Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso

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Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso

Region: Nord Region

Geographic Coordinates: 13.583300, -2.416700
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 40.0°C (68°F to 104°F)
Climate: Dry and hot climate with a rainy season from May to September.
Population: 124580
Language: Moore

Ouahigouya is a city located in the north-central region of Burkina Faso. It serves as the capital of Yatenga province and has a population of around 100, 000 people. This city is renowned for its vibrant culture, Stunning natural landscapes, And rich history. One of Ouahigouya’s most significant landmarks is the Royal Palace constructed by the Mossi people in the 15th century. This palace served as their king’s residence until French colonization. Today, It stands as an iconic representation of Burkina Faso’s cultural heritage and attracts visitors from all over.

Additionally, Ouahigouya boasts several museums that showcase its history and culture. The Museum of Yatenga Province houses artifacts from pre-colonial times to present-day Burkina Faso, Allowing visitors to learn about traditional customs that have shaped this region’s identity. Ouahigouya also offers many natural wonders worth exploring such as Lake Bam which provides breathtaking scenery for tourists who visit it while serving as an essential water source for irrigation within Ouahigouya’s vicinity.

Another popular attraction near Ouahigouya is Arli National Park which covers an area exceeding 76, 000 hectares filled with diverse wildlife such as elephants, Lions among others making it one of Africa’s most exciting safari destinations.

Visitors can also sample local cuisine like Tô (a cornmeal-based dish) or try out some traditional clothing made by skilled artisans using locally sourced materials like cotton or wool fabric at the local market in Ouahigouya Lastly; due to its location near Sahel-Saharan desert regions with limited rainfall patterns makes it possible for tourists visiting Ouahigouya during certain times like November-February when there are favorable climatic conditions which make touring easier compared to other months. if you are looking for a city filled with rich history and cultural heritage coupled with natural beauty, Ouahigouya is the place to visit.

From exploring the Royal Palace to visiting the local market and experiencing traditional cuisine, There is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Visitors can also take advantage of its proximity to natural wonders such as Lake Bam or Arli National Park for an unforgettable experience in Burkina Faso.

Important Landmarks

  1. The Grand Mosque: This mosque, built in the 19th century, is one of Ouahigouya’s largest and most important mosques. It attracts both locals and tourists.
  2. The Market: Another famous attraction in Ouahigouya is its market where visitors can purchase traditional crafts, fabrics, jewelry, and other souvenirs.
  3. The Museum of Music: This museum exhibits traditional music instruments from Burkina Faso as well as other parts of West Africa.
  4. The Royal Palace: For centuries this palace was home to the Mossi king who governed over this part of Burkina Faso.
  5. Lake Bam: A beautiful natural attraction situated outside Ouahigouya that offers stunning views and opportunities for fishing and boating.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: The region is known for its production of cotton, maize, millet, sorghum, peanuts and shea nuts.
  2. Livestock farming: Cattle rearing is a significant source of livelihood for the people of Ouahigouya.
  3. Handicrafts: The city is renowned for its traditional handicrafts like pottery making, weaving and basketry.
  4. Trading: Ouahigouya has a bustling market where traders sell various goods like foodstuffs, clothing items and household appliances.
  5. Transportation: The city serves as a major transportation hub connecting various parts of Burkina Faso to other West African countries like Mali and Niger.
  6. Education: There are several schools in the city including primary schools, high schools and vocational training centers.
  7. Healthcare services: There are several health facilities in the city including hospitals and clinics that provide medical care to residents of Ouahigouya and neighboring communities.

