Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso formerly Upper Volta, is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west. Many experienced travellers consider Burkina Faso to be one of the most friendly and inviting countries in Africa. However Burkina Faso is also a very poor country.


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Passport and a visa are required to enter the country. You generally should obtain your visa in advance, although European Union citizens can obtain visas upon arrival at the airport (10,000 CFA). If you are not from the European Union, the cost of a 3-month, 1 entry visa is 28 300 CFA, and must be acquired in advance of your journey. The BF embassy in Washington offers six-month, multiple-entry visas for US$100. US citizens only are eligible for a five-year, multiple-entry visa for US$100.

Also check out the Entente Visa that is valid for several other West African countries.

If coming by land EU and US citizens are able to get a seven day single entry visa for 10,000 CFA at the border. As of July 1st, 2010, at the border to Ghana at Paga, they increased the price to 94,000 CFA, payable in cash (and the exchange rate offered at the border was 10-20% lower than market rates). No passport photos were required. They only were able to issue a 90 day visa. 2 passport photos and a yellow fever certificate are required (border crossing at Paga, in July 2010, did not ask for yellow fever certificate). Border police said that 10,000 CFA visas were still available, but back in Accra. Border police also said that the 90 day visa was convertible at no cost to a 5 year visa for a USA passport in Ouagadougou. Visas may be extended to 3 months multiple entry at the Bureau de Sureté de l'Etat which can be found in most major cities. To get the extension you should arrive before 9AM (again with 2 passport photographs) and collect your passport again that afternoon.

Upon arrival, you may be asked to prove you've been vaccinated against Yellow Fever if you are traveling from within Africa. Failure to provide proof may result in either being forced to receive the vaccination at the airport, for a fee, or be refused entry into the country.


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