Banfora and Senofou regions
After leaving the bigger cities we head south west first to the Banfora region which is quoted throughout with sugar cane so the area is quite green and lush. Karfiguela falls proves a nice spot for a bit of relaxing and a nice dip in some pretty cool waters, looking out of the falls provides a really nice view of the surrounding sugar canes.
From there we head to my favourite bush camp of the trip so far, camping amongst the Domes de Fabedogou, essentially giant domes of rock that have formed over 1.8 billion years ago, its one of those indescribable places that really needs to be seen to truly appreciate and enjoy, it's really easy to climb the domes to get some pretty nice views too. Camping here was incredibly peaceful with only the sounds of heavy breathing owls, which sound like people saying 'shhhhh' all the time.
The absolute highlight in the banfora region for me was meeting the guardian of the sacred baobab tree, an absolute character and really proud to be the guardian of the baobab. He became the guardian of the baobab at 30 when he was called to the tree at midnight and it told him he has been chosen, he is now 70 and knows he still has a while to go yet as the tree told him he won't die until he is completely bald, he is on his way but not there yet. After doing all his serious work for the baobab he has jokingly asked the baobab to stop him fathering children he currently has 14! From what I can gather the baobab became sacred after it provided shelter for the local villagers when they were rounding people up for the slave trade, the baobab was able to hide them all within, whilst we sit within it we are allowed to splash ourselves with its sacred waters, all being prevented from being poisoned.
Leaving banfora we head to the senofou region which not only covers part of Burkina but also Mali and Côte d'Ivoire, here we spend our time checking out some more "big rocks" which are 'less domey and more peaky" as someone so eloquently put it. Walking around these ones feels quite different and almost like the movies you see after the world has ended, surreal but very beautiful, with fragment of village life still able to be found throughout the rock formation.
Our final look in the Senofou region was to visit a Troglodyte village an hour or so drive from Senofou, we all boarded a rusty mini van that had seen far better days over some bone rattling roads to climb a steep rocky mountain in the stifling heat to find the old village that is built into the escarpment. It's been there since the 16th century and was inhabited as late as 1981, now they only do sacrifice up there, the villagers found it more practical to live at the base of the mountain with ready access to water and food (took 'em awhile to realise this!). A fair chunk of the village is intact, with mainly graineries to store their millet, a brewery, pharmacy and the sleeping quarters easily visible, well worth the bone rattling drive and climb to get there.
Time to leave Burkina now and head across the border into Cote d'Ivorie.