Niansogoni: Le bout du Monde (The End of the World)

Old village and Settlement on top of the hills in Niansogoni, Burkina Faso

Old village and Settlement on top of the hills in Niansogoni, Burkina Faso

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!

Campement de Niansogoni ... My first time to sleep in a mud hut!!! Definitely an experience!

Campement de Niansogoni … My first time to sleep in a mud hut!!! Definitely an experience!

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… :)

Goal's to hike up to the hill and see the old village and settlement.

Goal’s to hike up to the hill and see the old village and settlement.

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”… :)

Led by my wonderful guides, Samuel and his little brother. :)

Led by my wonderful guides, Samuel and his little brother. :)

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. :)

First five minutes of the hike was manageable. Views as we go up the hill was getting prettier and prettier.

First five minutes of the hike was very manageable. Views as we go up the hill was getting prettier and prettier.

Some 50km is the border with Mali.

Some 50km is the border with Mali.

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. :)

Then the climb became steeper and steeper...

Then the climb became steeper and steeper…

Peaceful view...

Peaceful view…

Myself, gasping... while my little guide, still very ok... :) haha!

Myself, gasping… while my little guide, still very ok… :) haha!

As we go up...

As we go up…

Hike up to the old village andsettlement in Niansogoni

Hike up to the old village andsettlement in Niansogoni

More beautiful views...

More beautiful views…

and more... :)

and more… :)

This is the view from the old village... Very very pretty!

This is the view from the old village… Very pretty!

And we finally reached the village! :)

The village has been abandoned for hundreds of years and yet the tools of the villagers are still there.

The village has been abandoned for hundreds of years and the tools of the villagers are still there. The flute-like things have different sound/noise making purposes. One is for when someone died, one is for when there were enemies coming, seen from a distance and the other… eerrhhhmmm, I forgot. :)

We finally reached the old village!!

The tatched roofs were probably blown away… The mud walls are still very intact from hundreds of years ago…

This is where they store food - rice, fruits, grains, etc..

This is where they store food – rice, fruits, grains, etc..

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.

Entrance to a mud room against the limestone cliff.

Entrance to a mud room against the limestone cliff.

This is how it looks on the inside.

This is how it looks on the inside.

It's so amazing how it's still all intact considering it's made of mud.

It’s so amazing how it’s still all intact considering it’s made of mud.

My guide informed me that this is where the village doctor resided.

My guide informed me that this is where the village doctor resided.

Area for cattles.

Area for cattles.

Spot for the village chief

Spot for the village chief

No one is allowed to go beyond the string. Even my guide wasn't allowed. He told me that only those who can speak the language of those who lived there before can pass.

No one is allowed to go beyond the string. Even my guide wasn’t allowed. He told me that only those who can speak the language of those who lived there before can pass.

More photos of the old village...

More photos of the old village…

More photos of the old village...

More photos of the old village…

More photos of the old village...

More photos of the old village…

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! :)

 

 

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