Brush up on your French when visiting Burkina Fasso, as this is the official language. However, you will find that most people outside of the cities do not speak it, so have a Mooré phrase book handy if you want to be understood. Other languages of Sudanic origins are also widely spoken including Dioula, Mossi, Fulfuldé, and Peul.
CFA franc (Communauté Financiére Africaine) [XOF] is the official currency of Burkina Fasso, but notes issued by the Bank of West African States are valid. Credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs are not available, which is why it is best to carry cash on hand. You may have a hard time exchanging currencies other than US dollars and euros, but major hotels and banks have exchange services.
GMT+0 and there is no Daylight Saving Time.
Bring a step down transformer and a plug adapter. Electricity is used at 220-240 Volts.
The country code for Burkina Faso is +226, followed by the area code 50. Roaming services are available through international mobile companies, but coverage is only in the main towns. Handsets can be rented, but this often requires a large deposit, which is why it is advised to bring your own cell phone. Post offices can be found downtown, but they have varying schedules, so check locally if you wish to send postcards and mail. There is dependable internet service near the grand post in downtown Ouagadougou (Place des Nations Unies), as well as near the fish market.
Customs in Burkina Faso allows people over the age of 15 to import 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 25 cigars or 250 g of tobacco into the country, along with up to 0.75 l of spirits, 0.75 l of wine, 500 ml of eau de toilette and 250 ml of perfume.
Burkina Faso – National Tourist Office (ONTB): +226-50-311-959 or http://www.ontb.bf/
Consulates in Burkina Faso
US Consulate, Ouagadougou: +226-50-495-300 Canadian Consulate, Ouagadougou: +226-50-311-894 to 95 French Consulate, Ouagadougou: +226-50-306-774 to 75 German Consulate, Ouagadougou: +226-50-306-31/2 Belgian Consulate, Ouagadougou: +226-50-312-164 to 65
Police Department: dial 17 Fire Department: dial 18