Burkina means "free, dignified, honest". Faso can be translated as "the ancestral land". Burkina Faso is a republic in West Africa, surrounded by Mali and Niger in the north, Benin to the east and Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast in the south. A trip to this country offers many interesting experiences with nature, culture and friendly people.
The area was colonized by France, which in the 1890s defeated the Mossi tribe which constitutes the majority of the population in Burkina Faso. Until 1960, when the Country gained independence, it had been a French protectorate. The population is very complex, representing over 50 different ethnic groups who for the most parts speak their own language. The official language is French. Burkina Faso often suffers serious droughts. Therefore the life expectancy is no more than 47 years and 49 years for men and women, respectively. It is also one of the world's poorest countries. Nevertheless, the locals have a reputation for being both friendly and approachable with a positive 'don't-worry - be happy' attitude to life. Everything will be alright, after all.
Burkina Faso has a tropical climate with two seasons, a dry and a rainy season. During the rainy season in June-September there will fall between 600 and 900 millimeters of rain, and the rest of the year it is hot and dry. The hottest time of year is from March to June when the temperature is well above 40 degrees. The landscape varies quite a bit. In northern Burkina Faso, you can find deserts, while in the south there are rivers and in the southwestern part green countryside with forests and breathtaking rock formations. There are also plenty of opportunities for both hiking and mountain bike tours.
The capital of Burkina Faso is equipped with the rhythmic name, Ouagadougou, which can feel like a bit of a challenge for foreign tongues. Here you can find fine restaurants, hotels and nightclubs. Burkina Faso is also famous for its rich film culture. Ouagadougou has every other year since 1969, served as host for the prestigious Pan African film festival FESPACO, which takes place in late February. In 1974 a national film center was created, and from 1977- 86 the city also housed the film school INAFEC. Since the film, 'The Paria blood' in 1971 has been released, there has been produced about 60 films in the country.
Due to poverty Burkina Faso cannot offer any particularly sophisticated cuisine. Fish and chicken is cooked in various ways, and the food is typically bland and simple. On the other hand you can always get something to drink at markets and roadsides, where women sell Bissap juice from dried hibiscus flowers.
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