Let me tell you how I experienced it and how you will be able to experience it yourself. I went there for a project led by Tetraktys, a French NGO.
They have been working for 20 years in different countries to help local communities to improve their economy mainly through sustainable tourism.
Follow me for one of this project located in Burkina Faso. This country, isolated in West Africa, without any access to the sea, is not very famous.
What about this project? We are in a beautiful area, north of Bobo-Dioulasso city. A protected area has been created for the preservation of ponds, famous mostly thanks to hippopotamus. It is now a Biosphere Reserve since 1986, called ‘Mare aux Hippopotamus’. The aim is to protect this area threatened by human activity, overfishing, illegal tree cutting, farming, etc… In the rural village we helped to build accommodations for future tourists. The first step was bringing water with a water tower. A restaurant and some bungalows, a Nature Interpretation Centre, have been built too. Only solar panels provide energy. A management team has been trained to welcome people, to maintain the site with hygiene, decoration, food management. Only local people will stay on the site, so the aim is to make them totally independent.
From this settlement, tourists could explore the Reserve with a guide in a boat tour and for the more patient, maybe, observe elephants in the forest nearby, meet local people and share their typical meals.
During the Mask Festival the people would pray for rain or to thank after harvesting the crops. The whole village is in jubilation. Dances and music join colored mask wearers for several days. So, the adventure is unique! and you will help a sustainable project and enjoy traditional habits at the same time… welcome to Burkina Faso!
About me: I am 26 years old and I come from France. I have studied ecology and I wanted to get more experiences in Ecotourism that is why I’m in California for a couple of months with Rea, the owner of this blog.