Geography of Burkina Faso


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Burkina Faso is dominated by an upland plateau that slopes slightly to the south and is covered in most places by lateritic soils or sandy soils. In the north and northeast, occasional boulders rise above the sandy surroundings. In the southeastern and western parts of the country, the bedrock is covered by younger sandstones.

At the border with Benin in the southeast there are large swamp areas. Burkina Faso is drained south by the rivers Mouhoun, Nazinon and Nakambe (Black Volta, Red Volta and White Volta), which in many places have cut deep into the bedrock as canyon valleys.


The climate is sunny, hot and dry, but with significant seasonal variations. Generally, there are three seasons: a dry and chilly period from November to March, a hot period in April and May when the temperature can go up to 40 °C and a rainier season from June to October. The annual rainfall amounts to about 1,000 mm in the south but decreases rapidly northwards, so that the northernmost parts of the country get less than 250 mm, ie. on the border of pure desert climate.

Plant-and animal life

Burkina Faso Wildlife

Northern Burkina Faso is covered by grass sands that during the dry season become semi-desert. Here you will find tamarisk, ephedra and grass like Ariʹstida. Towards the south follows bush and thorns water, then tree saws with, among other things. acacias, Isoberliʹnia (the pea family) and Combreʹtum species. Along the rivers are gallery forests with richer plant and animal life. On floodplains with permanent water in the southwest, the plant life is rich. A total of 1,100 species of flowering plants have been noted.

There are about 150 species of mammals and 335 species of nesting birds. The savannas include cow antelope, African buffalo, leopard and lion. African elephant and giraffe are rare, while red-tailed gazelle (Gazeʹlla ruʹfifrons) is relatively common even in close proximity. There are three species of monkeys, among others. green markatta, and in the rivers are hippos and nil crocodiles (both rare). Bird life is rich with, among other things, stairs, flying chickens and, in the wetland areas, herons and wintering ducks.

Nature conservation

Burkina Faso had three national parks in 2010: Kabore-Tambi southeast of Ouagadougou, Deux Balés south of Koudougou with savannah and gallery forests, and the Burkinian section of the large park “W”, a tree saw with lions, elephants and antelopes. In addition, there were nine major reserves.