Waterfalls to Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou Travel Blog› entry 9 of 26 › view all entries
May 15, 2010
Hotel: La Pavilion Vert, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Distance: 550 kms
Another long transport day today.. we hoped to make it all the way to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Transportation might be a problem, the book mentioned that there was little traffic at the border crossing. We decided to try hiring a taxi in the town of Tanguieta that could take us across the border, or even all the way to Ouaga itself. We set off around 6AM for another game drive on our way out of the park. Early morning is a good time for spotting animals as they tend to hide during the middle of the day. We came across more antelope, then a huge wild bull (not Cape buffalo, but something similar).
We reached the park gates by about 10:30, then stopped awhile at some waterfalls in the town of Tanougou (the town where our driver was from). The falls were pretty nice, pools of green cool water, I just wanted to jump in! The local kids there guide you up the rock steps of the falls for a few CFA. There were also some artisans selling batik and woodcarvings, some were good quality but we still had along way to travel and weren't yet interested in souvenirs.
One interesting thing we had noticed in Benin and Togo is all along the road there are people selling bootleg gasoline from Nigeria in old liquor and wine bottles.. something like 1/2 to 1/3 cheaper than gas from filling stations.
Finally we head north on the excellent road, again zero traffic. The landscape and vegetation was changing, much drier here than Benin had been, sparser trees and mud brick villages. After another few hrs we reached the town of Fada N'Gourma.. from here we could have caught a bus onward to Ouaga, but we decided to just keep going in the taxi as we were making good time. Soon after leaving Fada I saw one of the strangest sights in my life. In much of Africa and South America, the minibus taxi (Toyota Hi-Ace) is the transport of the masses.
The driver soon stopped to top off the gas with the bootleg can.. unfortunately he must have gotten some 50-octane cause the car started running really rough and couldn't accelerate at all.. we limped along for the last hour before finally reaching Ouaga. We had to search around a bit for the hotel, it's marked on a map but there wasn't a sign for it, and when we did finally find the place they didn't have any room. Luckily there was a backpacker place nearby that had availability (we hadn't tried it initially since the book said it was very popular and to call ahead). We had a dinner of spag bol before hitting the sack.. tomorrow was going to be another long transport day as we pushed north into Mali.