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Itinerary: Burkina Faso - Festival of the Dancing Masks

Burkina Faso - Festival of the Dancing Masks

Burkina Faso really is West Africa's hidden gem, a small landlocked nation with a wealth of attractions that belie its modest size. Its unusual name means 'the land of honourable men', and the country is rich in proud and ancient traditions that accompany the visitor wherever you go.

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Burkina Faso - Festival of the Dancing Masks

Day 1 - Ouagadougou
Arrive in Ouagadougou. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Grand Calao or similar.

Day 2 - Ouagadougou - Po
Spend this morning exploring and soaking up the atmosphere of Ouagadougou. From here we head south to Po. Overnight Hotel Envol or similar. (BLD)

Day 3 - Tiebele -Leo
Head to Tiebele to see the remarkable painted houses of the Kassena people, and then Leo in the west of Burkina. Overnight Auberge de la Sissili or similar. (BLD)

Day 4 - Gaoua
From here we drive west to Gaoua, travelling through the lands of the Dagarti people. The Dagarti are a traditional people who live in villages consisting of fortified houses, and we stop along the way to learn about their lifestyle. This area is also home to the Lobi people, who have practiced the same customs for centuries. We take time to explore their villages, accompanied by a Lobi guide in order to gain the trust of this rather shy group of people. Overnight Hotel Hala. (BLD)

Day 5 - Loropeni]
From here we head to the UNESCO listed site of Loropeni, a mysterious complex of stone ruins engulfed in the forest, and at nearby Obire we meet the chief of the Gan people. Return to Gaoua for the night. Overnight Hotel Hala or similar. (BLD)

Day 6 - Banfora]
Drive to Banfora, meeting communities of gold miners on the way. This afternoon we take boats out onto Tengrela Lake, a pretty lake where we hope to see hippos. Overnight Hotel Canne a Sucre or similar. (BLD)

Day 7 - Bobo Dioulassou
Explore the surrounding area, visiting the striking rock formations known as the Domes of Fabedougou, as well as the pretty Karfiguela Falls. Then drive to Bobo Dioulassou, Burkina's second city, and spend the rest of the day exploring it. We visit its beautiful Grand Mosque, built in the unique West African style, as well as exploring the traditional old quarter nearby, and the unique train station among other sites. Overnight Hotel Auberge or similar. (BLD)

Days 8-9 - Festima Mask Festival
We spend two days in the company of local villagers witnessing the extraordinary Festima mask festival which takes place every two years. People from around forty different villages attend, bringing their own styles of masks, and mask dances take place throughout the day. The costumes range from simple affairs to full body outfits made from grass, with masks up to two metres long perched on the heads of the performers. This is also a time for music and storytelling and a celebration of traditional culture. Few outsiders get to see this, and we are privileged to spend time here and learn about the spiritual traditions of this region. Overnight Hotel Diara or similar. (BLD)

Please note that the program for these days is flexible - celebrations and ceremonies in this part of the world are rarely structured and we will do our best to experience the most interesting parts.

Day 10 - Ouagadougou
We head back to Ouagadougou, visiting the giant granaries that re typical of this region on the way. Upon arrival in Ouaga, day use rooms are available to allow you to freshen up before transferring to the airport for departure. (BL)

What's included:
Airport transfers - We include arrival and departure transfers regardless of whether you book flights yourself, or we book them for you. If you're booking them yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers.

Accommodation - Accommodation as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we'll always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you're used to elsewhere.

Guides - In most cases you will be accompanied by one guide from start to finish. However there may be occasions when this is not practical, for example if your trip covers a number of different countries. In these cases it often makes more sense to include different guides for each place, to take advantage of their specific knowledge of the destination.

Meals - As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). These will vary from trip to trip - in some areas it makes sense to include all meals while in others there is a good choice of restaurants and we feel people might like to 'do their own thing' now and again.

Entrance fees - Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you'd like to see, these would be at your own expense.

What's not included:
Visas - We don't arrange visas for our travellers, but if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you. If you need any advice with visas then let us know.

Airport taxes - If there are any departure taxes to pay that are not included within the cost of your ticket, you'll need to pay these yourself.

International flights - Many of our travellers arrive from different destinations and so we don't include international flights in the cost of our tours. If however you would like us to book flights for you, then just let us know and we'll be happy to discuss your options.

Travel Insurance - If you need any assistance with this, then let us know - although we can't arrange it ourselves we can point you in the direction of a reputable provider that can assist.

To receive the full details of this trip via email please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information to peruse at your leisure. Please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information.

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Burkina Faso - Festival of the Dancing Masks

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