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BURKINA FASO, DAY 2

The tour was great and especially good to get out into the thick of it and explore the city. If I’m honest the city didn’t have an awful lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions but I was happy with what I seen, given that not many tourists have been here.

THE HIPPOS WAS SAT IN A SH*T FILLED BATH ALL DAY

First stop was a zoo and even comparing it against the zoo in my city it was the worst I have ever seen. All the animals are kept in very small pens, any animals who live in water are also bathing in their own sh*t! The hippo is probably the only one to get a wash but then returns to the pool full of sh*t!

TERRIBLE CONDITIONS

Jackels, similar to dogs are kept in pens roughly 3x3m, it’s hard to take and its even clear to see the sadness on the animals faces. The conditions are truly awful and are also just shouting out for some food and clean water. I’m also not sure how often the water and pens are cleaned, not a lot by the look of it.

Hippo at a zoo in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The most horrible zoo

PAYING MORE

Admission fees are generally more for tourists which is fair enough as it was only out of luck that I was born in a country with plenty of opportunity. Fortunately, however my guide wasn’t taking any of it and thought the extra money was going into the pockets of the people taking the cash. He told me it was only because I was a westerner I’m considered to be rich and he wasn’t happy that I was being taken advantage of, but fair play to the guide for his principles! Then, it was to the arts and crafts where there are around 40 stalls of handmade goods. I didn’t see any other customers and couldn’t help but wonder how any of them make money.

UNIQUE

We then drove around the city and visited a few monuments, one in the middle of probably the biggest roundabout I have seen. The fact I was more interested in the roundabout tells you all you need to know. I don’t really like to talk down of a country unless I’ve had a really bad experience and this wasn’t a bad one but rather just didn’t offer much to see or do. It was more positive in the way that I felt I learned a lot. The people of Ouaga are nice which is another thing that make it difficult when writing this but I always prefer to be open and honest. Don’t get me wrong if you want a week in the sun drinking cocktails and eating ice cream then it’s not for you

Taxi driver and guide in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The most horrible zoo

SECURITY

I figured we were close to the Niger embassy so decided to make a quick visit. Unfortunately they refused as I had no receipt, seriously did they need proof that its my application when you have my passport and photo – another beautiful African moment Anyway beyond that we visited a cathedral, but unfortunately we were required to bring a photocopy of my ID. No problem the guide said and went to the local photocopy shop which had no electricity! The cathedrals and churches in the city are big targets when it comes to terrorism.

David Simpson in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The most horrible zoo

MARKET

After which we headed to the city football stadium. Obviously in this climate they couldn’t have grass but even the astroturf looked like it was struggling in the heat. Before heading back to the hotel it was onto the market and rather surprised as how much of a disinterest people had in a westerner. Anyone who wanted to sell me something instead went to the guide to almost ask for permission to talk to me.

David Simpson at football stadium in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The most horrible zoo

NIGER EMBASSY

Back at the hotel and then off to the Niger embassy again and after a 60minute wait it was finally passed. It turns out the consul, the person who asked me to come back at 12 to collect my visa  decided to go away for a few hours and had nothing to say when she came back and found me waiting around – another beautiful Africa moment!

Butcher asleep in his stall at market in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The most horrible zoo

FINAL THOUGHTS

Now I see why Botswana is considered the best place to do a safari – Read the reflection post here!

NEXT UP

Off to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
132/229

This post is part of the West Africa Series, pt1, click to explore or for episode 1 click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Have you been to Turkmenistan, what was your experience like?
  • Did you try the food and explore the old town?
  • What is your favourite thing to do
  • Would you return?
  • Did you like the locals?
  • Did you have any negative experiences?
  • Where did you stay?
  • Can you recommend anything else to do?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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THE HEAT OF OUAGA
NEGOTIATING WITH TAXI DRIVERS IN NIGER

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