Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world with few natural resources. Some 90% of its 13 million population are engaged in subsistence farming. It has a tropical climate of warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers. The terrain is mostly flat with undulating plains and the height above sea level varies from some 200 to 750m.
Burkina Faso is possibly one of the safer countries in Africa with friendly people, a good tourist infrastructure and travel connections. Perhaps surprisingly for the birdwatcher, it has a good range of species because the country spans an area from the Sahel in the north to tropical forests in the south. There has been little ornithological investigation so it would make a good destination for the independent minded birder.
A good selection of birds can be found in and around the capital, Ouagadougou including Red-throated Bee-eater, Senegal Eremomela and Savile's Bustard. It will be necessary to travel further afield however to find Golden Nightjar or the rare Kordofan Lark.
The Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome lies in the south of Burkina Faso, and 32 species restricted to this biome have been found within its borders including Senegal Parrot, Violet Turaco, Blue-bellied Roller, Bearded Barbet, Pied-winged Swallow, Blackcap Babbler and Oriole Warbler. The north of the country lies in the Sahel biome and 8 of its restricted species occur in Burkina Faso including Arabian Bustard, Sudan Golden-Sparrow and Cricket Warbler. In addition, there are a number of significant wetlands which support large numbers of both resident and migratory waterbirds).
Text supplied by the African Bird Club
Violet Turaco © Sam Woods, from the surfbirds galleries