Noteable History

  1. The Mossi Kingdom once held sway over much of West Africa from the 11th to the 19th centuries, and Ouahigouya was a part of it.
  2. Thomas Sankara, born in Yako near Ouahigouya, was a revolutionary leader who served as Burkina Faso’s president from 1983 until his murder in 1987. He is remembered for his progressive efforts against poverty and corruption.
  3. During the French colonial era that lasted until Burkina Faso gained independence in 1960, Ouahigouya was part of French West Africa.
  4. In the late 20th century, recurring droughts caused crop devastation and widespread hunger and displacement across Burkina Faso, including Ouahigouya.
  5. The Bobo-Dioulasso-Ouagadougou Railway connected Burkina Faso’s capital with its second-largest city through Ouahigouya after being completed in 1954; it played an important role in facilitating regional trade and commerce.
  6. Blaise Compaoré took power after Sankara’s assassination in October 1987 but was overthrown by popular protests by October of 2014 after ruling for many years as president of Burkina Faso.
  7. Like other parts of West Africa, traditional music and dance forms such as balafon music, djembe orchestras or sabar groups’ drumming ensembles are among Ouahigouya’s rich cultural heritage along with dances like koudou or soko.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Musée de la Culture Mossi: This museum displays the traditional culture of the Mossi people through exhibits such as clothing, musical instruments and tools.
  2. Centre d’Artisanat de Ouahigouya: This art center features a variety of handicrafts made by local artisans including pottery, textiles and wood carvings.
  3. La Grande Mosquée de Ouahigouya: This mosque is one of the largest in Burkina Faso and is known for its beautiful architecture.
  4. Le Grand Marché de Ouahigouya: This bustling market offers a wide range of goods including fresh produce, clothing and souvenirs.
  5. Parc Urbain Bangr-Weoogo: Although not located in Ouahigouya itself (it’s about 180km away), this national park is worth a visit for its diverse wildlife and scenic landscapes.
  6. Les Ruines de Loropéni: These ancient ruins located near the border with Ivory Coast are believed to date back to the 11th century AD and offer a fascinating glimpse into Burkina Faso’s rich history.
  7. Le Palais Royal de Boussouma: Located just outside Ouahigouya in the village of Boussouma, this palace was once home to Mossi kings and now serves as a museum showcasing their traditional way of life.
  8. Les Cascades de Banfora: A series of waterfalls located around 250 km from Ouagadougou which makes it one day trip destination from Ouhaghouya.

Cultural Events

  1. Festival des Masques et Marionnettes (Festival of Masks and Puppets)
  2. Fête de la Musique (Music Festival)
  3. Festival International de Théâtre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse (International Theatre Festival for Children and Youth)
  4. Fête du Mil (Millet Festival)
  5. Fête de la Bière (Beer Festival)
  6. Journée Nationale de la Femme Burkinabè (National Day of Burkinabe Women)
  7. Semaine Nationale de la Culture (National Culture Week)
  8. Nuit Blanche Ouahigouya (Ouahigouya White Night)
  9. Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr celebrations
  10. Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities


  • Tô: A staple dish made from millet or sorghum flour and served with a sauce.
  • Riz gras: A rice dish cooked with vegetables, meat, and spices.
  • Poulet bicyclette: Grilled chicken that is a popular street food in Burkina Faso.
  • Poisson braisé: Grilled fish seasoned with spices and served with vegetables.
  • Boulettes de viande: Meatballs made from ground beef or lamb and served with a tomato-based sauce.

Some popular restaurants in Ouahigouya include:

  • Restaurant Le Jardin des Saveurs: This restaurant serves traditional Burkinabé cuisine as well as international dishes.
  • Restaurant Chez Mamie Faty : This restaurant is known for its grilled meats and fish dishes.
  • La Terrasse de la Mairie : A rooftop restaurant that offers panoramic views of the city while serving local cuisine and drinks
  • La Belle Epoque : A French-inspired café that serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads and more
  • Maison d’hôtes le Relais de l’Hippopotame : This guest house offers home-cooked meals using fresh ingredients sourced from their own garden

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parc Urbain Bangr Weogo: This is a large urban park located in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. It offers a range of recreational activities such as walking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds for kids.
    2. Laongo Sculpture Symposium Park: Located about 30 km from Ouagadougou is an open-air museum with various sculptures created by artists from around the world.
    3. Musee de la Musique: A music museum in Ouagadougou where visitors can learn about traditional Burkinabe music and instruments.
    4. National Museum of Burkina Faso: A museum located in Ouagadougou that showcases the history and culture of Burkina Faso through its collections.
    5. Sports Complexes: There might be sports complexes or stadiums where locals can take part in various sporting activities like football (soccer), basketball or volleyball games.

    Please note that these are just some examples based on general information available online and may not be up-to-date or accurate at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions or other factors affecting tourism and public gatherings. It’s always best to check local resources for current information before planning any trips or activities.


    Adventure Awaits!

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