Niansogoni: Le bout du Monde (The End of the World)
Well off the beaten path when travelling in Burkina Faso because of it’s isolated location, near the border with Mali, the little village of Niansogoni is so worth the long drive. The old village settlement on top of the hills is the star in this area. (Photo above)
Niansogoni is a great choice to chill and relax and experience life with the locals. From Ouagadoougou, it’s roughly 6 hours to Banfora, the nearest town. From Banfora, it’s another half hour to Sindou, the last village where you can get public transport. After that, it’s a long way along a dirt road from Sindou to Niansogoni. It was fortunate that I had a private vehicle with me when I went there. Else, transport can be arranged through locals in Sindou.
There’s not a lot of choices as well when it comes to accommodation. I arrived there at night time and the first accommodation I saw, I inquired right away. Campement de Niansogoni has very well maintained huts with shared toilets and bathrooms. Meals are available as well as cold drinks and cold beer!
Niansogoni is actually one of my favorite places in Burkina Faso. It’s so laid back. Also, I had the chance to finally sleep inside a mud hut! I’ve been dreaming of it for years… Though it wasn’t the best sleep I had, I still considered it as a great experience. I have never imagined that it would be that hot inside! Haha…
It’s just a short hike to the old village up the hills, around 30 to 45 minutes. The camp will arrange a guide who can speak English (a bit ). My guide was Samuel and his little brother. Samuel made great effort at trying to explain to me a bit of history about their little town and the old village we’re about to go to. His favorite word is “explicate” – what he really wanted to say was “explain”…
The climb up the hill is easy. Even a not-very-fit-not-so-keen-hiker like myself was able to do it. The beautiful views that can be seen as you climb is very worth all the huffing.
Samuel, my guide and his little brother are both used to hiking so they don’t really mind the steep slope. I was quite slow (I didn’t have a restful sleep and no breakfast!) as I was taking photos.
And we finally reached the village!
Samuel told me that the villagers chose to settle up the hills against the limestone cliff as the cliff protected them from strong winds and gusty rain and was still able to see intruders from kms away.
Seeing such village setting made me more fascinated and deeply interested in discovering Africa. It also made me think about how much I complain with the house I reside in and think that without a lot of things, I won’t live. The people from this old village must not have had a lot and yet they were able to live. This place is a legacy from the villagers of how living doesn’t actually require wealth but people who are actually keen on living!
Another place to put on your list when you visit Burkina Faso! Have a great time everyone!