Staying away

From Baobab Wed Dec 19 2012, 10:58:03

THE last two years have been tough for tourism in Burkina Faso. An army mutiny in 2011 prompted foreign embassies to turn their travel warnings to red. Then in January this year, 37,000 refugees from neighbouring Mali flooded across the border to escape their country's political crisis. The collapse in Mali's tourist industry has been even more damaging. The country has long been a highlight of travel in West Africa. Tour operators got people to Burkina Faso by tagging it on to a trip to Mali. With Mali now off-limits, the bottom has fallen out of regional tourism.

Rerouting circuits to other nearby countries is the obvious solution but this is difficult. Neither Niger nor Côte d'Ivoire is particularly secure. Togo is small and undeveloped. Benin's tourism infrastructure is improving, but it lacks the mythical appeal of Timbuktu and the Dogon Country.

That leaves Ghana. On paper it is the ideal travel companion to Burkina. Its beaches complement Burkina's landlocked terrain. The slave forts provide insight into an important page of modern history. The bustling metropolis of Accra, Ghana's capital, offers a glimpse into what the future of Africa looks like, less evident in Ouagadougou, Burkina's sleepy capital.

But Ghana is Anglophone, and French-speaking Burkina--like its former colonial power--has not taken to English. Local guides rarely speak English well enough to shepherd visitors around. They also need an international driving license to drive in Ghana--unnecessary in its Francophone neighbours--and vehicles require a special registration permit. Both of these must be renewed every year.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Ghana:   Supreme Court Starts Grilling Woyome (news)
Ghanaian Chronicle
25 July 2017

The Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Anthony A. Benin, has asked counsel for an Accra based businessman, Alfred Woyome to furnish the court with the House number and the location of the house ... [read more]

Ghana:   NSS Personnel Advised to Remain Calm (news)
Ghanaian Chronicle
25 July 2017

The Executive Director of National Service Scheme (NSS), Mustapha Ussif has advised all service personnel not to rush to the registration centres, as the Secretariat is using a whole month for the ... [read more]

Ghana:   Anglogold Hosts Safety and First Aid Week (news)
Ghanaian Chronicle
25 July 2017

ANGLOGOLD Ashanti, Iduaprieme Mine, last Saturday hosted the 2017 Zone One First Aid and Safety Week Celebration. The weeklong celebration, which is an annual event, was under the theme - 'Safe and ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!