the vast park, with stops at several view points. The lunch stop will be at one of the accommodations in the park. Return to Tanguieta for overnight.

  • Includes: Breakfast
  • Hotel Baobab or similar

Day 9 Tanguieta – Lake Kompienga, Burkina Faso

Leaving Tanguieta travel north, via the Benin-Burkina Faso border to Lake Kompienga, near Pama. This reservoir lake was formed when a dam was built to provide hydro-electric power. The rustic atmosphere of your overnight lakeside accommodation offers the prefect surroundings to relax. Take a trip on the lake in a traditional wooden canoe with a local fisherman. Lunch and dinner will be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the lake.
Campement de Tagou or similar

  • Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Hotel Baobab or similar

Day 10 Lake Kompienga – Ouagadougou

Today’s drive brings you back to Burkina Faso’s capital. The afternoon can be used for a city walk and/or a visit of one of the city’s colorful handicraft markets to do some souvenir shopping before attending the farewell dinner. BD

  • Includes: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Auberge du Grand Calao or similar

Day 11 Departure

At a suitable time you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward bound flight. B

  • Includes: Breakfast










Single supplement

Per person sharing 3525









  • Transport by private car/minibus
  • English speaking guide, plus local guides and assistants
  • entry fees and tourist taxes
  • accommodations based on stay in double rooms with private bathrooms and A/C or fan (depending on availability)
  • meals as shown
  • contribution to the Papillon emergency fund and the Papillon project fund giving back to the local communities

Not Included:

  • international air fares
  • visas (multiple entry visa for Burkina Faso, single entry visa for Benin)
  • vaccinations & medications
  • personal insurances
  • any excursions not include in the itinerary
  • excursions
  • drinks and additional meals
  • gratuities
  • any and all personal expenses

Please note: Prices and dates are subject to change at any time. Please call (647) 231-0067 or email us ( for current pricing.