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Wednesday, November 11, 1998
Bobo-Dioulasso to Banfora, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso's Flag

Map
Banfora, Burkina Faso:
Latitude: 10° 38' 38" North
Longitude: 4° 45' 34" West
Altitude: 1008 feet
From Seattle: 7614 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hôtel la Canne a Sucre

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Burkina Faso
Region: Burkina
Route: Bus: Bobo-Duoulasso - Banfora; Moped: Banfora - Chutes de Karfiguéla - Lac de Tengréla - Banfora
Start: Bobo-Dioulasso
Stop 1. Banfora
Stop 2. Chutes de Karfiguéla
Stop 3. Lac de Tengréla
End:Banfora, Burkina Faso
Linear:71 miles
Weather: Partial Sun / Mostly Sunny

Available Photos:

Cascades Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

View from top of falls Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Clouds Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Andrea Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Middle cascades Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Me at top of falls Chutes de Karfiguéla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Hippo! Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Hippos! Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Hippo! Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Lac de Tengréla Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Lac de Tengréla at dusk Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Lilly pads Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Lac de Tengréla Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

Birds on lake Lac de Tengréla, Outside Banfora, Burkina Faso

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 580
Linear Dist: 83551
Countries Visited: 40
Regions Visited: 166
More stats...
Hotels: 175
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 45
Hostels: 144
Transit: 54
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2014
Hide...

Journal Entry:
Caught a morning bus to Banfora. The land South of Bobo-Dioulasso is a lot different than what I've been seeing through most of West Africa - a lot more wooded, very pretty. Checked in to a very swank hotel that was a totally worthwhile splurge (especially with the Peace Corps discount - an advantage to traveling with an RPCV). Found someone to rent us a moped and a little before one we were off exploring! Our plan was to find the near by waterfall hike around, then head for Lake Tengréla.

We spent about an hour finding the Chutes de Karfiguéla, but most of that time was spent on wrong turns (we'd very cleverly refused all guides). The road to the Chutes was a maze of dirt tracks through overhead sugar cane fields - making it very easy to get lost. Luckily the friendly locals made it easy to get found. The waterfalls were reached through an amazing narrow path through a tunnel created by giant mango trees lining the path. The falls themselves are pretty, and would have been an ideal spot to have a picnic or just hang out all afternoon. We hiked to the top and hung out on the giant step-like rocks that the waterfall cascaded from. After a while thirst (we'd forgotten water) drove us to resume our exploring.

From the Chutes we headed back to town for water then headed to Lac de Tengréla. Once again we spent most of the time getting there lost (Excusable since all three guides gave different directions, and the one map we had - the Rough Guides' - was dreadfully wrong). By the time we actually got to the lake we only had a little over an hour before the moped was due back so we had decided to skip the pirogue ride to go see the hippos. The lake was beautiful in the evening light and after a little discussion we decided that the moped man would certainly understand if we returned the moped at six "e;African time" so we hired a pirogue. The flat water and gentle motion of the pirogue was an amazing contrast to the noisy, bumpy, dusty moped - a completely different world. The lilies, birds, and yes even hippos made for a spectacular interlude. We saw three hippos, the first really exotic animals I've seen in Africa, but honestly they were a little disappointing. For obvious reasons we couldn't get to close to them and mostly what we saw were pink ears (I have a feeling that if it weren't for the spectacular background the pictures would be a disappointing). Still I was really glad that we'd decided to go out on the lake.

Back on shore we went racing for home. The light on the moped was not very effective and it was getting dark. Driving the moped on the horrible roads was very uncomfortable in the flat light - no dodging holes and bumps when you can't see them. We returned the moped no more than thirty minutes late (the man didn't even say a thing - we must have been way early by African time standards) just as it was getting really dark. All in all a very full day. My stomach was still not dong well (Giardia is seeming likely) so I had dinner in the very nice (and expensive) western style hotel restaurant. I ordered spaghetti Bolongais, and it was probably the best I've ever had.


Related Sites:
US State Department ConsularInformation Sheets: Burkina Faso
CIA World Fact Book: Burkina Faso

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