Hunting Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, means “country of honest men”, was formerly known as "Haute-Volta" under the French Colonial Empire. Like many of the former French colonies in Africa, Burkina Faso is one of the safest countries on the African continent where hunting and tourism thrive thanks to continued peace and a secure economy. Burkina Faso has become one of the principal destinations for small and big game hunting in West Africa.

Burkina Faso is home to a dense animal population including many rare and prestigious species such as the Western Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus), one of the most beautiful and biggest antelope in West Africa. West African Savannah Buffalo, (Syncerus Caffer Aequinoctialis) one of the major hunting attractions in the country, are found in large numbers, and stalking these “Little Buffalo” is often very exciting. Lion hunting in Burkina Faso is also an exciting endeavor as Lion are hunted only by tracking, not with bait as in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Burkina Faso is home to many species of antelope including Western Hartebeest (Alcelaphus Buselaphus), Defassa Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus Defassa), Buffon’s or Western Kob (Kobus Kob), Bohor or Nagor Reedbuck (Redunca Redunca), Harnessed Busbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus Knutsoni), Oribi (Ourebia Ourebi) and Common Duiker (Cephalophus Grimmia) and Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). Although there is a sizable population of Elephant in Burkina Faso, they are not legal to hunt, nor is the Leopard. All the aforementioned species are found in most of the recognized hunting areas.

Hunting in Burkina Faso is done by tracking on foot, sometimes directly from the camp, but more often by driving 4x4 from the camps, then tracking on foot once in the bush. The terrain is quite flat therefore the hunting is not very physically demanding.

The principal hunting areas for big game in Burkina Faso are found in the eastern part of the country close to the Benin border (another country in West Africa famous for its hunting) and in the south and southeast, close to the border with Togo. Hunting areas are accessible by road from the country’s capital, Ougadougou (pronounced oo-ga-doo-goo). The roads are good and the drive most hunting areas is 2 to 3 hours from the capital. The primary hunting areas for small game share the same territories as the big game hunting areas and extend up to the northern borders with Mali and Niger.

As in all of West and Central Africa, these sizable hunting areas in Burkina Faso are open territories, not fenced. The average area is approximately 200,000 acres. They are rented and managed by the outfitters who usually are French professional hunters and members of the A.C.P. (Association des Chasseurs Professionnels - Association of Professional Hunters).

The actual terrain is mostly savannah with dry bush, broken up by smaller woodland areas that can be quite dense. Water is plentiful thanks to many different water points and rivers. The neighboring parks and wildlife preserves guarantee a dense animal population. The hunting season runs from mid-December through mid-April.

In Burkina Faso the hunting camps are permanent. The bungalows are comfortable and have air conditioning, many of the camps even have swimming pools. The French style cuisine is excellent with plenty to eat.