Burkina Faso - The Dancing Masks Festima Festival

Burkina Faso - The Dancing Masks Festima Festival

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 10 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 – Ouagadougou - 22 February 2018

Arrive in Ouagadougou, the lively capital of Burkina Faso, and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel Le Grand Calao or similar.

Day 2 – Kassena region - Po (150 km approx. 3 hours)

We begin the day with a city tour of Ouagadougou taking in the noises and colours of the streets. The suburbs are home to a number of craftsmen and it is a great opportunity to appreciate their skills. In the afternoon we head south from Ouaga to the Kassena region and Po. Overnight at Hotel Envol or similar (BLD)

Day 3 - Po to Leo (190 km approx. 4 hours)

We drive from Po to Leo, passing villages which are home to the Gurunsi tribe and Kassena People, who are famous for their beautifully painted houses. Their society is divided along lines of gender; the men are responsible for construction and build the houses, and the women then take over and paint the intricate and colourful frescoes. Overnight at Auberge de la Sissili or similar. (BLD)

Day 4 – Leo to Gaoua (250 km, approx. 5 hours)

We drive through a remote region, inhabited by the Dagarti people, which see few tourists. They have always kept strong ties to the invisible world of Spirits, represented by fetishes, shrines and sacred sites. They build fortified houses to protect their family as well as all their belongings. In the afternoon we visit some of the villages of the Lobi people. They are a shy and secretive tribe but with the help of local guides we are able to visit their fortress style houses dotted around this region. The men still move around armed with bows and arrows and the older women often wear a small disc in their lower lip. Overnight at Hotel Hala or similar (BLD)

Day 5 – Gaoua – Loropeni - Gaoua

Continue exploring the region around Gaoua, including the mysterious ruins at Loropeni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We may encounter communities of gold miners along the way to the village of Obire with its tombs of previous kings. This is home to the Gan Dynasty and we may be lucky and meet the chief. The Gan live in polygamous groups with their homes built around a courtyard- each man lives in a rectangular hut, and each of his wives in her own circular house. Overnight at Hotel Hala or similar (BLD)

Day 6 – Hippos - Gaoua to Banfora (220 km, approx. 6 hours)

Today we travel to Banfora. En route we will meet communities of gold miners, who, even nowadays, still dig deep tunnels in search of this precious metal. We end our day with a cruise on Tengrela Lake, a calm, beautiful landscape surrounded by arid savannah and known for its hippos that live in the lake. Overnight at Hotel Canne a Sucre or similar (BLD)

Day 7 – Banfora to Bobo (150 km, approx. 3 hours)

This morning we remain in the Banfora region and visit Les Domes de Fadebougou, a location where millennia of water and wind erosion have created a dome-shaped cluster of rock formations overlooking the plain. From the top, you get a wonderful panorama of the far-stretching fields of sugar cane plantations. Continue to Kerfieguel Waterfalls, where there is the opportunity to swim and freshen up. After this we continue to Bobo Dioulasso. Overnight at Auberge de Bobo or similar (BLD)

Days 8 and 9 – Festima, from Bobo to Dedougou (200 km, approx. 4 hours)

Drive to Dedougou for festima. Approximately 40 villages attend this unique mask festival, each represented by its own group of masks. The masks represent the spirits of the bush and often take on animal forms. The dancing is colourful and dynamic and some of the dancers often fall into trances. There is also the ‘market of the communities’, as well as cabaret nights, during which various griots (storytellers) compete with one another to express their talents. Overnights at Hotel Diarra or similar (BLD)

Day 10 – Dedougou to Ouagadougou (360 km, approx. 6 hours)

Today sees us return to Ouaga stopping at several villages along the way. On arrival there will be time for some last minute shopping before transferring to the airport in the evening for your flight home (BL)

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