“Sacred stones on Sindou Peaks, elephants and antelope in Nazinga and the costumes, music, stories and rituals of the Bwa Mask Festival - it's time to discover Burkina Faso.”
Ouagadougou | Tiebele | Nazinga game reserve | Dagarti and Gurunsi villages | Gaoua | UNESCO site of Loropeni | Banfora | Traditional Lobi villages | Dangriga | Sindou Peaks | Bobo Dioulassou | Tengrela Lake | Bobo Grand Mosque | 2 days at the Bwa Mask Festival |
2017: 21 Feb
Our top tip:
Giving gifts to local children can be a heart warming experience however, donations are preferred and can be organised via tour leaders and village elders.
Small group. Av. 12 people. No age limit.
Comfortable and characterful hotels with en-suite facilities.
Accommodation, transfers, listed entrance fees and tour guides.
6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners.
Single travelers welcome, solo room supps apply.
Responsible tourism: Burkina Faso vacation, Festival of the Dancing Masks
This tour travels through some very remote regions, many of which have barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining their pristine nature. The nature of this trip means that some nights are spent camping. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of in nearby towns. We use gas for cooking, but on occasions may use firewood – but only where this does not deplete natural resources and deprive local communities from using this themselves. Washing of dishes is carried out well away from any water sources so as not to contaminate them.
Similarly, in conjunction with our local team we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters – again in some places this is far behind what we might be used to in other parts of the world. This includes basic things like not replacing towels each day, as well as saving electricity and turning lights off.
Our travelers are specifically briefed on not to buy souvenirs made from endangered species – people in remote parts of the country do not always have the same respect towards wildlife as most travelers will have, and can sometimes offer such things for sale. This also extends to bushmeat – it is quite common to find antelope, porcupine or even monkey served in restaurants, and we specifically advise our travelers against contributing to the depletion of local populations.
We also visit Nazinga Game Reserve on this trip, which provides a sanctuary for wildlife such as buffalo, antelope and West Africa’s largest population of elephants. The entrance fees that we include as part of this trip contribute to conservation efforts, and tourism here helps to provide local employment helping to ensure that wildlife is seen as something worth preserving in the long term rather than a short term resource to be exploited.
As with many of the trips that we offer, this tour has a strong focus on local culture and different ethnic groups. Where possible we try to ensure that local people benefit from our presence.
We spend time with the Bwa people to see their extraordinary mask dances, which involves staying near their villages. Through long association with this area, our local team has established solid relationships with certain Bwa villages and our presence here is very much welcomed – we feel that it is very important to be seen as guests here rather than outsiders come to merely look. We are able to spend time with the communities learning about their traditions and customs. To ensure that our presence has a benefit to the community we consult with tribal elders and make a suitable donation which they then use to further the interests of the local people. We do not recommend that our travelers give gifts to local children, but anyone wishing to make their own donation is advised to discuss this with the local guides to establish how this can be best distributed. While here, and when spending time with other ethnic groups, we employ locally based guides who can help us to understand the local cultures – this also helps to create small scale employment.
We also visit the Lobi people, who are a rather shy and reserved group, a legacy of their experiences with both the slave trade and colonialism. We employ a local Lobi guide who can provide an introduction to the community and also ensure that we are not seen as ‘invaders’ but rather guests.
These are very traditional areas with certain codes of behaviour, and the people here are not that accustomed to outsiders. We ensure that our travelers are appropriately briefed in order so as not to offend local sensibilities.
Reviews of Burkina Faso vacation, Festival of the Dancing Masks
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 07 Mar 2016 by Dominic Turnbull
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Visting the Lobi villate of Kampti with all its fetishes in full display.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Drink plenty of fluids and bring plenty of money and storage space for all the souvenirs you are likely to buy. The quality and variety are amazing.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Staying at local hotels, buying souvenirs and drinks (at inflated prices) definitely helped the local economy and local people.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?