With a population of more than half a million, Bobo-Dioulasso is the second largest city in Burkina Faso.


Bobo-Dioulasso Grand Mosque

Somebody once said that “Bobos,” or those Burkinabe who have spent a significant amount of time in Bobo, and have adopted some of the “Bobolaise” mannerisms – are the most hospitable Burkinabe, and perhaps one of the most hospitable groups of people, in the world. Strangers are welcome in general, and just about anyone from strangers to neighbors are always invited to drink tea or some bissap and eat food. In every neighbourhood, you will see mini block parties of tea drinkers, old ladies out walking, schoolkids in clumps – to a degree not to be found in many other towns and villages. Bobo is social. That said – some PCVs say that Bobo also holds the highest rate of Faux Types, merchant hawkers, and the like, on the hunt to chat it up, or sell something to a “Tubabu” (that’s you, silly). French and Jula are spoken in Bobo, along with Bobo (a dialect) and many other regional dialects. Bobo is often called the commercial capital of Burkina. You can get almost anything that you can get in Ouaga (OK – no Jimmy’s Bar, or Ice Cream like there is at Chez Simone). In general prices for things are a little cheaper than Ouaga. It is also much more temperate in Bobo (not too hot not too cold) due to lots of greens, trees, etc. in and around the area.

Get in

There are several bus companies with daily services to Bobo-Dioulasso from Ouagadougou and other regional cities as well as a few international destinations. Rahimo (+226 76643860), STMB (+226 50314472), TCV (+226 50301303), SOGEBAF (+226 50344255), TSR (+226 50342524) and Rakieta amongst others.

Also, the twice weekly train between Abidjan and Ouagadougou makes a stopover here. Although a scenic and rather comfortable ride, the train is slower the bus services and delays are common.

Get around

However, you are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to negotiation if you are white, and lets be honest – if you can afford to get to Burkina Faso XOF500 is hardly bank breaking!


Cine Sanyon – For movies – off of Ave. de la Republique




Bread vendors

If the Grand Marche is too intimidating or you don’t have the time to hassle with it, nearly every neighborhood has a comprehensive marche. Also worth noting is the Marche de Fruits – that is on the road that leads to the Airport towards Banfora and Orodara. (You’ll see a sign pointing off to the right that says “MARCHE DE FRUITS” ). Piles of mangoes, oranges, bananas, ignames, and patates live there in season.

Also to note is the Marina Market – a very Western style supermarket with lots of Arabic imports, cheeses, chocolate, wine and alcohol. Haggling for prices is not allowed. Cousin to Marina Market is Cobodim, which has much the same selection in terms of goods. It is located on the corner to the SouthWest of the Marche. Haggling for prices is not allowed.




Most larger buvettes have eats in the afternoons and evenings, but here are a few notables from the recommendations and favorites of Bobo Stage Goers:

Street food and snacks

You can get rice and sauce, achekeh, fish, to and sauce, cokes, fantas, and snacks on almost every corner, but here are some things to watch out for in season:


There are many. Here are the favorites from the Bobo Stagiares (these are all bars you can dance in):



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