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Gaoua is a market town in Burkina Faso.


Gaoua is known as the home of the Lobi people, the majority ethnicity is this corner of Burkina. It is also the home of the Dagara, Birifor, Jula, Dogose, Gan, and Gwan, to name a few. It is a hilly city in the southwest of Burkina approximately 60 km on a paved road from Cote D'Ivoire and 50 km or so from Ghana through the bush.

It has a bad rap as being an armpit. But I think that was just to keep people (namely the bureau) away.

Get in

from Ouagou: TSR is a bus line that reliable and goes everyday. It leaves the Wemtenga bus station at 7am and from the other TSR gare at 7:30 am. Also buses at 1:30 and 3:00 pm. Cost is 6.500 CFA.

The trip can be between 6 and 8 hours. I would recommend going early unless you have a plan for when you arrive in G'town.

There is also a Transmif bus that goes there, but not sure of hours or days.

from Banfora: Take the Rakieta at 2pm. It is a five hour trip and is DUSTY. I believe it costs 4.000. You can also take bus taxi.

from Bobo: Take TSR. Not sure about the times other that there is an early morning one and an afternoon one. Sogebaf also has a car, unsure of times.

None of these options have A/C

Get around

Taxis make a killing here compared to other parts of the country. From the gare to the center it costs 300 CFA. However if you are going further than the center ville (ie. le desert or the campement allemand) it is 500 CFA.


  • the sacred grove of trees
  • museum
  • caves




Besides the street food available (fried ignames, fried bean cakes, fried millet cakes, liver, etc.)

For the AM hours, I recommend Chez Francois' omlette sandwiches and yogurt. Around 10-11:30 you can get phenomenal porc au four at Souvenir (before the hospital on the paved road) and at the campement militaire (they have mustard there!)

Lunch options can include PP and Flamboyant. Both are in the center of town and include the basic options of To, rice and sauce, riz gras, spaghetti, and depending on the season, salad, ragout, and futu. Additionally there are some great restaurants at the main gare.

For dinner, Gaoua has a GREAT chicken place (caution, only serves chicken) called Le Piedmont. It is sauteed or grilled. There are also PP and Flamboyant. PP also serves chicken at night.


The usual beer options can be found anywhere. There is also the dolo option, aka chiapalo. It is cheap and is fun to hang out at a dolo cabaret. If you want something higher class, the alimententation across from the market (directly opposite of the meat area) has other things such as juices, wine, booze, etc.

For your nonalcoholic options, there may be nonfermented dolo available at a cabaret. The streets are also littered with people selling bisap, ginger juice, etc.



There are a few places to connect. The first is called CyberSpace, it costs 1400 CFA an hour, but they have newer computers with USB connections. There is also the place on the side of the BIB building, but the computers are awful and it is 1500 CFA and hour. A new air conditioned place recently opened at the Cinema.

Get out

You can book outings to outlying villages through the museum. Some villages are known for basket weaving and pottery.

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