When you are on the road between Gaoua to Banfora than you should pay a one hour stop at the ruins of Loropeni. The ruins can be dated back to the 11th century, the ruins belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, it was for Burkina Faso the first listed site.On the area you will find impressive upto 10m high walls, remains of a former...more
If you like to see and to hear something about the Gan kings, than you have to come to Obiré.27 rectangular sanctuaries, restored by 'white men' can be marveled and when you are lucky, his majesty King Gan the 29th will guide you through personally . We were not that lucky, we had to be satisfied with one of his wives, but to our fullest...more
On almost every market artisanal baskets are offered. How they are produced, you can see watch in Houli, close to Gaoua. Lobi women waiting for you the show you the technics and of course they like you to buy some as a souvenir directly from the origin.Perfect craftsmanship and worthwhile to see it's development.While you are there, take the also...more
If you are visiting Gaoua, than it is worth to do a half day trip to the close-by village of Kampti.And if you are not fearful, pay a visit to the famous diviner of Kampti. Around and inside his house you can see a lot of Fetish statures, they are still subject to practice the fetish cult to preserve the traditional animism. Evidence are the...more
While your stay in Gaoua, also a further well worth seeing is how and where the wooden Fetish figures are made. One of such places is Tambeli. There you can watch the carver at his work. Don't expect high valuable arts, but a solid craftsmanship.The carver is happy to sell you his artisan works of art at reasonable prices. He has statues in many...more
The Lobi houses or dwellings are marked as large rectangular or polygonal compounds. The mud-bricked outside walls are washed with mud with tiny windows and a small entrance. The interior consist of different rooms, like the kitchen, a storage room, a room for the fetish statues, room for the animals and the sleeping rooms for the kids and one room...more
We managed to pay the guide some money and depart with another group who had invited us to join them for the ride back into town. Along the way, the driver took us to a small stream where a couple of Lobi women panned for gold. We were asked not to take photos of these women working, not because they worked bare breasted and in shorts, but because...more
The European/American Aid agencies have done a wonderful job of reaching out and placing fresh water wells in many villages. These are hand operated, in this case with something resembling a bicycle, and produce healthy bacteria free water from the earth. As a consequence, the attitude among the Lobi and other tribes toward Americans and Europeans...more
After browsing around the mud structures alone, a various family members showed various degrees of interest in my visit. They were not engaged in any particular activities except entertaining the children. The family consisted of an older mother with several daughters and sisters, who themselves had children. The men were gone for the day, except...more
The Lobi homes were distributed throughout a small valley. On one corner of the valley was the village headman, or king, who lived a lifestyle much improved over those whom he ruled. Because there was another small group of tourists, we talked for only a moment to obtain permission for futher visits around the valley. As the guide settled himself...more
My pesty Lobi young man finally persuaded me to rent out a couple scooters. After some delay, we proceeded out of town and up into a hilly area, stopping at various villages. The villagers were considerate, considering the inept introductions made by our guide. At one point, after we had parked the scooters, the guide rush ahead, and so I had the...more
The Lobi are reclusive and communication difficult even for those that speak French. I tried to capture a few portrait photos of this proud people. Not all those attending the market are Lobi, however, we didn't visit long enough to distinguish between the many tribal groups that live in the area. However, I'm pretty sure that those I picture here...more
In addition to selling produce, condiments, and meats, the Gaoua open market also has a covered labyrinth of a wide variety of consumer goods, electronics, and clothing, much of which is cheap junk. The more interesting stuff sold are the native products sold by Lobi in the open area under the trees. Much of the fabric sold here is African print...more
The marketplace of Gaoua is in the center of town and can't be missed. We walked around people watching and examining the unusual array of produce and foodstuffs being sold. There are a wide variety of grains and nuts which are completely unfamiliar to those from Europe or the USA, for example, and other produce are familiar ingredients in American...more
On a street corner of the marketplace there is a decent watering hole where a sandwich can also be purchased. I had a beer and some food prior to going out into the countryside in search of Lobi Villages. There were a couple of 4x4 vehicles and bunch of scooters parked outside, and a bicycle with guinea fowl tied to the handlbars. Inside Gaoua's upper-class local folks talked on cells phones and drank Flag beers. Next door was an internet cafe of sorts with a radio station upstairs. I talked for a moment with the radio station owner about Gaoua. I found a young man playing a old arcade video game in the back of the bar. Anyway, I can't recall the food for being either good or bad, and certainly not exotic, but adequate enough to provide calories, and with it a decent beer buzz is possible.
There are scooter sales in Gaoua, and scooters can be rented. There's a gas station where everyone lines up. Prepare to get the gas just after getting the scooter. The roads all around, even within most of Gaoua are complete unpaved, but the sandy trails are easy to drive over. You can share a scooter with the guide if you like (but see my warning/dangers tip).
Finding a good guide isn't easy. Some are bossy, others relaxed; some explain little, others too much, and still others are socially smooth and others inept. Unfortunately, we found an inept Lobi guide in Gaoua. He was charming at first, speaking a little of French and English, showing how clever he was. But, we had just arrived in town and I told him that I would find my guide in town. The next morning, he walked with us to town, begging us to hire him. I was reluctant to do so, given his youth. I wasn't sure that he knew what to do, and besides, we had not yet surveyed the system. At the time of my visit, none of the guidebooks said much about Gaoua at all. After the market, we hired him to take a scooter ride into the countryside, but soon I found that he was drinking from a little bottle and driving recklessly with my wife on the back of his scooter. Later, he made jokes in the villages, making the villagers angry at him. He made our visits to the villages more difficult than if we had been alone, so we paid him what was agreed and bade goodbye. But, that wasn't enough, that night he came with some friends, insisting to the hotel keeper that we owed him more money. At first, we stood our ground and refused to even talk to the young man. Because he hung around so long though, we considered his demands--an additional $8-, a huge sum for him but a small sum for us to get rid of him. Don't hire the guy in these photos! Later, when I described our experience to our guide in Bobo Dioulasso, he immediately named him and labeled the fellow as troublesome.