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Moving to Ouagadougou?

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Urs Mayerl

Living in Burkina Faso, from Switzerland

"It's all about finding more expats in Burkina Faso and beyond to build a network -- InterNations makes it happen. "

Paula Covington

Living in Burkina Faso, from Canada

"InterNations is awesome! I have already got more than 50 contacts and friends living as expats in 13 different countries around the world."

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Ouagadougou at a Glance

Moving to Ouagadougou

Moving to Ouagadougou can be full of surprises. The city is on the rise, with three universities, several large factories, innumerable festivals, etc. There is an established expat base already living in Ouaga, and the local population is friendly and welcoming to people of all nationalities.

About the City

Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso is also the administrative center of the West African country. It is situated in the middle of the country, to the north of the celebrated Kabore Tambi National Park, Nakambe Forest and Sissili Forest.

Scattered around the outskirts of the city are a number of Mossi, Bobo and Fulani villages, which date back more than 500 years. Although Burkina Faso has modernized a lot over the past few decades, some tribal customs are still observed. Every Friday at 7am, Mossi leaders take part in a private Moro-Naba ceremony in Ouagadougou.

When you move to Ouagadougou as an expat, you can expect a warm welcome, an exciting social life and an instant education in the unique cultures and traditions of West Africa, before the rest of the world catches up.

Visas for Burkina Faso

It is not difficult to get an entry visa for Ouagadougou, particularly if you are a French citizen. Burkina Faso is a former French colony and there are still some favorable laws in place for French expatriates.

Nationals of the counties belonging to the exemption list do not need a visa. Others can apply for either a tourist or a business visa in their country of origin. Before a visa application can be processed, you will need to receive a yellow fever vaccination, and send off a passport that will be valid for at least three months after your proposed departure date.

If you want to apply for a visa extension once you are in Ouagadougou, this must be done through the chief of police in the city. 

Getting to Ouagadougou

Ouagadougou Airport may not be very big, but it is a busy travel hub with regular flights departing for destinations across North, West and East Africa. Air France and Brussels Airlines offer connecting flights to Ouagadougou via Paris-Charles de Galle Airport and Brussels Airport, while Turkish Airlines connects the city with Istanbul.

There is a good road leading from Ouagadougou to Niamey in Niger, and long-distance buses run regularly between Ouaga and other cities in Ghana, Mali, Togo, Niger and Benin. 

Moreover, rail connections with Abidjan, Ivory Coast, are available.

InterNations Expat Magazine