Country-specific safety information
Travelers to Burkina Faso are advised to avoid crowds such as demonstrations and festivals as well as particularly exposed places, which are often frequented by foreigners, and to pay close attention to local media coverage (especially radio). This is especially true for the urban centers.
You are warned against traveling to the Sahel region in the north and the border area with Mali in western Burkina Faso (provinces Soum, Oudalan and Seno, Loroum, Yatenga, Sorou, Kossi and Kenedougou).
You are warned against traveling to the provinces of Houet (west of the city of Bobo-Dioulasso) and Comoe (west of the cities of Banfora and Niangoloko). If trips are unavoidable (for official or humanitarian reasons), they should only be carried out with an armed escort after contacting the police and / or gendarmerie of these locations.
Due to the increased risk of armed robberies, travel to the “W” nature reserve is not recommended until further notice.
There is an increased risk of terrorist acts of violence, targeted kidnappings and criminal attacks in the North African and sub-Saharan countries.
There is a significantly increased risk of attacks and kidnappings, among other things, for destinations regularly visited by Western nationals. In some areas, especially in the Sahel-Sahara region, sports and cultural events such as desert rallies or music festivals are associated with considerable risk of attack and kidnapping.
On the evening of January 15, 2016, a terrorist attack was carried out on a hotel and restaurant in Ouagadougou. Numerous people, including many foreigners, were killed or some seriously injured.
The Foreign Office recommends that all German nationals register themselves in the German list of the German embassy in Ouagadougou (under: External link, opens in a new window http://elefand.diplo.de) and activate the option “Receive safety information”.
Land / road travel
During the rainy season, after regular heavy rains, delays due to road damage can be expected when traveling throughout Burkina Faso, a country located in Africa according to politicsezine.
In Ouagadougou, even in relatively harmless traffic accidents, crowds of people and subsequently sometimes violent riots are observed. It is advisable to remain calm in such situations and to notify the local security forces as soon as possible. The central emergency numbers across the country are 17 (from December 15, 2014) and 1010.
For several years there have been repeated armed attacks on highways in Burkina Faso. The east and south-east of the country have been particularly hard hit in recent years. Several such incidents have also occurred in the southwest. Greater caution is generally advised when traveling overland, particularly in the aforementioned regions.
Even journeys in daylight and in a convoy only offer limited protection. Driving at night is strongly discouraged.
Small crime is also increasing in the capital, Ouagadougou. Such crimes can be expected to increase during major events. Conspicuous jewelry, watches, cameras and wallets / purses should be worn out of sight if possible. In the recent past, stab weapons were used to steal handbags. Carrying handbags should therefore be avoided entirely.
Lately there have been several bogus traffic accidents in Ouagadougou with subsequent demands for money for the treatment of alleged injuries or repairs as well as provoked car breakdowns with theft during the alleged relief measures. In the event of a traffic accident, the police or gendarmerie should always be called in. This applies in any case to personal injury.
Taking photos of certain facilities
Photography of certain facilities is prohibited. Failure to observe this prohibition can cause unpleasant situations (e.g. fistfights). Confiscation of the camera is to be expected in any case.
A list of the affected facilities is available from the Burkinabe Ministry of Tourism. A translation of this list can be requested from the German embassy at [email protected].
The following items can be imported into Burkina Faso duty-free in hand luggage (tourists from 15 years):
200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 25 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco;
1 liter of spirits and 1 liter of wine;
500 ml eau de toilette and 250 ml perfume.
A permit from the Ministry of Administration is required for the use of photo, film and video cameras.
An export permit from the Ministry of Culture in Ouagadougou is required for traditional art and everyday objects of all kinds. Only five such items can be exported per person for which export duty is payable.