There’s no mistaking the fact that, for the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou is surprisingly upbeat, friendly, and home to good hotels, restaurants and nightspots.

Explore the many cultural and historic landmarks within the city such as Musee De La Musique (for traditional music lovers), the Musee National, and the Moro Naba Palace Ceremony – a weekly ritual event orchestrated by the Moro-Naba (the emperor of the Mossi peoples and the most powerful traditional chief in Burkina Faso).

Shop for gifts at the Centre National d’Artisanat et d’Art (50306835) located in the city centre on Avenue Dimdolobsom. Profits here go directly to the artisan. Crafts include bronze statues, wooden sculptures and colourful batiks.

Espace Gondwana (Rue13-14 E of Ouagadougou 2km E of Ouagadougou, off Blvd Onatel) is the city’s most atmospheric restaurant. It has a courtyard where music is often played, and the three dining rooms are richly adorned with masks (all for sale) and traditional furniture. Each room is themed in a different style – Gourounsi, Mauritanian and a Tuareg tent. The food is also splendid and it has the widest selection of masksfound in Ouaga, and prices are agreeable. Opens 18:00 to late.

Other restaurants with international themes are Le Coq Bleu (French), Sindabal’s (Italian), and Restaurant Akwaba (North African).

Hotel Ricardo, Hotel Les Palmiers, and Le Karite Bleu are just three of the more excellent hotels/b&b’s to lodge in Ouaga Ð all with reasonable rates and extensive modern amenities.

Ouagadougou is an easy city to navigate on your own, but to see more than just the tourist sites, contact the excellent Tour Guide, Eugene Compaore (76 62 58 98) who speaks French, English and Spanish. He is experienced at finding everything from buzzing Ouaga nightlife away from the expat crowd to the ideal place for getting your hair braided. Prices are negotiable.


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