Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, cultural and economic center of the nation. It is generally known as the home to the Mossi, the largest ethnic group in the nation.
An interesting site to see is the Bangre-Weoogo urban park in Zone du Bois (also called 'La Foret'). The park is a natural preservation area and "sacred forest" dating from the pre-colonial era.
Other interesting sights include the National Museum of Arts and Craft, the Nouveau Grand Marche and the Moro Naba Palace.
The climate of Ouagadougou is hot. The city is part of the Soudano-Sahelian area, with a rainy season stretching from May to October, with an average temperature of 30 °C. The cold season runs from December to January, with a minimum temperature of 19 °C. The maximum temperature during the hot season, which runs from April to May, can reach 45 °C.
SLEEP If you need a no-frills spot that is clean, comfortable and affordable, try Elite Hotel (BP 1833 Ouaga 01, www.elitehotel-ouagadougou.com). It’s in the centre of town, with easy access to loads of local attractions. Golden Tulip le Silmande (Route de Kaya, goldentuliplesilmande) is a good place if you want to bed down in comfort and style.
EAT Eat and shop at Espace Gondwana (Rue du Docteur Balla Moussa Traoré, Zone du Bois), a uniquely decorated restaurant/art gallery filled with masks, statues and furniture from all over West Africa. The menu offers a wide range of dishes, mint tea and cocktails.
- Feel the rhythm at the National Museum of Music (Avenue du Capitaine Thomas Sankara). Guides are available to introduce visitors to the traditional music of Burkina Faso. The fascinating instruments on display range from five to 500 years old, making this place a great place to spend a few hours.
- A government cooperative, Village Artisanal de Ouagadougou (01 BP 6442, www.villageartisanal-ouaga.com) is a craft village that brings together the best artisans of Burkina Faso. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs, with none of the hassle of a market. Stroll around the many shops and watch the craftsmen at work in their studios.
- The open-air rooftop terrace at Bar K (Quartier de Koulouba) is popular with both expats and Burkinabé. Sink into one of the deep sofas and recline with a cocktail, served to the backbeat of era-spanning jazz, blues, Latin American beats and rock.
A taxi from Ouagadougou International Airport to central hotels costs around CFA3,000/€5.